The Best Exercises for 7 Popular Trouble Spots (Part 2)

Find out the best butt, hip and thigh exercises, the best calf exercises, the best chest exercises, the best shoulder exercises, the best back exercises, the best arm exercises and the best ab exercises in this 2-part series. In part 2, you'll learn how to target the shoulders, back, arms, and abs. 

Ben Greenfield,
February 11, 2014
Episode #173

Page 2 of 2


To get nice arms – or to justify wearing that “Welcome to The Gun Show” t-shirt, you’ll want to work both your biceps and your triceps.chin-up

The very best exercise for the biceps (the front of your arms) is similar to one of the best exercises for your back: a chin-up. So what’s the difference between a pull-up and a chin-up? A pull-up is performed with your knuckles facing you, while a chin-up is performing with you knuckles turned away from you. If you can’t do a chin-up, just do a cable pull-down with your knuckles turned away from you, also known as a cable underhand pull-down.

For your triceps (the back of your arms), triceps extensions are the best exercise. A simple version of the triceps extensions exercises that you can perform with minimal equipment is a standing overhead triceps extension.

For a standing overhead triceps extension, stand with your elbows overhead and a dumbbell (or any other weight) grasped in both hands, and lower the weight back behind your head by flexing your elbows. Try to get your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Then raise the weight back over your head by extending your elbows.


A simple search for “abs” over at the QuickAndDirtyTips website will reveal a number of articles I’ve written on that ever-elusive goal of a flat stomach or a six-pack abs, including “How to Get Abs Like Magic Mike” and “How To Get Washboard Abs – Fast!

But what does electromyography (which you learned all about in Part 1 of this series) reveal about maximum activation of abdominal muscle tissue? It turns out that the 3 exercises that maximally stimulate your stomach are hanging leg raisesweighted crunches, and ab wheel rollouts.

For a hanging leg raise, grasp and hang from a bar with slightly wider than shoulder width overhand grip, then raise your legs by flexing hips and knees until your hips are completely flexed or knees are well above hips.

weighted crunchesFor a weighted crunch, simply hold a weight (a barbell plate, dumbbell, or medicine ball works quite well) to your chest and perform a crunch.

And finally, an ab wheel rollout uses that funky contraption that looks like some kid accidentally left their tricycle wheel at the gym. An ab wheel is basically a small wheel with a handle through the center of it.

To do an ab-wheel rollout,  begin by kneeling on the floor (you’ll want a mat under your knees – trust me)! Grasp the handles on either side of the wheel with an overhand grip, then keeping your arms straight, roll the wheel out as far as possible as you extend your body forward. This is harder than it sounds! Next, bring your body back up to the starting position by flexing your abs. Warning: Doing this exercise properly is not for the faint of heart!

If you have more questions about the best exercises for your shoulders, back, arms and abs, then leave them over at http://www.Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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