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My 5 Favorite Weird Exercises

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 Chad Howse Back Exercise

There’s so much weird shit happening in gyms these days just for the sake of being weird. Not for any health or performance benefit. Much of the time it’s an attempt by the trainer to feel superior. To make their client feel as if they’re learning something new and exciting when something much more practical and basic would have been more effective.

There’s the kettle bell fad. I actually like kettle bell’s, but you can’t use them and only them and get the best results possible. There are the swizz ball, the resistance band, and bosu ball fads that are all aimed at being different, but aren’t in any way adding to the effectiveness of workouts or getting people better results. They’re just different. Not better. Different.

So why the hell am I doing a blog post about weird exercises?

Well it’s important to have variation in our training, more-so from a rep, set, and cadence standpoint than an exercise standpoint, but it’s still important to incorporate different exercises as a way to hit our muscles in different ways, but also to keep our workouts new and exciting.

Add these exercises into your routine. Some of them might be a bit weird, other’s are pretty damn normal, but in either case, they aren’t seen enough in gyms these days.

5 awesome ‘weird’ exercises

Shoulders

Lumberjack Press

This is easily one of my favourite shoulder‘s exercises. I like doing four sets with each hand having it’s turn in either position. At the top of the lift, make sure to activate your traps and finished with the weight – or with your arms – towards the back of your head.

This is a great way to build the anterior portion of the deltoid.

Legs

Hack Squat

It looks like a weird deadlift, but you’ll notice that there’s much more emphasis placed on the quads than the hips. It’s one of my favourite quads exercises. It’s easy on the back and it’s a really effective exercise that you don’t see in the gym a whole lot.

Try pairing this up with a front squat for a good quads superset.

Back

Chin-ups with a Knee Raise

I’m not a fan of the cross fit-type chin-ups. The one’s where they do more swinging than pulling. I actually can’t stand seeing those in the gym, they just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you want a plyometric effect on your chin-ups, which is a great idea for athletes or people wanting to build explosive muscle, try doing this exercise.

Perform a chin-up with a knee raise at the same time. But perform it fast and release your hands from the bar at the apex of the exercise, much like you’d do with clap push-ups when you bound from the ground. Only this time you’re bounding from the chin-up bar.

Keep the right form. Pinch your shoulder blades together, and don’t swing! Keep a vertical motion.

Triceps

Fast Band Press

Our smaller muscles can take more of a pounding because they recover faster. I love barbells, dumbbells and even cables for training, and I don’t use bands a whole lot, but they have their place. Albeit way behind the formerly mentioned methods of training.

Fasten the band to the chin-up bar, lean forward like you’re performing an overhead cable press, and push the weight forward toward the ground – fast. Don’t slow up on the eccentric phase of the exercise either, just go fast throughout. Try and get as many reps done as possible. Maintain your form but don’t worry about cadence.

It’s a complete variance from the other exercises we do to train our triceps. You’ll love it.

Chest

Squeeze Press

 

Here’s a buddy of mine – John Romaniello – performing the squeeze press.

I wouldn’t say this exercise is for beginner pectoral development. When you first start out, focus on compound lifts like the bench press and the different angles of the bench press. But when you’re starting to really focus on this muscle, the squeeze press is one of the best exercises around for completely isolating the pectoral muscles.

You can do it flat, declined, or inclined. Start with the two dumbbells pressed against each other. Squeeze them as hard as you can together, while at the same time pressing the weight up like you would with a bench press.

The combination of Squeezing the two dumbbells together, while also pressing the weight will work the chest in a way that is hard to replicate. You don’t even need a very heavy weight at all. The harder your press the weights together, the tougher the exercise is.

The guy you just saw in the video has an awesome program out that has a ton of cool exercises that are designed to help you get a Hero-like physique. He’s one of the best trainer’s I know, and he’s doing some big things in the industry – and out of it actually.

Have a look at one of my favourite programs of all time – the Super Hero Workout.


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  • Rob

    What's the weight on that lumberjack press? 135? Also, I like that squeeze press. I was doing some plyo type exercises with a 25lb weight plate, squeezing it between my palms and extending my arms slowly back and forth from my chest while sitting on one of those big exercise balls. I tell you what, that switch up definitely worked my pecs.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/ Chad Howse

      Hey Rob – no I'm doing 95lbs (25s) for this set. The squeeze press is awesome! I use it when I need to change things up – it's always a good addition to a chest workout. I like what you're doing too, sounds like it's pretty damn effective.

      Thanks man.