Brute Strength Program: Strength Exercises, Part 1
Written by: Team Flex
Start | Lie on a bench and position your body so that the bar is directly above your eyes. Grasp the bar, spacing your hands about six inches beyond each shoulder. Lift the bntil it touches your upper chest. Positive phase | Without bouncing the bar, raise it at a slightly quicker pace than that used during the negative phase. Don't lock out your elbows.
INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
Start | Rest a pair of dumbbells on your knees while sitting on an incline bench. Hoist the dumbbells to your shoulders while leaning back into the bench. You may require assistance getting heavier dumbar from the uprights (preferably with the help of a spotter) and move it to a point above the centerline of your chest. Negative phase | Lower the bar in a controlled manner ubells into position. Positive phase | Push the dumbbells upward in a straight line to a point just short of elbow lockout. Do not bang the dumbbells together at the top of the movement. Instead, keep the spacing between them consistent throughout. Negative phase | Lower the dumbbells along the same line, going as low as you can without feeling joint discomfort.
Start | Sit on an Olympic shoulder-press bench (or on a bench with back support in a squat rack). With the bar positioned in front of you, take a grip that's slightly beyond shoulder width and remove the barbell from the rack. Positive phase | Push the barbell up over your head without locking out your elbows. Negative phase | Lower the barbell along the same path, stopping before it reaches the top of your sternum.
Start | Position yourself under a bar in a safety rack or squat rack so that the bar rests comfortably on your shoulders and traps. Walk backward a few steps away from the bar supports and plant your feet firmly, approximately shoulder width apart and with toes pointing out slightly. Negative phase | Inhaling, lower yourself while keeping your back straight and vision focused ahead. Try to pinch your scapulae back to help ensure an upright posture. Squat to a point slightly below where your thighs are parallel with the floor. Pause for a split second. Positive phase | While exhaling forcefully, explode up without using momentum as an assist. Make sure your back is kept straight and your visual focus never drops below eye level.
Start | Sit in a leg press station and place your feet on the platform according to your needs. Closer foot spacing stresses outer thighs, wider spacing focuses on inner thighs. Placing your feet higher on the platform targets hams and glutes, placing them lower hits the teardrops on the front of the quads. Positive phase | Release the support pins and hold onto the seat handles. Lower the platform toward you, going as far as you can without raising your hips off the seat. Pause for a moment at the bottom. Negative phase | Push the weight away, making sure that your knees follow a straight path and do not wobble.
Start | Stand with your feet about 24" apart facing a barbell on the floor. Bending at your knees and hips, grasp the bar. Use a deadlift grip (i.e., one side overhand, the other underhand), with your hands spaced slightly wider than your feet. Keep your back flat. Positive phase | As you raise the weight, keep your back straight and focus on driving your heels through the floor. At the top of the movement, you should be standing erect with your knees unlocked. Pause for one second. Negative phase | Return the weight along the same path through which you lifted it, but don't let it touch the floor until the set is complete.
Start | With your hands spaced slightly beyond your shoulders, hang from a chinup bar. Positive phase | Pull yourself up until your chin meets the bar. Do not kick or use body motion to assist in lifting yourself. Negative phase | Lower yourself along the same path until you are hanging at the bottom of the movement. Allow your lats to stretch at the bottom.
Start | Stand facing a barbell on the floor. Bend at your hips, knees slightly bent. Using a grip slightly beyond shoulder width, pick up the barbell. Raise your torso a few degrees so that the bar does not touch the floor when it's resting at arms' length. Positive phase | Bring the barbell up to the lower part of your sternum, just below your chest. Do not jerk the weight. Negative phase | Lower the weight, making sure to stretch out your lats at the bottom of the movement.
Start | Take a medium-wide grip (about six inches beyond each shoulder) on a lat pulldown bar. Lower yourself into the seat, securely bracing your thighs under the cross supports. Positive phase | With shoulders back and chest up, pull the bar to the front of your neck and contract your lats. Negative phase | Control the weight stack as you lower it, making sure to feel a stretch in your lats at the top of the movement.
Start | Pick up either a straight or a cambered barbell with a palms-up grip. Your hands should be spaced at shoulder width. Positive phase | Moving only your lower arms, curl the bar up to your shoulders without leaning backward for assistance. Squeeze and contract your biceps at the top of the movement. Negative phase | Lower the weight again, keeping tension in the biceps at all times.
Start | Sit on a preacher curl bench with the seat adjusted so that your upper arms rest comfortably on the arm pad. Lift the barbell off its support. Positive phase | Curl the bar up, stopping when your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Flex your biceps for a count of one at the top. Negative phase | Lower the weight along the same path, keeping tension in the biceps at all times and stopping just before elbow lockout.
STANDING CABLE CRUNCH
Start | Attach a rope to a high pulley station. Grasping both ends of the rope, take a step backward. Positive phase | Curl your body forward, using only your midsection, not your hips, to lower yourself. Let your hands rest against both sides of your head at ear level. Negative phase | Raise your torso, keeping tension on the abdominal region at all times and stopping before the weight stack returns to its resting position.