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Great and underused exercises, part 1

Great and underused exercises, part 1

In this and the following couple of articles I’m going to list and comment on what I consider to be grossly and unfairly underused exercises.

All these are exercises that I recommend and that I use myself. It is my hope that (if you aren’t already incorporating them into your routine) you might find them ideal to put in use whenever you feel the need to spice up your workout program.

I will pick one underused exercise per muscle group.


Underused exercise: The Sisyphus squat.

Sisyphus squats are by many known as "sissy squats", but I prefer this more origin-aware name, for several reasons, not at least the poetic appeal. I do these without weights, as a body weight exercise.

This is a great leg exercise that allows you to play around with performance tempo and to develop not only the quads, but also coordination, balance and body control. It is a high rep exercise that works very well both as a warm up exercise at the beginning of your workout and as a finisher when you want to give the workout session a hard and rewarding end.


Underused exercise: One legged calf presses performed in leg press machine.

It works best in the old fashioned kind of leg press machines – the kind where you load it up with weight plates and perform your reps laying down, somewhat beneath the weights that are being used. It's a great exercise if you want to add extra width to the calves. In my opinion it is superior to most standing calf machines, since here you don’t have much stress on the rest of the body.


Underused exercise: The Myotatic crunch performed on a Bosu ball.

I’ve written about this great exercise in my article on how to develop chiselled abs.

The myotatic crunch allows a good stretch, which in turn allows a good contraction, which means good results (after you have first lived through the burn and the pain). That is one of the reasons this exercise stands out among the many options available when it comes to composing your abs routine. Another advantage that is present in the choice of the myotatic crunch is the way that those stretched-out arms will put extra strain on your torso and abs. If you have seen the myotatic crunch performed without ever having tried it yourself you’ll be amazed when you first give it a shot: the weight of your own limbs makes an incredible difference that has to be experienced to be believed. This exercise really forces your abs to work when they are ordered to bring your arms and hands straight up (in a position similar to that of a diver), with your biceps pressed against your ears, reaching an almost – but not entirely - sitting position, pointing towards the roof, where you pause, just before you hit the straight line. Pay extra attention to the upper position. Make sure you freeze your movement there, for a second or two. Use that pause to really squeeze the muscles involved, before you slowly decend once more towards the floor behind you.

In a couple of days I’ll continue by listing and commenting on underused exercises for the back, the pecs and the shoulders.

/Daniel Schou

Daniel Schou The blog

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