Bodybuilding Articles

Increase Muscle Mass and Strength Using 3 Uncommon Lifts

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Bench press, squat, and deadlifts. Repeat. These are the staple weightlifting exercises you’re taught to build upon at the gym. One year later and you’re doing the same exercises.

Not surprisingly, you’ve reached some sort of emotional and physical plateau. Lifting the same weights and doing the same exercises is not only boring, but this can hinder your performance because your body has adapted to the same exercises.

Instead, try some variation in your gym routine. Mix it up here and there by adding some lifts to your repertoire.

And don’t forget to add calories to your diet, you aren’t going to gain the size and mass that you want without proper nutrition. Here are three uncommon lifts that’ll help you add size and strength.

3 Exercises to Increase Muscle Mass and Size

#1 – Chest – Lying Down Side Dumbbell Flys

  • What You Need: Dumbbell and flat bench.
  • Mechanics: Lie on your side on a flat bench with your shoulder just off the bench. Keep your elbow slightly bent and locked. Bring the dumbbell up towards your head perpendicular to your body. Continue without bending your elbow until the dumbbell reaches your other shoulder. Hold for a few seconds and bring the dumbbell back down. Repeat on other side.
  • Repeat 5-8 reps for 3 sets.
  • Benefits: This exercise targets the inner chest area which is often not targeted enough with a bench press.

#2 – Legs – 1.5 Split Squat Variation

  • What You Need: Dumbbell x 2 and flat bench.
  • Mechanics: Set up with a dumbbell in each hand and put one foot on the bench with the toes facing down. This is the same as a traditional Bulgarian Split Squat exercise. Instead of going all the way down and back up – pause for 3 seconds at the halfway point, go back down, and then all the way back up.
  • Repeat 6-8 reps for 4 sets.
  • Benefits: This is a tough exercise which targets and builds strength for the inner quads. After doing this exercise for a few weeks, you should start to notice an increase in your overall squat gains.

#3 – Back – Supinated Rack Rows With Stop Variation

  • What You Need: Barbell, Olympic Lifting Rack
  • Mechanics: Traditional bent over rows are tough because it is hard to maintain good form for the entire exercise – especially when you’re on your last few reps in the last set. Instead, try setting up a barbell on the lower rungs of an Olympic lifting rack and pull the barbell like a normal bent over row. Pause at the top of each row and continue for 5-8 reps.
  • Repeat 5-8 reps for 3 sets.
  • Benefits: This targets lat strength and will help with gains in both the deadlift and bench press exercises.

The basics are the foundation for every gym routine but sometimes you need to mix it up to make things interesting. Have an unconventional exercise which you use? Let us know what you think.

Mick Madden

Mick Madden is the primary content writer for Muscle and Brawn.

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