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What's winning the Internet today (09.23.13)

The Scientific Best Exercises For Each Muscle Group

By / 09.23.13

That being said, the person doing some of the testing is Bret Contreras who is a highly respected source in the fitness community.

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1. Chest

Barbell Bench Press

Not shockingly, the barbell bench press came in at number 1. Some common mistakes I see are people breaking their wrists while benching and not keeping their feet on the ground. Wrists and hands should be perpendicular to the floor.

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2. Triceps

Triangle Pushups (Beat out Dips and Kickbacks)

Strange but true, the triangle pushups come in as the number 1 triceps exercise. Just like the regular pushup, make sure you're going down far enough.

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3. Bicep

Scott/Preacher Curl

I chose this over the concentration curls because the study did not cover the brachialis, which is better activated by the Scott/Preacher Curl. The most common mistake with curls the speed of the repetition. Slow down with a count of 2 sec up 2 sec down.

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4. Lats

Weighted Pull-Ups

People seem to either go down too far (shoulders squeeze together) or not go down far enough. Also, it should be mentioned that the weighted chin-up came in at a close second. If you prefer that method, I see no harm in it. 

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5. Traps

Barbell Shrug

Jerking the weight around to complete the movement is a very common mistake. If you can not reach the peak without jerking your body, you should take down some weight unless you are purposefully working on an explosive movement.

Best Video Demonstration

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6. Shoulders

Seated Military Press

The behind the neck press is actually slightly better, but has a much higher risk of injury and your shoulders are too valuable. Scott Herman annoys the shit out of me, but he has another good demonstration video below.

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7. Abs

Bicycle Maneuver/Crunch

Speed is the most common mistake. I can maybe do 30 of these in a row. The name is where the confusion lies, you should not be pedaling like on a bike. Slow down and you will understand why this is such a great workout.  

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8. Oblique

Captain's Chair

Might seem counterintuitive, but the Captain's Chair is actually the best way to target your oblique’s. Don't swing in the chair and use your balance.

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9. Quadriceps

Half Squats

Thinking you are doing full squats is the most common mistake. Make sure to use a bar for this exercise, as it will relieve the pressure from your knees.

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10. Hamstrings/Lower Back


These two muscle groups are together because they work together so intricately. If you have lower back problems the issue is often times assocciated with the flexibility of your hamstrings. Oh, and lot's of people deadlift poorly. Check out the video demonstration below for a refresher.  

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11. Calves

Heavy Lever Calf Raise

The explosive calf raise is slightly less effective than the slow calf raise. Slow it down.

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See you next week bros,
Alex Nerney — Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Lord of BroScience

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