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Looking for a straightforward body changer? “The wide-grip overhead split squat may literally work more muscle than any other exercise,” says strength and conditioning coach Alwyn Cosgrove. Add this movement to your next lower- or full-body workout to pack on new muscle.
Your legs are the obvious target during the squatting portion of the exercise, but they’re not the only part of your body being worked. By holding the weight over your head, you challenge your shoulders, arms, upper back, and core, says Cosgrove. The bottom line: It’s ideal for building muscle and burning calories.
HOW TO DO IT
1. Grab a barbell using a grip that’s about twice your shoulder-width, and press it over your head until your arms are straight. Stand in a staggered stance with your feet 60 to 90cm apart, left foot forward.
2. Keeping your torso upright, lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees and your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Your front lower leg should be perpendicular to the floor.
3. Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as you can. Perform 6 to 8 repetitions, switch legs, and repeat. Complete 2 to 3 sets.
OUR EXPERT’S TIPS
* Perform this early in your workout, because you build more muscle and stay in better form when you have more energy. If the overhead barbell is intimidating, try it first with dumbbells.
* Keep your core tight to work your abs and support your lower back.
* Work your quads by placing your back foot on a weight plate.
* Emphasise your hips and glutes by placing your front foot on a weight plate.