We tell you how to overcome man boobs, love handles and 6 other common problem areas men have to deal with.
Problem Zone: Puny Triceps
The Remedy: When working your biceps, don’t neglect the other side. After all, your triceps count for 2/3 of the muscles in your arms. “When you only focus on training your biceps, the constant tension to the biceps will shorten and tighten of the muscle. This leads to an internal rotation of the arm, which can cause a shortened pec minor, which is one cause of a protracted shoulder girdle or
rounding of shoulders,” says Mitch Chilson, Men’s Health fitness advisor and instructor and Evolve Mixed Martial Arts.
The Exercise: DUMBBELL CLOSE GRIP PRESS
Lie on a bench, feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on either side of your chest. Keeping the dumbbells touching, straighten your elbows but don’t lock them. Pause, then lower to the start. Perform five sets of six to eight reps.
Problem Zone: Chicken Thighs
The Remedy: To work your pins, follow the ‘skinny calves’ routine – without the stay-on-your-toes requirement. “But try to squat lower without bending your spine forward,” says Scott Rankin, a certified strength and conditioning specialist.
The Exercise: SPLIT SQUATS
Holding a pair of dumbbells, perform with normal split squats (as the balancing split squats, but don’t rise on your toes). The key difference here is to keep your back straight throughout, which will make your thigh muscles do more work. Hold each split squat for 30 seconds. Do two sets of 15 reps on each leg twice a week.
Problem Zone: Skinny Calves
The Remedy: “Try a workout that keeps you on your toes,” says Rankin. “In addition to your calf workout, add calf work to other areas of your routine – for example, during your upper thigh training session.”
The Exercise: BALANCING SPLIT SQUATS
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and rise up to your toes. Stand in a split stance with your left foot 1.2 metres in front of your right. Lower your body until your feet is bent at 90 degrees and your right knee touches the ground. Your left lower leg should be perpendicular to the ground with your torso upright. Push yourself to the starting position as quickly as possible while keeping your heels up to get the maximum benefit. Do fi ve sets of 12 reps on each leg, three times a week.
Problem Zone: Scrawny Arms
The Remedy: For big guns, you need to go heavy enough so that you train at a high intensity throughout your entire session,” says specialist trainer Jamie Sawyer. “This means you’ll be able to complete no more than eight reps before reaching failure. If you use too much momentum to get those last few reps, your shoulders and back will steal the effort from your biceps.”
The Exercise: EZ BAR CURLS
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and grab an EZ bar with an underhand shoulder-width grip. Rest the bar at the front of your thighs and bend your elbows to curl the bar towards your shoulders. “Bend your knees slightly as you lower the bar. This gives you strength from your legs and helps you get through the sticking point at the end of the move,” Says Sawyer Perform five sets of six to eight repetitions.
Problem Zone: Man Boobs
The Remedy: Put down that Tiger. “High oestrogen levels can cause man boobs,” says Richard Levy, a strength and conditioning coach. “So reduce your boozing. It could also be the way your body stores fat. But gin or genes, the answer is the same: More cardio.”
The Exercise: TREADMILL
Hate cardio? Try this: After lifting, run on the treadmill at full speed for 45 seconds, rest for 45 seconds. Repeat six times, taking three minutes to cool down.
Problem Zone: Abs Definition
The Remedy: “The only way to deepen the groove in your abdominal wall is to build the muscles of the the rectus abdominis and to
remove the fat deposits surrounding your abs,” says Chilson. “The hanging leg raise performed in the roman chair are usually performed by just raising the legs up and down, which will use just your hip fl exors. To gain maximum abdominal involvement you need to round the base of the spine up at the end of the movement. Curling your hips up off of the pad, shorting the distance between your pubis and sternum.”
The Exercise: HANGING LEG RAISES
Hang from a pull-up bar with an overhead grip with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Place your feet together and use your abdominal muscles to raise your feet in an arc upward. They should be inline with your hands. Pause, then lower your legs to the start position. Perform four sets of 12 to 14 reps twice a week. “For an advanced move, you can do the exercise without resting
against the pad or perform it hanging off a chin up bar. In a hanging position keeping your torso tight and pull your knees into the chest and slowly lowering the legs back to the start position,” Chilson says.
Problem Zone: Small Back
The Remedy: A broad back will give you that V-shape torso women love,” says Rankin. “Body weight pulls are the best way to build the appearance of sculpted shoulders and a chest that’s solidly forward.”
The Exercise: PULLS
Lie under the bar of the Smith machine locked at the third notch from the bottom. Hold the bar just wider than shoulder-width apart, your feet on the floor with knees bent at 90 degrees. Pull your chest to the bar, pause then lower to the start. Do three sets of eight reps three times a week. “Try balancing your feet on a Swiss ball to increase the diffi culty,” says Rankin.
Problem Zone: Love Handles
The Remedy: Your body fat needs to be between 7-10 percent for your abs to really show,” says James Villepigue, co-author of The Body Sculpting Bible Express for Men. “The best way to get rid of the excess stored fat in your love handles is to harden and build your oblique muscles.”
The Exercise: DECLINE RUSSIAN TWIST
Sit on the edge of a decline bench with your legs tucked under the foot pads. Make sure your back is at a 45-degree angle to the bench. Grasp a single weight plate with both hands and hold it in front of you. Keep a slight arc, of about 30 degrees, in each elbow. Rotate your arms and trunk from the left side to the right side while keeping your legs still. Your head and spine should stay in the same position while your core rotates around them. Perform fi ve sets of six to eight reps on each side, two to three times a week.