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Hard Habits to Break

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It doesnít just happen once you walk into the gym.

It happens everywhere, every place you venture throughout your day, be it the living room, the bathroom, or the workplace. There are certain things you do day after day after day.

Itís called the force of habit.

For instance, say you have a favorite sandwich shoppe around the corner from where you work. When your lunch break rolls around, not only do you head off to this very same sub joint, but you order the same old steak & cheese sandwich time and time again. It could be a routine that lasts weeks, months, even years. The same old sandwich. Itís a process you donít even think about.

Why?

Because itís comfortable, because itís safe. It requires no thinking whatsoever, to order that sandwich, itís instilled within you like the pledge of allegiance. Itís a routine you know by heart.

Thatís why, when you stumble into the gym for your nightly workout, you serve us the same old menu. Bench presses, incline dumbbell flyes, dips, triceps extensions, twenty-minute treadmill, whatever the case may be.

Start today to delve into a totally foreign exercise, one that is going to shock your muscles like an episode of Real TV. That machine youíve walked by a thousand times over the past year? Instead of just brushing past it itís a homeless vagrant, give it a little attention. Invest a few minutes in it. You may be amazed at what it can do for you.

So, try some of these obscure, yet effective exercises that can inject the variation you need in your workout to spawn new results:

REVERSE CABLE TRICEPS EXTENSIONS:

These are very similar to triceps extensions, except that the palms are faced upward. You cannot use the V-handle on this, youíll need to use a small straight bar. With your palms faced upward, grasp the bar so your elbows are close to your sides at a 45-degree angle. Lower your forearms toward your sides, squeezing the triceps muscles, as your elbows lock out. Slowly return to the starting position.

ALTERNATE CABLE CURLS:

Find a pair of D-handles and attach them on the bottom hookups of a parallel cable machine. Facing away from the machine Ė not toward it Ė take the handles, one in each hand, and perform alternate curls. As one curl is rising toward the point of contraction, the other should be lowering toward the starting position. These really burn!

HACK SQUATS:

This is a fitting name because these can really Ďhackí your legs up. These are performed with the same range of motion as barbell squats, however, most hack squat machines and placed on an incline. This exercise will force you to use the proper range of motion, and allow you to pay more strict attention to form, because you wonít be performing a tightrope-balancing act with eight plates on your shoulders. Plus, itís much safer!

AND THEREíS NOT REALLY A NAME FOR THESE, HOWEVER Ö

After a set of side lateral raises or front dumbbell raises, you can really blast your delts and traps with this one. Grab a plate Ė perhaps a 35- or 45-pounder, holding it firmly between your palms. With your elbows straight out in front of you, slowly raise the plate in a circular motion, taking it all the way above your head. Once it is directly above your head, slowly lower the plate to your thighs. These are great for toning the traps and delts.


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