Everyone knows the Lateral Raise. Start with the weights at your sides; raise your upper arms to until the elbows are shoulder height (like a human letter ‘T’). But to really put caps on your arms, the lift needs a twist.
As you finish each rep at shoulder height, turn your hands so that your pinky finger is higher than your thumb. To put it differently, twist each of the dumbbells as though you were pouring water out of a pitcher when you reach the top. The slight “pouring” twist tremendously improves the growth potential of the medial deltoid. It’s a tiny investment with a huge pay off.
Completely activate the bicep to unlock greater growth: Grip the dumbbell’s handle near the ‘outside’ (so that when your palms are up, your thumb is closest to the weight). Curl the dumbbells up as you normally would. As you near the top, twist the weight inward, as though you were trying to touch your pinky to the front of your shoulder and squeeze the bicep as hard as you can for 3 seconds. Repeat until you’re tearing the sleeves of your t-shirts.
Who DOESN’T want better upper chest development? Introducing the 180-degree twisting dumbbell bench press. A twist at the top of this motion enables one to take advantage of the supine grip (pinkies facing inwards, toward one another, as during bicep curls), which allows greater activation of the upper portion of the pectoralis major.
As you perform this lift, begin by lying back on a bench holding two dumbbells in a pronated grip position (palms facing forward, as you normally do with any bench press) over your chest. Begin the eccentric portion of the lift by lowering the dumbbells towards the outer region of the chest. Once the dumbbells reach the outer portion of the chest (or are lowered to a range of motion that is comfortable for you), press and rotate 180 degrees until you are back to the original starting position, this time, however, in a supine grip (pinkies facing inwards, toward one another).
New research has found that the more weight is added to the bench press, the less the chest works. Worse, if bench press is on the menu, your “Chest Day” might really be “Arm Day”. Confused? Read on.