In the weight room, it’s easy to get accustomed to the same old routine. Even in a search for “variety”, people will often stop at simply “choosing new movements”. The truth is, to shock your muscles into development and to scare plateaus away; sometimes it calls for greater methods to stir the pot. Here are 5 movements you've probably never used, but should.
Exercise 1: Cobra Pulldowns
Benefits: The cobra pull-down is a great way to get the lats through a larger range of motion than a regular pull-down. Because of where the hand rests in the start position (almost directly above the head), the lats have to contract from a much more lengthened position.
The How To: Start by ensuring that you're slightly in front of the cable pulley, and "unlock" your shoulder blade while stretching your arm. Next, set your shoulder down and pull through the lat, remembering to keep your elbow in line with your wrist and not behind it. At the finish position, squeeze the snot out of your lats. Use a 20X1 tempo. (Squeeze for one second at the end of each rep, lower it in two seconds, don't rest at the relaxed position, and pull for one second.) This exercise doesn't require you to set the pin at the bottom of the stack for you to really feel the reps, so we recommend using high-rep sets.