Looking to breathe new life into your training? Give these unique exercises a try, courtesy of Greg Plitt. We don’t recommend doing these every day, but if you’re looking to challenge yourself and have fun doing it, try adding a few to your next workout and testing your limits!
“Most people go to the gym and do cardio, regular weightlifting and then possibly even a heavy day,” he explains. “But there’s a weak link in the chain sometimes. [These exercises] will show you what it is by working all of your fast-twitch muscle fibers while your lungs are burning and having to maintain it at a depleted oxygen state. In other words, this is a shotgun approach to fitness.”
1 TIRE-LOADED BAR SQUATS
Muscles worked: Quads, hamstrings and glutes
Grab a 45-pound barbell and two large tires. Put the barbell through the two tires so each tire sits on the bar equal distance from the end. You can use a squat rack to set up this exercise. Once in position, do a normal squat. The great part of this exercise is that the tires will rotate on you in the motion of the rep, causing uneven weight change due to momentum of the tire moving, which causes a changing bar weight. This forces more fast-twitch muscle fibers to fire in the rep and your core to help stabilize an unstable situation.
2 CHAIN-WEIGHTED DIPS
Muscles worked: Chest and triceps
Grab loose chains and place around your neck. Find any two parallel bars and do bodyweight dips to failure. The longer the chain, the better. If it hits the ground at the bottom of the rep, the weight you lift then will get heavier as you get to the top of said rep.
3 SIDE CHAIN LATERAL RAISES
Muscles worked: Shoulders and the entire core
Grab a group of chains, a carabiner clip and a one-hand handle. Hook up as many chains as your current conditioning can handle. Stand shoulder-width apart and raise chains to side where your arms are at a 90-degree angle from body. Once at a 90-degree angle, hold that position until chains stop swinging, then lower and repeat. The swinging of the chains will cause increased resistance and weight to control and burn your shoulders even more.
4 KEG LUNGES
Muscles worked: Hamstrings, quads and glutes
Grab a keg or pony keg, lift it over your head and place it on your shoulders. From that position, step forward with one leg and do walking lunges, alternating from your right to your left leg.
5 TIRE PULLS WITH CHAIN
Stand in a fixed position with good support with your legs. Grab a 50-foot chain and wrap it around a tire lying flat on its side. Walk to the end of chain and pull the tire to you from either a standing position or a seated position. Once tire is pulled to you, rotate tire 180 degrees, walk chain back out and repeat. Your break is in turning the tire and walking chain to opposite side.
6. FOREARM CHAIN-UPS
Muscles worked: Forearms and shoulders
Stand with a chain in your hands with arms extended straight in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Go hand under hand, squeezing the chain and raising the chain off the ground. Continue to go hand under hand without dropping your arm angle from 90 degrees until you reach the end of the chain, and then go hand-over-hand until you hit the other end of the chain. Works forearms as you do a forearm curl to create room for your other hand to go under or over the hand holding the chain.
7 ALTERNATING CHAIN CURLS
Muscles worked: Biceps
Grab a group of chains, a carabiner clip and a one-hand handle. Hook up as many chains as your current conditioning can handle and try to find chains long enough that they lie on the ground and as you curl, the chain piles in each hand. The weight of the curl gets heavier and heavier as you hit the top as you are pulling more chains off the ground. Alternate each curl from right arm to left arm or do both arms at once.
8 MILITARY TIRE PRESS
Muscles worked: Shoulders, upper chest and triceps
Grab a large tire and stand it up on its side. Once on its side, drop to your knees in front of the tire and pull the tire to yourself with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower the tire to the top of your chest and press forward and extend. Repeat.