Even the most dedicated gym rats tend to slack off during the holidays. Back to back parties, a fridge full of leftovers and bottomless cocktails can get the best of us. Celebrate Men’s Health Month, by building a bigger, leaner, stronger physique with a well-rounded regimen for guys at all levels.
“A typical ‘man workout’ is heavy on the chest and arms, as everyone wants to look good in a tight tank top, but the lower body and core are often neglected,” says fitness guru “Hollywood Hino” Ehikamenor. The professional boxer knows a thing or two about getting ripped. We partnered with Hino and former Judo welterweight competitor-turned-personal-trainer Mark “Mack” Brown to bring you two kick ass regimens of compound moves to strengthen areas that guys are often concerned about, but rarely target. So, grab your best workout gear and get to sweatin’.
A typical ‘man workout is heavy on the chest and arms, as everyone wants to look good in a tight tank top, but the lower body and core are often neglected.
Hollywood Hino’s Workout
1. Isometric Push Ups
“This is a push up that incorporates a plank at the top and the bottom, so it engages the core at the top and the bottom of the rep, along with working the chest, arms, and back. Assume a push up position. Proper form is with your hands slightly under your shoulders, fingers pointed forward. Your spine should be straight, engaging your core to stabilize your body. Lower your body toward the floor, pulling your elbows back until your chest is about an inch or two above the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Then push back to the top, and hold this position for 30 seconds. That’s one rep. Repeat for 10 reps. Build up to 3 sets of 10.”
2. Leg Lifts and Windshield Wipers
“The lower abs and obliques are another target area for many, yet often ignored. Lying on your back, with your hands tucked either under your lower back or on your sides for stability, legs together, use your lower abs to raise your hips off the floor and shoot your legs straight in the air. Then, with a controlled, movement, bring them back down, but not all the way down, then lower both your feet both to the left side, not touching the floor, then all the way back over to the right, then back center, and then lower hips down, then lower feet back to the floor. That’s one set. Repeat 15 times.”
3. Calf Raises
“Probably THE most neglected muscle in most men’s bodies…the calves. Calf raises can be done with or without hand weights, but the best way to do them is off of a step. Put your toes on a step and let your heels hang off the back. Use your toes to raise your body weight up to flex your calf muscles. Repeat. 3 sets of 12 recommended.”
4. Jumping Rope
“As a professional boxer, jumping rope is one of the exercises that I love the most. It has both the benefits of cardio and strength training as it works your leg muscles and your heart. Jump at a good pace for one minute and then take a 15-20 second rest. Repeat 10 times. If you don’t have a rope handy, don’t worry! Do jumping jacks instead or bounce on your toes and mimic turning the rope.”
5. Wall Sits
“The one exercise that everyone loves to hate, but its effective. This is not only good for your quads and glutes, but it builds mental stamina. Sit in an imaginary chair with your back flat against the wall, knees at a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. Rest for one minute. Then assume position again. Repeat 5 times. Build up to periods of up to 3 minutes with 30 seconds rest. For further challenge, lift one foot off the floor while sitting.”
Mark “Mack” Brown’s Workout
1. Russian Twists
“It is a great exercise to strengthen your oblique and lower back muscles. This exercise is done on the floor where your knees are bent and your back is positioned at a 45 degree angle. Your hands are straight out in front of you as you twist your torso from left to right. To make the exercise more challenging you can lift your feet off the ground or hold a weight as you twist the torso. This exercise should be done for three to four sets at 20-30 seconds for each.”
“These are one of the most effective exercises for core strength and definition. You can do these by starting in a push-up position and slowly bringing your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned at a 90-degree angle. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to toes. Planks should be done for three to four set at 20-40 seconds for each. If you need to modify, start in the standard plank position and simply just drop the knees. You will still feel the tension in your abs, but less stress on the lower back.”
3. Mountain Climbers
“This is a great calorie burning exercise, that helps you build stamina and strengthen your core. You can start these by getting in the pushup position but balancing on the balls of your feet and toes. Raise one foot off the ground then bend your knee and bring it as far as you can to your mid-section. Bring the leg back to the balls of your feet and toes and continue to alternate with each leg. These can be done for two to three sets at 20-30 seconds for each.”
4. Bird dog
“This is a core and lower back exercise that helps with balance and stabilizer muscles. You start this exercise on all fours. While keeping your head facing the floor, bring your right arm forward and your left leg straight back. Try not to let your body rock from side to side. This is when those stabilizer muscles really start to work. Bring them both back to starting position and repeat the same steps for the left arm and right leg. These can be done for 10 total reps for three to four sets each.”
5. Bicycle Crunches
“Bicycle crunches are great for core strength and toning your thighs. You start these by laying flat on your back with your fingers locked behind your head. Raise your right leg and bring your knee towards your navel while at the same time bringing your head up and connecting you left elbow to your right knee. Bring both knees and elbows back to the start position and repeat the same steps for the other side. This exercise should be done three sets of 25 to 30 seconds.”