If necessity is the mother of invention, then creativity must be the father. You’re now going to learn 5 exercises that are done on several ordinary pieces of training equipment. Here’s the kicker: they have nothing to do with the original purpose of the machine they’re done on!
Be aware, if you try these, you will probably get some strange looks at the gym. They’re extremely effective but definitely unconventional! My philosophy has always been to let results speak for themselves. You’ll soon notice the very same people trying the very same exercises they were wondering about!
1. Preacher Bench Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press
If you’ve never used the Preacher Bench for Shoulder Presses, you’re missing out on one of the most effective Shoulder Press variations you can do.
Start by setting the arm pad of the Preacher Bench low. Now sit backwards on the seat (compared to the regular forward Preacher Curl position) with your back pressed against the pad. The top edge of the arm pad should be pressed against the upper section of your lower back.
All you need to do is add a pair of dumbells and you’ve got a Shoulder Press station that is, in my opinion, better than any single dedicated Shoulder Press station that I’ve ever used. Here’s why:
In a regular Shoulder Press station, the back pad is flat and your upper back is pressed against it. Even if the pad is tilted slightly back at an angle, this leaves the lower back completely unsupported during the movement. This is the biggest downfall of every Shoulder Press station I’ve tried. The lower back support is sorely lacking, which is not good on an exercise that puts so much pressure on the lower back.
When you use the Preacher Bench, the top of the arm pad pushes directly into the lower back area and the upper back area is completely free. This unique position not only supports the lower back, but allows you to maintain an arch in the lower back as you’re doing the exercise. This dramatically decreases the stress on the lower back during the exercise and this, in my experience, can lead to immediate increases in the amount of weight a person can use for the movement!
Not bad…you get a safer movement and the ability to use more weight immediately!
2. Calf Raise Machine Shrugs or Squats
The standing calf raise machine can take the limitation of your grip strength out of the shrug movement instantly. It’s easy…set up the machine as usual, step under the pads and stand up. Now, instead of doing calf raises, simply shrug! hydraulic press machine
You can not only use more weight when you remove your grip as a limiting factor, you can also do many more reps, giving your traps an incredible workout!
But how you do you adapt the standing calf raise machine to do squats? That’s easy too…set a bench under the shoulder pads and stand on the bench instead of on the regular foot plates. The only limitation you may face here is range of motion – not all calf raise machines will go that high when you’re standing on a bench under them.
You can now do squats without a squat machine and push yourself to the point where you truly can’t do another rep. All you have to do is set down the weight when you’re done, which is so much easier than re-racking a barbell!