PLAY­ING FAVOURITES

Men's Health - Belly Off Guide - - RAMP UP YOUR WORKOUTS! -

is nat­u­ral. But do­ing it with ex­er­cises can lead to in­jury. “Many guys have shoul­der im­bal­ances and tight lats, es­pe­cially if they do lots of chin-ups and pull-ups,” says BJ Gad­dour. The key to off­set­ting such im­bal­ances is to in­cor­po­rate op­pos­ing move­ment pat­terns into your work­out. “The mod­i­fied handstand shoul­der tap is great in that re­gard,” Gad­dour says. “It length­ens your lats and boosts shoul­der mo­bil­ity as well as over­all strength.” Fol­low his tips be­low to master the move, part of Work­out B on the pre­vi­ous page.

GRIP THE GROUND

Splay­ing your fin­gers and grasp­ing the floor will take pres­sure off your wrists and in­crease your base of sup­port. Press­ing down with your palms, mean­while, will ac­ti­vate the mus­cles around your armpits, se­cur­ing your shoul­ders and pre­vent­ing a mus­cle im­pinge­ment, ex­plains Gad­dour.

BRACE YOUR CORE

“Once you’re up­side down, tighten ev­ery mus­cle in your body, es­pe­cially your core mus­cles and glutes,” says Gad­dour. “That will lock you into po­si­tion, mak­ing you less likely to teeter over.” While you’re at it, keep your torso straight from your hips to your head to min­imise the stress on your spine.

LIFT YOUR HIPS

As­sum­ing a pike po­si­tion al­lows the ex­er­cise to re­ally work its magic. “Lift­ing your hips shifts the work­load from your chest to your shoul­ders and up­per back,” says Gad­dour. “It also gives you that all-im­por­tant stretch in your lats.” That boosts shoul­der mo­bil­ity and range of mo­tion.

PACE YOUR­SELF

“This ex­er­cise isn’t a speed drill,” says Gad­dour. “Slowly touch one shoul­der at a time, hold­ing each tap for a count of two.” That brief pause will in­crease the time your mus­cles are un­der ten­sion – and the harder they work, the more they’ll grow and the stronger you’ll be­come.

OFF­SET MUS­CLE IM­BAL­ANCES BY ADDING OP­POS­ING MOVE­MENT INTO YOUR WORK­OUT

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