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Sometimes we all need a bit of help when it comes to torching that extra bit of fat and the isolation exercises just don’t cut the mustard when this is your goal. Sometimes, bigger is better and in the gym that means more moves that incorporate all of your major muscle groups. In the case of these three, you’ll also hit most of the smaller ones that you forgot existed (and might not want to remember after this).
The snatch squat, clean and press and barbell thruster are three moves that absolutely bury you physically. But because you’re using so much muscle at once, you might find that increases in weight come swiftly and that your body responds quicker than ever before. We realize these might not be typical parts of your usual workout but if you want to change up your monotonous routine then throw in these three speed-and-power based moves to help rejuvenate your metabolism.
Guess what? The snatch isn’t just for Olympians. Like the deadlift, it involves breaking a loaded barbell from the floor. But unlike the deadlift, you get to raise the roof with this one, as you quickly elevate the bar above your head.
1 Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart.
2 With palms down (pronated) hook grip, bend at the knees and, keeping the back flat, grab the bar using a wider-than-shoulder width grip.
3 Bring the hips down and start lifting the barbell keeping it close to your legs.
4 As the bar reaches the middle of your thighs, push the floor with your legs and lift your body to a complete extension in an explosive motion, as you would in a jump.
5 Lift your shoulders back in a shrugging movement as you bring the bar up while lifting your elbows out to the side and keeping them above the bar for as long as possible.
6 In a power move such as this, you want to get your body under the barbell when it has reached a high enough point where it can be controlled and drop while locking your arms and holding the barbell overhead as you assume a squat position.
7 Perform an overhead squat.
Tip: If your gym allows it, simply drop the bar in front of you and control the bounce of the barbell. If dropping the weight is not okay, carefully reverse the motion, control the weight back down to your thighs and then lower your body to allow the weight to settle on the floor.
Again focusing on the demand (and reward) of getting a heavy barbell overhead, the clean and press is another challenging addition to this metabolic melee.
1 Start with the barbell on the floor, taking an overhand grip with a bend at the knees, chest lifted and back and arms straight.
2 Keeping your arms fully extended, begin pulling the bar up by extending your knees and driving through the heels.
3 Once the bar reaches hip-height, give a little “hop” and extend your hips, knees, and ankles.
4 Now begin to shrug your shoulders and raise your elbows up past the height of the bar and quickly lower yourself underneath the bar in a partial squat position as it nears your collar bone and relax your shoulders.
5 Steady yourself and, without additional contribution from your hips or knees, press the barbell over head.
Front squats? No sweat. Overhead presses? Walk in the park. But when you put these two things together and repeat for reps, it’s very likely that you’ll lose your lunch – or feel like you need to. This total-body move calls for a concrete core and appreciable strength in your upper body and lower body.
1 Start from the standing position with the barbell held against your shoulders, your elbows pointing forward, upper arms parallel to the floor. Drop into the squat position while keeping the barbell at shoulder level.
2 Press your feet through the floor back to the standing position. As you reach the top, press the bar overhead.
3 After pressing the bar to full extension overhead, reverse motion and bring the barbell back down to your shoulders and drop into another squat.
WEIGHT + VOLUME: Heavier sets (6-8 reps) will enhance post-workout metabolism, while higher volume (10-15 reps) can expend more calories in the workout. Here are some sample, stand-alone workouts that incorporate these moves.
Squat Snatch 5/6
Barbell Squat 5/6
Leg Press 4/10
Hack Squat 4/10
Clean and Press 5/6
Military Press 5/6
Dumbbell Front Raise 4/15
Barbell Thruster 5/6
Upright Row 5/6
Dumbbell Overhead Press 4/15
Seated Arnold Press 4/15
Mehmet Edip is an internationally published fitness model, writer, actor and former competitive runner. He is a one of the UK’s leading fitness models and has worked with some of the best photographers in the industry. He has been featured as a fitness model in publications such as Muscle & Fitness, FLEX, Ultra Fit, XF Sports, The Beef, and Miami Pro. As a writer, he has contributed to Muscle & Fitness, MensPhysique.com, Ultra Fit Magazine, XF Sports Magazine and Miami Pro. You can visit his personal website, like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.