Workout Routines

Return of the King

Detailed instructions on the moves not pictured in the March 2010 Return of the King article.

Return of the King

Snatch-grip Deadlift
Start: Stand upright holding a barbell in front of your upper thighs with a very wide pronated (overhand) grip. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
Execution: Keeping your chest up, abs tight and the natural arch in your low back, lean forward from your hips, pushing them rearward until your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. As you lean forward, keep your arms straight and slide the bar down your thighs toward the floor until it reaches your shins. At the bottom, keep your back flat, head neutral with the bar very close to your legs. Flex your hamstrings and glutes and lift your torso while pushing your hips forward until you bring the bar back to the start position.

Bent-over Row
Start: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp a barbell with a wide, overhand grip. Keeping your knees slightly bent, lean forward at your waist until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor. The barbell should hang straight down in front of your shins.
Execution: Without raising your upper body, pull the barbell up toward your abdomen, bringing your elbows high and above the level of your back. Hold the bar in the peak-contracted position for a brief count then slowly lower along the same path.

Shrug
Start: Stand holding a barbell directly in front of your quads.
Execution: Keeping your chest up and abs tight, shrug your shoulders straight up toward the ceiling, squeezing your traps at the top. Slowly reverse the motion to back to the start.

Barbell Curl
Start: Stand holding a barbell with an underhand grip, arms extended. Keep your abs tight, chest up and head straight.
Execution: Contract your biceps to curl the bar toward your chest, keeping your elbows at your sides. Hold and squeeze at the top, then slowly return the bar along the same path.

Power Snatch
Start: Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, with a loaded barbell over the balls of your feet. Keeping your head and chest up, and your lower back arched, bend forward at the waist and grasp the barbell in an overhand grip with your hands spread far apart.
Execution: Slowly raise the barbell to about mid-shin, then simultaneously shrug your shoulders, extend your hips and ankles and explosively pull the barbell as though you're trying to throw it through the ceiling. "Catch" the barbell at the top of the lift by holding it in a locked position over your head and slightly behind it.

Deadlift
Start: Stand upright holding a barbell in front of your upper thighs with a pronated (overhand) grip. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
Execution: Keeping your chest up, abs tight and the natural arch in your low back, lean forward from your hips, pushing them rearward until your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. As you lean forward, keep your arms straight and slide the bar down your thighs toward the floor until it reaches your shins. At the bottom, keep your back flat, head neutral with the bar very close to your legs. Flex your hamstrings and glutes and lift your torso while pushing your hips forward until you bring the bar back to the start position.

Military Press
Start: Sit erect against the back pad support of the shoulder press machine. Keep your low back slightly arched and your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the bar just outside of shoulder width with a palms-forward grip, elbows pointing down and outward. Carefully unrack the bar and hold it at shoulder level.
Execution: In a smooth, strong motion, press the bar straight up to just short of elbow lockout. Lower the bar under control to the start and repeat for reps.

Upright Row
Start: With your feet shoulder-width apart, stand erect holding a barbell in front of your thighs with a wide, pronated (overhand) grip. Maintain a slight bend in your knees. Keep your head straight and abs tight.
Execution: Pull the barbell straight up toward your chin, bringing your elbows high. Keep the bar close to your body during the entire movement. Keep your torso erect and maintain the natural curve in your spine throughout the exercise. In the top position, your elbows will be high and pointing out away from your sides. Hold for a second before slowly lowering to the start position.
 

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