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Your muscles know only that they’re being worked, so if rowing a trap bar feels better than deadlifting it or pressing a landmine brings your shoulders relief—do it. Here’s how to use common equipment to hit your muscles in new ways, work around injuries, and cut minutes off your workouts.
How It Works: The trap bar is mainly used for trap-bar deadlifts, a form-friendlier substitute. But you can also use it to do bentover rows and shrugs with a palms-in grip—a stronger pulling position than palms down. A bench can support your chest for rows just as well as it can support your back for presses. And a lat pulldown station can easily give you the toughest glute and hamstring workout around. Finally, you know how to use a barbell with both hands, but lifting it with just one attacks your muscles—and your core—in a new way. Experiment with the routines that follow, and escape boring workouts forever.
Directions: Perform exercises marked with a letter (A, B, and sometimes C) in sequence. So you’ll do a set of A, then rest; B, then rest again; and C (if applicable), and rest, then repeat until all sets in the group are complete.
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