Exercise of the Month


Nobody goes to the gym psyched up to do cable pressdowns or dumbbell kickbacks. The fact is, isolation exercises are pretty lame—both for holding your interest and building muscle. That’s why we recommend compound movements that work the triceps in conjunction with larger muscle groups, such as the chest, so you can use heavier weights and hit more muscles at once, speeding along your workout time and muscle growth. This month, we’ve taken both your patience and interests into account, coming up with this tri-builder you can do on the ever-popular bench press.

It’s called the close-grip bench press with scapular retraction: You’ll start by squeezing your shoulder blades together (“scapular retraction”)—a technique that creates a sturdy platform for your shoulders, letting you lift more weight. Then you’ll take a narrower than normal grip on the bar, shifting the bulk of the work from your pecs to your triceps, giving them the extra activation they need to grow. The result is a modified exercise that torches your triceps better than an isolation movement, while giving you the mechanical advantage to improve your bench press. Now that’s