Sure, she’s attracted to you. But wouldn’t it be better it she couldn’t keep her hands off you? We surveyed women to find out what they like most about your body, and asked James Chan, C.P.T., author of Strength snd Physique: Neo-Classical Bodybuilding, how to make it even better.
Most of these exercises require no weights — you’ll use your body weight to perform each exercise. “Saying you can get strong on machines is kind of like saying you can ride a bike, but you’ve been riding with training wheels the whole time,” Chan says. “Body weight exercises make you work harder to stabilize muscles, so you’ll get a better workout.”
Complete as many reps as you can of each exercise three times a week, and you’ll have a ‘bod she’ll brag to her friends about in no time.
If you have access to parallel bars (yes, the kind gymnasts use), use them to do dips. This will sculpt your chest, triceps and back. And don’t worry if you can’t do more than three at first: “Most people will find parallel bar dips very difficult,” Chan says. If you can’t go all the way down, partial reps will work wonders, too. No parallel bars? Push two chairs of equal height together at home, place your hands on the top of each chair back, and complete the dips this way. For biceps she’ll love, pullups are your best bet. Use a bar at the gym, buy a pullup bar and mount it on a doorway in your house, or visit a local playground for free.
Another reason to invest in a pullup bar: it can give you the most effective abdominal workout there is. Grasp the bar with both hands and let your legs hang down. Raise your knees up to your chest, curling your body as far up as you can go on each rep. Lower your legs until your body is straight again; that’s one rep. Unlike traditional crunches, which require a small range of motion and are only effective if you keep your abs tight throughout the exercise, leg raises require you to activate more nerves in your midsection, which means you’ll see a six-pack more quickly. Resist the urge to do these every day, or you’ll increase your risk of overtraining and fatigue.
For Dwayne Johnson-quality quads, Chan recommends a challenging exercise called sissy squats. Stand near a table or surface that is waist high and grab on to it with one hand for support. Squat down until your shins are parallel to the floor—you’ll be balancing on the balls of your feet in order to do this—then return to a standing position; that’s one rep. Keep your upper body in a straight line as you go down.
“Bending at the waist takes away the emphasis on the quads because the glutes and hamstrings come into play,” Chan says. “These squats will create a toned look, especially around the knees, without adding extra bulk.”
If you’ve been trying to squat your way to a better backside, you probably haven’t made much progress. Why? Most men don’t lower their bodies until their thighs are parallel to the floor—the position you need to be in to really target your glutes. If you’re one of them, lunges are a great alternative.
Start at one end of the room and do walking lunges; 10 to 15 reps on each leg is a good goal. If you don’t have the space, you can do alternate leg lunges from a standing position. For a bigger challenge, hold a dumbbell in each hand during each rep, or put a barbell behind your shoulders. Either way, be sure to use enough weight so the last few reps are challenging.
Standard pushups will give you a strong chest, but for one she’ll really want to rest her head on, try side-to-side pushups. Start in a raised push-up position, but instead of going straight up and down, lower your chest until it almost touches your left hand, return to an upright position, then repeat on the right side. Too easy? After you lower your body to your left, shift your weight towards your right hand, and then straighten your arms to return to start. Don’t let your chest touch the ground, and keep your body in a straight line.
At the gym, a worthwhile machine to try is the pectoral flye machine. “Your chest will look bigger and more sculpted, and it’s not that hard to do,” Chan says. But be sure to grab the handles, not the pads—or you’ll risk hurting your shoulders. Aim for 10 reps, and always pick a weight that feels difficult towards the end of each set.