Plateau Breakthrough 4: Unconventional Workouts

Shoaib Siddiq May 26 2016

Plateau is the main culprit due to which trainees stop seeing further progress. But the thing is, plateaus are easy to overcome. One way to break through a plateau is to incorporate completely new exercises in your workout regime and not just using variable of an exercise you have been doing since day one.

Here I am going to share with you some workouts, those that are not used commonly, but are very effective nevertheless.

1. Drag Curl

This is an amazing, yet totally underrated exercise that hits your brachialis muscle (the muscle sandwiched between biceps and triceps).

How to do it:

  1. Stand in front of the smith machine –that’s right, we are going to do a curl on a smith machine.
  2. Grab the bar at shoulder width apart with elbows by your side.
  3. Let your arms stretch out as far below as they can and bring your body close to the bar till the bar is touching your body. This is your starting position.
  4. Then “drag” the bar up by moving your elbows behind and squeezing the biceps, making sure the bar is in contact with the body throughout (hence the smith machine) hold for a second before lowering it down to the start position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetition.


2. Barbell Hip Thrusters

This exercise targets the glutes specifically- take a note girls- hamstrings and calves as secondary targets. Apart from showing off your *ahem* glutes, this exercise makes them stronger, which makes you faster and more powerful. Which means you can do squats and deadlifts better than before.

How to do it:

  1. Standing perpendicular to a bench, place the middle back (below scapula) on the bench, leaving your entire lower body hanging out.
  2. Next, with the feet planted on the floor, back straight and knees at 90⁰ with the upper body, place a weighted bar on the upper part of your thigh, make sure the weight clips are on.
  3. This is your start position, slowly lower your glutes by bending at the knee joint while keeping the lower back straight and slowly get back to the start position.
  4. If the weight is uncomfortable on your thighs, use towels or pads to support the weight.


3. Donkey Calf Raises

As stupid as it sounds, it looks even more stupid. But if great trainers like Arnold can do it, so will I. Calves are group of very stubborn muscles so it needs unconventional exercises like these to keep them growing.

How to do it:

  1. You will need a donkey calf raise machine for this, but again since we are desi, we have a “jugaar” for everything.
  2. Bend over so your upper body is parallel to the floor.
  3. Place the balls of your feet a block slightly above the ground so that the rest of the foot is hanging out in the air.
  4. Next, place the padded donkey calf raise bar on your tail bone.
  5. If you don’t have access to the machine, ask a friend to sit on your back- yes, do it! This will be your start position.
  6. Slowly raise your feet up by pushing the balls of your feet on the ground just as in normal calf raises.


4. Farmers walk

One of the oldest and the best compound exercise for overall strength. It has been used by strong lifters for ages. It targets your forearms, traps, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and quadriceps. Woah! I know right!

How to do it:

  1. Grab a pair of Farmers Walk Handles (a short barbell or a pair of dumbbells would work too) and just load it up with weight.
  2. While griping tightly, one handle in each hand, lift the weight up and walk for a considerable distance while keeping back straight, head up, eyes forward and shoulders not dropped.

There you have it. Some totally new exercises to keep your body growing. Incorporate them in your workouts and break through the plateau.

Article Name
Plateau Breakthrough 4: Unconventional Workouts
Plateau is the worst thing that can happen to a fitness enthusiast. Incorporate these workouts to your fitness regimen, crush the plateau and keep your body growing.
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Shoaib Siddiq

Shoaib Siddiq:

Shoaib is currently a 3rd year MBBS student. Apart from studying, you can often find him in gym either resistance training or practising mixed martial arts. With his love for fitness training and knowledge that comes along with it, he writes various fitness related articles for HTV.