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2020 is one of those years that you wish you could have done more, especially in terms of muscle packing. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, very few of us had the opportunity of going to the gym and spending time performing our favorite exercises. However, the lockdown will soon be over, and millions of bodybuilders will start flooding the gyms once more, with the sole purpose to regain the muscle mass they’ve lost during the quarantine.
In order to help you pack on muscle mass faster, we’ve put together a list of 5 unconventional exercises that you can try at the gym. While you could always go with the safe, already tested deadlifts, squats, biceps curls or bench presses, sometimes it is smart to add to the mix a few unconventional types of exercises.
These are all exercises that few people have tried. However, they produce astounding results. As creatures of habit, we might be reluctant to try something new, fearing that these new training methods might not work. However, you can rest fully assured that the following 5 exercises work perfectly for both men and women.
Whether you are stuck in a rut, you’ve hit a plateau, you need to try something new or you simply lack the motivation to go on, the following 5 exercises are simply perfect for you.
1. Landmine Reverse Lunge
There is no doubt that the landmine apparatus has become incredibly popular in the last couple of years. Some trainers even claim that this simple device has brought a new life to the old-fashioned barbell training, enabling bodybuilders to use a new great tool for building up their strength and increasing muscle mass.
A good replacement for the gym landmine is a barbell that you can set in a corner of a wall. Then, stay on one knee and simply lift the barbell or the landmine up on your shoulder, with your left arm, and then with your right arm. This exercise, when repeated at least 10 times, can hit your core pretty hard, plus it impacts your glutes and quads.
You can use this exercise as a finisher in order to ensure all muscle fibers get stabilized and your body grows as a whole.
2. Dumbbell Clean & Press
Even if they are somewhat unconventional today, the Olympic lifts are exceptional for any bodybuilder, no matter the goal. The dumbbell clean & press is an exercise that can give you power, muscle growth, and strength. What’s crucially important here is to perform these exercises correctly, otherwise, you’ll just put a lot of pressure on your spine.
If you are looking for an explosive unconventional exercise, do 8-10 reps and 5 series at the beginning of your workout. Your biceps, forearms, and shoulders will thank you for getting them ready for the real deal. Of course, you could use a substantial amount of weight and you can successfully use the Dumbbell Clean & Press to replace any other exercises for your shoulders and biceps.
3. Duck Stance Deadlifts
Chinese Olympic lifters used to dig this exercise in the past. The feet closed together pointed at a 45-degree angle allow you to experience the ultimate quadriceps gain. Because of the lower leg angle, you can successfully keep the bar close to your body, since your knees are not in the way. As a result, you reduce pressure on your lower back and protect yourself from potential dangers.
If you’re just learning the deadlift, you want to protect your lower back, or simply need an unconventional exercise that builds your quads and increases your strengths, it is time to learn from the Chinese.
4. Mixed Grip Pull-up
Another unconventional exercise that you can quickly fall in love with is the mixed grip pull-up. While the regular pull-up is an exceptional muscle builder without any other aid, it has its own limitations. People who have certain shoulder issues only have a limited range of motion and are unable to maximize the benefits of this exercise.
Conversely, using a mixed grip, which involves using one hand overhand and the other underhand, enables you to hang onto the bar for a longer period of time, thus enhancing the results you get to experience. Heavier loads and more time spent under tension equals more muscle mass and increased energy gains.
Additionally, the mixed grip pull-up allows you to dramatically increase your range of motion since you won’t be restricted by should mobility. You’ll be able to get your entire chest up to the bar, thus hitting more of your shoulder and back muscles.
5. Waiter/ Suit Case Combo
The last but not least unconventional exercise you want to try is the waiter and suitcase carry combo. Loaded carries have long been considered one of the best forms of exercise for the core. However, this exercise is not just exceptional for your core, but also for boosting your muscle mass.
The waiter and suitcase combo allow you to put your body under a tremendous amount of pressure, so you begin to pack muscle in every area of your body, from the calves up to the neck.
Because farmer’s carries are quite mundane in nowadays, you should go with the suitcase and waiter (overhead) carry for a perfect mix of muscle-building capabilities. While the waiter position can grow your shoulder and upper back muscles while boosting your stability, the suitcase enhances the muscles in your core, glutes, forearms, and abs.
This type of unconventional exercise is perfect for men and women who are keen on building up their muscle mass.
Now it’s the Best Time to get Unconventional
There is no doubt that the lockdown has left some big gaps in our lives. If you’ve already lost a few pounds of muscle, it is time to hit the gym as fast as possible. Try out these 5 unconventional exercises and you’ll be surprised at the amount of muscle you’ll be able to pack in just a very short amount of time.
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.