8 Most Effective Exercises To Build The Body Of A Greek God
Statues of Greek gods with their finely sculpted bodies and rippling muscles have amazed us all. And how many of us have harbored the desire to build a body that matches them. Well, the following exercises, which can be carried out both at home or gym, can be of help. The measurements included are those from the statue of Doryphoros by Polykleitos that dates back to 5th century BC.
At the gym: Nautilus four-way neck machine. This allows a safe workout for the neck, achieved by raising and lowering the head as well as moving the head sideways. Begin with 70 pounds in the head-raising exercises while 50 for the rest, with one set consisting of 8-12 repetitions in each direction should be enough.
At home: Barbell shrug. A 100-125-pound barbell using an overhand grip is required. Method to be followed is to stand straight and let the bar to hang down near the thighs, followed by repeated shrugging movement of the shoulder towards the ear, without letting the arms to bend. This way, two sets of 8-12 repetitions are to be done.
2. Biceps (16.5 inches or 42 cm)
Gym or home: Incline biceps dumbbell curl. Sit on an incline bench with arms hung back, allowing them to be stretched fully with palms facing forward. Now, curl the dumbbells up alternately, each time turning the palm inward. The time-plan should be, two seconds up, a brief pause, and then four seconds down. Three sets, each consisting of 8-12 repetitions with a 45 second rest in between sets is what is required.
3. Chest (52 inches; 132 cm)
Gym or home: Bench press that can be performed both with dumbbells or a barbell. First, a warm up set using just two-third the weight that you would normally bench will keep things simple, followed by three sets of 8-12 repetitions using rest of the weights.
4. Forearms (14.5 inches or 36.8 cm)
Gym or home: Wrist roll. For this, tie one end of a 30-inch long rope to a broomstick that has been shortened to 18 inches. To the other end of the rope, attach a 5 – 10 pound weight. Now, using an overhand grip, hold the stick horizontally in front of you, followed by repeated rolling movement so as to raise and lower the weight, which can be done as many times as you are comfortable doing.
5. Buttocks (47.5 inches; 120.6 cm)
At the gym: Nautilus hip-extension machine for a successful workout of the gluteal and hamstrings muscles. One set of 10-15 repetitions is to be done.
At home: Full squat, with dumbbells or a barbell. For this, stand upright with feet firmly on the ground. Gradually lower yourself until your thighs become almost parallel to the floor, all the while keeping your weight on your heels and your knees in line with your feet. Then slowly revert back to standing position. Begin with a warmup set using two-third the weight you normally squat with, followed with three sets of 10-15 repetitions with the full set of weights. However, if you suffer from knee, hip or back problems, you can perform a half squat, which involves lowering yourself till your thighs make a 30-degree angle with the ground.
6. Calves (19 inches; 48.3 cm)
Gym or home: Standing calf raise, with dumbbells in your hands or a barbell on your shoulders. For this, stand upright on the balls of your feet at the edge of a sturdy step. Next rise up on your toes, and then come back down, letting your heels drop slightly below the step. Do two sets of 15-20 repetitions.
7. Waist (40.5 inches; 102.8 cm)
It is largely due to his large obliques, or the muscles on each side of his torso. In ancient Greece, athletes were thick-waisted since they needed strength of the abdominal muscles for sports such as the discus, the long jump, and wrestling. In Doryphoros’s case, waist may not look that big, which is due to his chest being proportionately larger.
Gym or home: Twisting trunk curl. This is done by lying on the floor, with your lower legs resting on a chair seat. Then slowly curl your upper torso off the floor; but at the top of the movement, slowly twist to the right, so that your left elbow comes close to your right knee. Untwist and lower yourself, then curl up and twist to the left, which makes it one repetition. Do two to four sets of 20-25 repetitions.
8. Thighs (26.5 inches; 67.3 cm)
At the gym: Leg press. Select a weight you would be comfortable pressing only about a dozen times. After you have completed the twelfth repetition, quickly reduce the weight by 20 percent and follow it up with 6-8 more repetitions. If you are game for more, you can cut down an additional 20 percent of weight and pound out 6-8 repetitions more.
At home: Lunge, with dumbbells in hand or a barbell on your shoulders. Take a step forward with your right leg so that your knee is bent 90 degrees. As you do this, allow your left knee to drop towards the ground. Then revert back to the starting position with your right leg. Repeat the entire thing with your left leg, which makes it one complete repetition. Do one set of 6-8 repetitions. Again, if there are problems in your knee, hip or back, you can do the half squat under “Buttocks” instead.
Doryphoros stood at 6 feet 5 and a half inches. In order to get the right proportions for your own height use these rules:
- Your waist should be about 12 inches smaller than your chest.
- Measurements of you neck, biceps and calf should each be roughly half of your waist.
- Size of your thighs should be about 1.5 times the size of your calves.