Generation Iron Matlesse

A different kind of killer gains.

Let’s face it. Bodybuilding training isn’t always the most exciting of endeavors. Most times workouts utilize the same exercises and movements in order to see the desired results. Building a well muscled, well defined physique isn’t something that happens over night, a reality that every experienced bodybuilder understands. But that doesn’t mean that you have to use the same exercises over and over until you see the results you want. Instead, variation will be a major factor in how well you can grow your muscle.

When speaking on the biceps and chest in particular, most athletes utilize the same type of exercises day in and day out. If you want you biceps to look swollen then you better do you bicep curls. If you want to build a strong and defined chest then bench press is the way to go. Both of these exercises are in fact key to seeing some good muscle development, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t another way. As time progresses and you begin to hit those dreaded plateaus then you’ll need to try something a bit different to fully activate and awaken your muscles from their slumber.

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Ever see the chest and biceps of a gymnast? They’re considerably jacked. Yeah, yeah, the argument against them is that they’re considerably smaller than your experienced bodybuilder, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they have powerful shredded arms and chest. Sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough in the most unlikeliest of places.

This gymnastic staple can be exactly the technique you can use to keep things fresh and still provide sufficient tension to cause muscle growth. The Maltese Cross is a move that almost every gymnastic specialist must master in order to be the cream of the crop. The movement can be done either suspended in the air or even standing.

Start by attaching rings or a suspension trainer overhead. Hold the rings at shoulder width, just above hip height. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, grasp the handles. Focus tension throughout the body, especially the lats and abs, and stretch your arms out to your sides, being sure to keep your elbows slightly bent, reminiscent of a dumbbell flye position. Then simply lean forward until you feel a stretch in your pecs. You can perform this for 3-5 sets at 10-30 seconds each and get a great pump in your chest.

Hey it works for Brandon Wynn and he’s pretty shredded himself.



Would you ever try any gymnastic inspired exercises? Let us know in the comments and forums. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.