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The Gold’s Gym Wings & Thighs Workout

by goldsgym

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we have bird on the brain, so we asked Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer Adam Friedman to give us exercise moves that would focus on your very own wings and thighs (aka your delts and upper legs) plus the hows and whys behind each one. Add a serving of these six simple and effective moves to your regular routine once or twice a week to get your gobble on.

Deadlift

deadlift

Why:

This powerful hip movement helps tone the entire body while simultaneously developing muscle mass in your thighs. Friedman urges people to focus on clean technique rather than maximum weight. “That means a straight spine with perfect posture through the shoulders,” he says. “Use your lats to really stabilize your spine. The movement should be dominated by the hips.”

How:

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and a dumbbell between your feet. Bend your knees, as if sitting back, while keeping your back straight, and pick up the dumbbell. Take a deep breath, stand up, then exhale. You’ll know the dumbbell is too heavy if your spine rounds forward instead of staying neutral.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps

Bulgarian Split Squat

Why:

This exercise focuses on the quads but also tones and strengthens the entire lower body. Friedman offers a word of caution: “People put too much weight on the back foot. The working leg is the front leg, and 90% of your weight should be on it. The back foot is there for balance and just a little bit of assistance.”

How:

Start with one foot on the floor and the other leg extended backward so the sole of your foot is facing upwards resting on a bench. If you want, put a bar on your shoulders for added weight resistance. Bend your front knee and keep your back straight while your other knee lowers toward the floor. Just before it touches the floor, pause, then return to the starting position.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps on each side

 

Side Lunge

sidelunge

Why:

This one is simple and works to build muscle while increasing flexibility.

How:

Stand straight with your abs tight to maintain balance and place your hands on your hips. Move your left foot to the side, bending your knee, while keeping your right leg straight. Make sure your left knee doesn’t pass your left toe. Push your left foot into the floor and return to a standing position. Complete the set, then go down to your right. Hold a medicine ball in your hands for a more advanced move.

Start with 3 sets of 8 reps on each side

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

shoulderpress

Why:

This move targets the shoulders along with the triceps and back. Friedman recommends standing up rather than sitting while doing shoulder presses because it encourages proper form. “People make a mistake when they don’t use their abdominals and core to stabilize,” he says. “It comes down to keeping the spine neutral and making sure there’s no arching of the lower back.”

How:

Take a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip, with your arms out to the side and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle with the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Simultaneously push both arms upward until each one is straight. Bring them back to the original position, controlling the dumbbells throughout the movement.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps

Dumbbell Side-Lateral Raise

sidelateral

Why:

The raises work the lateral delts on the side of the shoulder, which are difficult to train and can be overlooked as a result. Make sure to watch your arm movement. “I typically don’t advise raising the elbows above the shoulder, because that can impinge the cartilage in the AC joint that attaches your shoulder to your torso,” Friedman says.

How:

Start by standing straight with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms hanging down by your sides. Pinch your shoulder blades together and tighten your stomach, then raise the dumbbells up until your arms are parallel to the ground. Pause briefly, then return to the starting position.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps

Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

Why:

This works your posterior deltoid in the back of your shoulders as well as your upper back and neck. Using free weights helps train the entire spectrum of muscles, as opposed to using a machine that can focus too much on one group. “It’s super important to maintain a neutral spine in any bent-over move, especially here,” Friedman says. “Make sure to maintain it the entire time. Don’t swing the dumbbell to get it up, and really focus on retracting the shoulder blades. It’s an excellent exercise that helps with the postural muscles and balance.”

How:

With a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the waist while keeping a straight back, your chest up, and your knees slightly bent. Bring your elbows up until they are even with your back, focusing on a tight stomach then lower back to the starting position.

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps

goldsgym

goldsgym

Gold’s Gym is the world’s trusted fitness authority. We’ve spent over 50 years defining fitness and now we’re reinventing it. With personal fitness profiles backed by GOLD'S 3D scanning technology, both traditional and digital personal training options and new GOLD'S STUDIO offerings that go past a simple class; Gold’s Gym has evolved so you can transform your life. Experience change with Gold’s Gym.

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