10 old school exercises
In today’s blog post we wanted to translate the interview that Muscle & Fitness conducted into the legendary history of bodybuilding and professional wrestling Ric Drasin, recalling ten exercises that we should not forget, although they begin to be more rare in gyms.
- 1 1. Wide Grip Dominances
- 2 2. T-bar rowing
- 3 3. Dumbbell rowing with one arm
- 4 4. Declining Bends
- 5 5. Cross jersey in banking
- 6 6. Bicep curl concentrate with thigh support
- 7 7. Crossed triceps extension with dumbbell on chest
- 8 8. French press with Z-bar
- 9 9. Roman squats (Sissy Squats)
- 10 10. Forearm with pulley
1. Wide Grip Dominances
You don’t see so many people doing wide grip pull-ups anymore; the whole planet is pulling pulldowns and derivatives, more like they’ve forgotten about pull-ups lately,” says Ric Drasin. In our season (Arnold, Franco Columbu, Ken Waller), we all did this exercise religiously.
“What’s really good is doing super-series domination with press-banking. That’s what we did with Arnold. We would come and go, alternating between the two exercises. In this way you work together antagonistic muscles, just like when you train biceps with triceps. It’s essentially a way of building the entire upper body.
2. T-bar rowing
To do this exercise we take one end of the Olympic bar in a corner of the room. If we didn’t have the single grip, we would take the grip from the normal bar one hand on top of the other. With each series we alternated the position of the hands. If we did four sets it was two sets giving preference to each side of the back.
“T-bar rowing is an ideal exercise for working on the bibs, being even more effective than straight-bar rowing.
3. Dumbbell rowing with one arm
I see young people doing this exercise sometimes, but I rarely see it done the right way. This is one of those exercises you really feel if you do it right. Adequate extension should be made on the lower part and a good contraction of the number on the upper part. But if you focus on lifting a lot of weight, you’re not going to achieve the full efficiency of this movement.
4. Declining Bends
What we want to do is super-series chest openings with dumbbells on a flat bench with declining push-ups. We put our feet on a flat bench to take the declining angle and we put our hands on some wooden boxes to reach further down. It’s a bullfighting exercise, but really good for pecs. Four sets of eight-twelve repetitions are going to make you sweat the chubby drop working your chest.
5. Cross jersey in banking
“The whole planet was doing this exercise back then. It consists of lying on a bench, supporting the middle back and shoulders on it, and lifting a weight from the floor and over the head making a huge walk, drawing an arch in movement. This exercise was used to work on the thoracic cage, but it also served to enlarge the pectorals, dorsals and even the triceps.
6. Bicep curl concentrate with thigh support
“I used to do this exercise with Arnold. Most people do this kind of bicep curl by resting their triceps on the inside of their thighs (as in the picture). It is essential to run the entire stroke from below with the straight arm.
A common mistake people make is to do this exercise using their legs to propel the arm, it is essential to hold the strong leg and isolate the bicep one hundred percent.
7. Crossed triceps extension with dumbbell on chest
“To do this exercise, we went to bed on a bench with a dumbbell in our hand. We pushed directly over the shoulder, as if we were going to do an arm extension, but instead of wearing the dumbbell face down, next to the ear, we lowered it to the opposite chest. It’s a variation of the traditional one-armed extension, but it’s really good.
8. French press with Z-bar
This is more than just a’forgotten’ exercise, it’s a technique I was taught by the huge Bill Pearl, which I never see anyone else do. It’s like”21’s,” but for the triceps.
To do the exercise, we lie down and do eight extensions with the bar behind our heads. Then, without stopping, we do another eight repetitions, with the bar facing the forehead. Again and again, we do eight pushout reiterations with exactly the same bar. The pushouts are like the bench press with the super narrow grip holding the elbows very close to the body. This completely fatigues the triceps.
9. Roman squats (Sissy Squats)
They can be made either in the Roman chair (as in the first image) or in some kind of vertical bar that can support our weight (second image). If you do not have the Roman chair support a vertical bar with one hand and lower the torso tilting face back to deposit all the pressure on the quadriceps. We must remember to hold the hips face forward at all times. If we do it properly, we don’t even have to add weight if we want to. But if you wish, you can keep your free arm on your chest.
10. Forearm with pulley
What we used to do was look for a good thick broomstick or a metal cylinder and drill a hole in the middle. Then we would tie a rope that would connect the pole with one weight at the other end, and lift the weight by pulling the bar with our arms outstretched. This exercise causes enormous wear on the forearms after only a few series.