Mix these partials into your workouts to build strength and bulletproof your body.
1.) First pull to improve your deadlift: Load a barbell on the floor with 20% less weight than you usually deadlift, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, grab the bar, and squeeze your core and lats. Pull the barbell 4 inches off the floor, hold for 3 seconds, and then stand upright. Pause and return to the start. That’s 1 rep — do 3 sets of 4 to 6.
2.) Board press to pump up your bench press: Make sure you have a spotter. Then lie flat on a bench with several 2x4 boards on your chest, holding a barbell that’s loaded with 10% more than your typical bench press weight. Squeeze your shoulder blades, bend your elbows, tighten your core, and lower the bar until it touches the top board. Pause and press back up. That’s 1 rep — do 3 sets of 4 to 6.
3.) End-range external rotation to protect your shoulders: Lie facedown on the floor, arms spread so your upper arms form a T with your torso. Now bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to your torso. Tighten your middle back, lifting your arms off the floor. This is the start. Rotate your wrists toward the ceiling as high as you can (it won’t be very high), hold, and return to the start. That’s 1 rep — do 3 sets of 10 to 12.
4.) Flex-arm hang to perfect your pullup: Stand on a box and grab a pullup bar using an overhand grip just beyond shoulder width. Your elbows should be bent 90 degrees. Brace your core and pull your shoulder blades together. Raise your feet off the box and hang, maintaining your 90-degree elbow bend. Hold, and return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep — do 3 sets of 8. (📷: Beth Bischoff)