Don Saladino/Men’s Health Composite
Superheroes might seem like they’re all about strength and power, but the best of them ultimately rely on their brains to save the day. When you’re hitting the gym to build up a physique that looks straight out of a comic-book movie, take this to heart to make your workouts even better.
For a smarter exercise, double up on lower and upper body movements to build up your legs and arms in one fell swoop.
That’s one of the ways trainer Don Saladino preps his clients, including Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan, for their starring superhero roles. He includes moves like the kettlebell squat to curl to maximize the efficiency of the workouts.
To perform the move, all you need is a kettlebell. If your gym doesn’t have any good ones handy or you want to get your gains on at home, check out this option from Onnit.
- Hold the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, with an overhand grip so your palms face your chest.
- Stand in an athletic stance, engaging your core and squeezing your biceps to hold the weight steady at chest height close to your body.
- Hinge at the hips and bend your knees to squat down, keeping your elbows inside of your knees. Make sure to keep your spine straight; brace your core to help avoid rounding your back.
- Pause at the bottom of the squat, thighs parallel to the ground or slightly lower. Don’t go so low that you can rest on your heels.
- Straighten your arms to lower the kettlebell down between your legs, then squeeze your biceps to curl the weight back up to the starting position at chest height.
- Stand straight back up to the original position. That’s 1 rep.
To add the kettlebell squat to curl to your full body routines, start with a low weight and 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps. You can also work continuously for 30 to 60 second splits to introduce a greater metabolic effect to the workout.