NutraBio-sponsored athlete Hunter Delfa may be young, but he knows how to build muscle. Already a seasoned NPC physique competitor, this 20-year-old shares his top five movements every young lifter should know to build serious strength and size.
“I use each of these five movements in my training,” says Delfa, “and I recommend everyone try them out.”
1. Dumbbell Pull-Over
The aim here is to expand your ribcage, and since it works both the front and back halves of your body, this versatile exercise works equally well on chest or back day.
“Personally, I like to hit this movement on chest day,” Delfa says.
Expanding the ribcage creates the illusion of a smaller, waspish waist, giving you the V-taper look that everyone covets, from competitor to novice.
Pull-overs require flexibility and focus. Delfa keeps his feet and knees together, dropping his hips as he lowers the weight. Get a full stretch in your abdominals to fully open your ribcage, simultaneously stretching your pectoral muscles. With all that stretching, remember to squeeze your chest at the top when bringing back up the weight.
2. Stomach Vacuum
This is a great isometric exercise for tightening your waist. To perform it, exhale as much air as you can from your lungs and then suck in your stomach. This compresses everything together, tightening your waist.
“I perform this exercise at least 2-3 times per week,” says Delfa, “Each time, I try to hold it for as long as I can for about 2-3 sets.”
This is another great exercise to help narrow the waist and build a better V-taper.
3. Cable Pull
Cable pulls are a great way to target and bring out all the details in your upper back. Delfa recommends leaning back to get into the right angle to target specific muscle groups.
4. Upright Row
Another staple in Delfa’s training program, upright rows are great for building round, full shoulder muscles. As with his other exercises, how you grip the bar is key to targeting the different areas in the muscles.
5. Back Extension
A staple exercise for any serious lifter, back extensions are a must when you are first starting out because they help build a foundation of strength.
“This is one of my favorites out of the five,” Delfa says. “Back extensions are key to training because they help prevent injury, help keep your core strong, and help you progress faster in other movements.”