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I want to make something abundantly clear: fitness needs to be balanced. If you skimp on training any single area, you’re limiting your potential. You inhibit your strength gains if you don’t hit heavy squats, deadlifts, and presses on a regular basis. Similarly, you limit your muscle growth if you don’t include exercises that target smaller muscle groups. And so on and so on.
But hey, I get it – we all have different goals, and not all exercises work well for achieving every single one of them. In this case, we’re talking about the goal of getting noticed by women, and the point still stands. Some movements are just better than others.
I’m happy to admit that creating a list of exercises that’ll get you noticed is somewhat of an exercise in futility. Every woman is different and it’s impossible to predict what muscles the one (or many) you’re into likes the most. We still have our common sense, though, and common sense says that we need to focus on the muscle groups that are front and center, the ones that stand out the most.
Butt: Hip Thrust
The hip thrust is still unknown to some, but it has quickly become one of the best ways to maximize glute growth. And guys – we know women look at our glutes. I mean, we’re looking at theirs, right?
Hip thrusts carry a few big advantages over more well-known glute exercises. They’re low-hassle and don’t require a spotter, which is a boon for those who work out at off-hours or just don’t like asking for help. The technique is also fairly easy to nail down, at least compared to big movements like squats and deadlifts, and you can load them pretty heavily.
To do a hip thrust, grab a barbell and a bench or box that’s about 12-18 inches tall. Sit down and push your upper back against the box, then roll the barbell over your hips. In a smooth motion, squeeze your glutes hard and drive your hips up into the air until there’s a straight line from shoulders to knees, then lower back to the floor.
Upper Back: Farmer’s Carry
When you’re walking away from a woman, you can bet she has her eyes on one of two spots: your ass and your back. We touched on the first; now it’s time for the second. Your upper back covers a gigantic area made up of too many muscles to list, none of which you can afford to ignore.
I was originally going to go with pullups, but as awesome as they are, they’re overused. Don’t get me wrong – everyone should do them, but they get so much attention. I’d rather shift the spotlight over to another great exercise that isn’t as well-known: the farmer’s carry. If you’ve ever caught the end of a strongman competition on TV then you probably know what I’m talking about. You hold two massive, unwieldy weights in your hands and walk-shuffle, trying to cover as much distance as possible. It puts big-time stress on your grip, forearms, and upper back.
You can do an easier version of the Farmer’s Carry with just a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Measure out a distance of 50-100 feet and hold a weight in each hand. All you’re going to do is walk the distance as fast as you can. When you get to the other end, turn around and head back to the start.
As much as I love the hamstrings, I have to give this one to the quads. Big, strong glutes can cover up underdeveloped hamstrings, but there’s no way to hide small quads.
Any squat or lunge variation can easily fit here, but the narrow stance pause squat is a special kind of brutal. Both the close stance and the pause at the bottom make the squat even more quad-dominant, and that’s exactly what we want. Plus, a pause is a great way to progress the squat without adding more weight to the bar.
To do it, find a squat rack and set the barbell to a comfortable height. Un-rack the weight and settle into a true shoulder-width stance (about a foot between your feet). Push your hips back and bend your knees to squat down as far as you can, then pause at the bottom for 1-3 seconds. Explode out of the hole and back to the starting position.
Chest & Shoulders: Incline Press
I shouldn’t have to tell you that your chest and shoulders are vital areas when it comes to getting noticed. They’re large, attention-grabbing muscle groups, and they’re probably the easiest to show off with a well-fitting shirt.
Some might be disappointed that I didn’t pick the flat bench press – we all know how much everyone loves that exercise – but I think the incline version is a better option. You won’t be able to press as much weight, but it hits your shoulders hard while still encouraging growth in your chest. It’s a nice mix of both worlds.
For the incline press, set up on a bench with about 45 degrees of incline. You can use a barbell or a pair of dumbbells – it’s up to you. Pull the weight straight down until it touches your chest, then press right back up. Incline presses are already pretty killer, but you can make them even tougher by adding a brief pause at the bottom of the movement.
Calves: Seated Barbell Calf Raise
This one might not matter much if you most commonly wear pants, but your calves are on immediate display any time you throw on a pair of shorts. Big calves have the ability to give your lower body a more complete look, even if your upper legs aren’t up to par.
Calf exercises are unfortunately limited in variety, and since they’re all so similar, you’re probably better off using a wide range of them. Either way, I’ll throw the seated barbell calf raise your way so you can add it to your arsenal.
You’ll need a high box, a small weight plate or two, and a barbell. Set the plate on the floor in front of the high box, then pick up the barbell and sit down on the high box. Rest the bar on your thighs, just up from your knees. Place your toes on the edge of the plate and let your heels drop all the way to the floor. Now, drive your toes down and raise your heels as high as you can. Pause for a second at the top, then drop back to the start.
Biceps & Triceps: TRX Curl to Tri Extension
I tend to believe that big arms aren’t as important to women as any of the other muscle groups we’ve already detailed, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Plus, they have the ability to round out a well-developed chest and shoulders.
I’m a big fan of the TRX for this area for two reasons. First, it allows you to hit both muscle groups with minimal fuss. You don’t have to switch spots or grab different weights. Second, you’re able to adjust difficulty with a few foot movements, even between exercises.
Set the TRX straps to mid-length and face the anchor point. Grip both handles and find a good spot with your feet – closer to the anchor point is harder. Raise your hands so they’re in line with your forehead then do a curl by pulling your hands to your head. Do all of your reps, then flip around so you’re facing the floor. This time, push your hands straight out from your forehead until your arms are straight, then bring them back to your head.
I can’t promise that these exercises will get you noticed. I can’t even say that they’re the best for the job, but they are a good start. Hit them hard, pay attention to your nutrition, and you will put on muscle. Oh, and just in case it isn’t obvious, don’t forget to pay attention to the muscles that these movements don’t cover. They’re all important, guys.
Do you have a favorite exercise that’s helped you get noticed? Share it in the comments!