Top 7 Gironda Exercises Of All Time

The legend Vince Gironda once said, “I have found that man’s logic and nature’s logic are totally different. In other words, try breaking the rules and see what happens.”

The following are some unique exercises you don’t see in the gym very often. Vince invented these exercises and used them to get hollywood stars and his clients in top shape in record time.

His methods were not understood by many. That’s why I’d be willing to bet if he were alive today he would probably dedicate this article and these exercises to those of little faith and to the ones who resist change because they are the ones that need the most guidance.

Let’s get right to it. Here are the Top 7 Gironda Exercises Of All Time.

1) Body Drag Curl

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart maintaining a slight bend in your knees. Grip the barbell with a supinated or underhanded grip.

The width of your grip should be comfortable and it’s important to keep your elbows in really tight to your torso. Lean forward just a little bit. With a firm grip begin lifting the bar, while keeping your elbows tucked in nice and close to your torso. The bar should lightly be touching your torso as well as you lift it up. In order to lift the bar your elbows will need to move a bit to the rear.

Note this is not a free moving arc. It’s called a body drag curl because there are two points of contact causing the “dragging” movement rather than the typical free moving arc of a typical bicep curl. This is actually more of a lift rather than a curl.

2) 45-Degrees Pulley Row

The Vince Gironda 45-Degrees Pulley Row develops the teres major muscles of the back which are extremely important for overall back width.

3) Frog Sit Ups

We all know that the best way to build the abs is to contract the abdominals right?

Most people do full sit-ups and Vince says it’s a waste of time because they are only getting work in during the beginning of the exercise. They help get your shoulders off the floor and that’s it. The Frog Sit Up was Vince’s secret ab exercise.


1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or exercise mat) and your legs extended in front of you.

2. Now bend at the knees and place your outer thighs by the floor (or mat) as you make the soles of your feet touch each other.

3. Now try pushing both soles and bringing them up as near you as possible while you keep the outer thighs on the floor (or at least almost touching it). Tip: In this position your legs should create a diamond shape.

4. Now, cross your arms in front of you by touching the opposite shoulders. This will be your starting position.

5. As you exhale flatten your lower back to the floor while curling the torso upwards. Tip: This will be like performing the first 1/4 movement of a sit up. Hold at the top position for a second.

6. As you inhale, slowly lower back to the starting position.

7. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

4) The Sissy Squat

If you really want a crazy leg pump with some serious shock to your legs this is the one for you. Here’s how it’s done.

1. I use a block of wood that is 24″ long and is 3.5″  thick. The size and dimensions of the wood block is critical.

2. Position the heels on the wood block so that they extend over the top. Feet should be about 12″ to 24″ apart with toes pointing slightly outward.

3. Now let your knees drop down but forward and have your upper body at an angle.  Maintain your balance by keeping your shoulders and the barbell over your heels at all times.

4. Once in the bottom position move your hips back over your heels in a somewhat squatting position. Now using only your thigh muscles return to the starting position.

5) Wide Pec Dips

Vince’s students were insturced on how to do dips to create a wide pec flare that gave them a classic look.

You must use a parallel bar that is 33″ wide, if it is not you will not receive the intended benefit from this movement. Anything wider or narrower will not work the pecs as desired. The most important execution of the movement is in the elbows: They must be wide and straight out from the shoulders. The head has to be in a down position with the chin resting on the upper chest and the back should be rounded forward.

Cross your feet and make certain they are slightly in front of your face, not back. Dip down as far as possible and return as high as you can. Never change this position as it isolates the pectoral muscles and limits the involvement of the triceps. Performing the movement with the elbows in will emphasize more triceps than pecs.

Very few bodybuilders perform this movement as described. It is perhaps one of the best movements for building and shaping the pecs there is.


6) The Perfect Curl

As described by Paul Becker of Truly Huge. Vince described how to do “The Perfect Curl” (or complete curl). The first part of “The Perfect Curl” (using a straight bar and a shoulder width hand spacing) begins with the elbows resting on the pelvis or hip bones with the arms hanging straight and the upper torso inclined with the head and shoulders just back of the hips. This particular starting position will actively stimulate the lower insertion of the biceps as the barbell is curled upward the first 10-12 inches.

The second part of “The Perfect Curl” kicks in as the barbell is continuing to be curled upward and the upper torso (head and shoulders) begins to travel forward to an erect (or vertical) position. This part of the curl involves the belly of the biceps.

The third part of “The Perfect Curl” concludes with the upper torso (head and shoulders) moving slightly forward from an erect (or vertical) position and the bar is curled upward to completion. When the torso is slightly forward from vertical at the completion of the upward phase of the curl it creates a maximum peak contraction in the biceps.

7) Gironda Sternum Chins

Thankfully for us Vince invented this exercise which has been coined the single best lat exercise ever developed.

1. Grasp the pull-up bar with a shoulder width underhand grip.

2. Now hang with your arms fully extended and stick your chest out and lean back. Tip: You will be leaning back throughout the entire movement. This will be your starting position.

3. Start pulling yourself towards the bar with your spine arched throughout the movement and your head leaning back as far away from the bar as possible. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: At the upper end of the movement, your hips and legs will be at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.

4. Keep pulling until your collarbone passes the bar and your lower chest or sternum area touches it. Hold that contraction for a second. Tip: By the time you’ve completed this portion of the movement; your head will be parallel to the floor.

5. Slowly start going back to the starting position as you inhale.

6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.




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