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The Squeeze
The Squeeze

Current Bikini Olympia champion ANGELICA TEIXEIRA’s slavish dedication to peak contraction helped build her champion-caliber glutes and abs.

Mike Carlson

BALL CRUNCH

Get on an exercise ball and walk your feet forward until your hips are supported but your upper back is hanging off the ball. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent 90 degrees. Bring your hands behind your head. Allow your back to slightly hyperextend and then raise your torso upward. Contract your abs hard for 2 seconds before coming back down.

Perform 3 sets of 30 reps.

BRAZILIAN-BORN ANGELICA TEIXEIRA is an absolute force in the IFBB Pro League bikini division. Of her past 11 shows, she’s managed to win 10, including top honors at two Olympias and two Bikini Internationals. But major success doesn’t mean that the 34-year-old is content.

“It is more motivating for me to defend the title than to take the title,” says Teixeira, who resides in New Jersey. “Some people get in their comfort zone, but for me, as soon as I step off the Olympia stage I am thinking about the next one. Being the face of the sport means everything to me. I don’t want to lose that.”

For the 2019 Bikini Olympia, Teixeira is making some changes to her training. After listening to the feedback of the judges, she has decided to add more size to her upper body. She is moving a bit more weight and doing less cardio. What won’t change, though, is her focus on her glutes—her premier body part and a bikini division must-have— and abs. “If it’s working, why change?” she asks.

THE GLUTES OF HER LABOR

TEIXEIRA TRAINS her glutes three times a week. The first day is all glutes, the second day is glutes and hamstrings, and the third day is just hamstrings, but her glutes receive a lot of collateral damage during that session. As a self-described “quad-dominant” athlete, she has come up with several different techniques to keep the emphasis off her quadriceps and on her glutes.

“When I use too much weight, I feel it more on my quads than my glutes,” Teixeira says. “I use a weight that lets me feel the muscle burning.”

Another technique she uses on nearly every rep is the lost art of peak contraction—when you hold the muscle in a flexed position for two full seconds before slowly lowering the weight. You don’t see it in gyms too often because it takes patience and discipline, and it can be very painful. The muscle activation that is sparked by the increased time under tension can do amazing things to muscles, even when not lifting a heavy load.

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August 2019