It doesn’t matter what kind of workout you prefer. The idea is a simple one. Full body workouts, push-pull, single body part splits are the most effective exercises.
1. The Clean & Press
This is a great exercise for increasing all aspects of power, strength, and size. This kind of workout is so good that it can pass as the single best exercise.
The barbell starts on the floor with your hands in a hook grip around it. You are using the quads to extend the knees, the glutes for the hips extension and last but not least the calves to plantarflex your feet by lifting both your heels and the barbell as high as possible.
Your spinal erectors will be working on the extension of the spine. Soall the upper back will be working to pull the bar up to its highest point. With this exercise also the delts and rotator cuff will be working during the clean phase. This means that a lot of muscles will be working together.
There are more versions of this exercise. So regardless if you do the Olympic version, the modified, shallower-squatting version, the overhead-pressing portion of the clean and press will work the glutes and quads, but also on the delts, upper chest, triceps, and rectus abdominis.
The conclusion is this. The clean & press is probably the best lift around for those who want to look good but also perform well.
2. The Chin-Up
Chin-ups will hit the back muscles as good as pull-ups. Also, this exercise will target the forearms and improve grip strength.
In order to maximize the chin-ups effect, you should extend your thoracic spine on the way up. This way you will aim to touch the lower half of your chest to the bar.
3. The Push-Up
This exercise is used by all US Armed Forces to measure physical fitness. Push-ups are great for the chest, triceps, anterior deltoids, core stability and muscles.
Yes, the main purpose is to exercise the muscles without any other equipment. But this is not all. Push-ups stimulate the serratus anterior. These are the finger-like muscles that are visible up by the lats when a lean.
Strong, healthy serratus anterior has great importance when it comes to your shoulder health. If all the pressing are done with the back on a bench, you won’t challenge your serratus.
To do this correctly do not blow your elbows straight out to the side while doing the push-ups. Also, try to keep your spine rigid for the entire exercise. You can do this by keeping your abs and glutes tight.
4. The Walking Lunge
This exercise is most effective when you avoiding the pause at the half-step point at the moment when both feet are together and you are in a standing posture. The correct way is not to take rest but to do full strides. You can do this by taking the trailing foot and bringing it forward into the next, long step before lunging down.
Just like squats, when you do this workout nice and deep, the stretch placed on the glutes will make work hard as well. Also, the hip flexors will get a nice stretch.
This doesn’t have to be mentioned but let’s do it nevertheless. Walking lunges will challenge balance and with it, the muscles such as the glute medius and the lateral core muscles like the obliques, multifidus, and spinal erectors.
Be sure to use an appropriately-weighted barbell on your upper back as opposed to holding dumbbells. This will raise the center of gravity. By doing so, you will challenge the balance-related muscles to a greater degree.
5. The Dip
This exercise will work on the chest, anterior shoulders, and triceps. Regarding the class of muscles that are trained, dips are very similar to push-ups. The similarities don’t stop here. Just as in push-ups, the narrower the grip, the more the triceps become the star.
The main difference between dips and push-ups is how much more taxing dips are to the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Also, it is easier to add resistance to dips.
When you will be able to do enough bodyweight dips and you will reach the to necessitate of adding weight, you will have the possibility to either hold a dumbbell between your crossed lower legs, or you can add weight to a chain hanging from a dip belt. The better option will be the latter because it is more natural. The modern version of this workout is to wear a weighted vest.
6. The Squat
One of the best exercises out there is the barbell squat. The reason for this is because it works a lot of muscles at once.
Squats will hit the glutes well. This is possible mostly when they’re stretched by a nice and deep squatting down. Also, the spinal erectors along the spine are also well-targeted, especially those in your lower back.
Squats are involved in so many large muscles. Because of this, this exercise is also good to stimulate the cardiovascular system, especially when done in a higher rep range.
It doesn’t matter if you are doing it heavy or light. It doesn’t even matter if you use a barbell, hold a weight up by your upper chest, or just use your body weight for resistance. The squats are a great way to work out so you should do it as long as you are physically able.
7. The Deadlift
The deadlift is amazing and you should be aware of this. It works your back from top to bottom. You will work the upper traps down to the spinal erectors in your lower back, but also improve your quads, glutes, forearms, biceps, and rhomboids.
In the beginning, trap bars were used as a natural way to target the upper traps via shrugs. This made the deadlifts more comfortable.
The deadlift is amazing. It offers great results when used properly, but also can be incredibly bad when used improperly.