Whether you are joining a gym for the first time or you just want to get in shape, here are five exercises you should be doing each week.
Compound movements are made up of many different muscle groups which help with your strength gains and your fat loss. If you follow these 5 lifts below, you will see improvements in about 8-12 weeks.
The 5 exercises are…
- Bench press
- Pull ups
- Shoulder press
#1 – Deadlifts
- The deadlift is great for your entire body development. I truly think that the deadlift and the squat are the two most important exercises you can do at the gym. The deadlift basically works the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, quads, hamstrings and glutes. As you can see it works a bunch of different muscles. The deadlift feels awkward to new lifters and takes little bit of time to perfect the technique. Start out with just the bar or a very light weight until you have your technique down cold. (Deadlift video)
#2 – Squats
- The squat is another great full body exercise that focuses on the quads and the glutes. Squatting also works your hamstrings, calves and lower back. When doing squats, make sure you start with a small amount of weight and work on your form. Also, no matter how easy the Smith machine makes squats, do NOT use it. The Smith machine will make your body work in an unnatural way and many things can go wrong like improper knee flexion and lower back problems can happen because of bad foot positioning. Learn how to properly squat with a bar in the cage and you’ll see some big improvements in your muscle gains. (Squat video)
#3 – Bench Press
- The bench press is a great upper body exercise for building size and strength. The bench works your pec muscles as well as the delts, triceps, serratus anterior and a few other smaller muscles. Bench pressing, along with pullups really helps to build your upper body. Make sure you are using a spotter when you want to up the weight and start doing heavy weight/low rep combinations.
- If you don’t have a spotter, or just want to switch things up every few sessions, using dumbbells is a great way to work your muscles as well. Dumbbells force you to stabilize and balance while a barbell is evenly weighted and gives you a much more uniform movement. (Bench Press Video)
#4 – Pull Ups
- The pull up is a great test of upper body strength and endurance. It is hands down the best pulling exercise you can do. The pull up helps the lat muscles but also many other muscles like the biceps, triceps, delts and chest muscles. Pull-ups can be done in many different ways, including weighted pull ups, one armed pull ups, and kipping pull ups. Adding weight to your pull-ups is a great idea to really build strength once you are able to do a good amount of pull ups. (Pull up video)
#5 – Shoulder Press
- The shoulder press is the single most important exercise for developing your shoulders. The shoulder press also works your arms, back, abs and obliques. This lift can also be done with dumbbells which helps the muscles of the body, especially in your core. (Shoulder Press video)
- The five exercises we went over are hands down the best way to build strength and muscle for a beginner workout. But, you must workout with a high intensity if you want to see results. Most people think they are working out hard, when they’re really just giving it an average effort. A hard workout should be hard to finish and you should be struggling on the last few reps of every set. If you’re new and looking how to put together a workout, check out the workout for beginner’s.
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