The Only Exercises You Need To Be In Shape

The Only Exercises You Need To Be In Shape

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Get in shape

What if there was a list of exercises that were proven to help you build the body of your dreams? Your prayers were just answered! Read on for results!

People often wonder if there are exercises we can constantly perform that keep our bodies in shape, strong and capable of increasing muscle size, endurance and strength. This sounds like some sort of a super workout plan. But, in reality, there are exercises that give us all the listed benefits and more. And they are exercises that we actually see being performed often in the gym. These exercises are referred to as compound lifts.

Compound lifts target multiple muscle groups. They offer numerous benefits for not only muscles, but also joints and bones. They provide stability with increases to balance, and are capable of helping with power for each exercise. For example, performing squats carries over to increasing your deadlifting abilities.

This concept applies to all compound lifts, as they’re all able to help at least one other movement. This is why we always use at least one of these exercises for every training day.

Some of these go even further to being called big lifts.

There are many of these exercises. The following exercises are the compound lifts that we will be discussing: Deadlifts, squats, lunges, bench press, military press, Arnold dumbbell press, pull-ups, bent over rows, upright rows and dips. The big lifts we’ll detail are squats, deadlifts, bench press and military press.

Proper Form Is A Must!

The exercises we’ve listed will literally destroy your body if they are not performed the right way. It’s not just increased muscle soreness that will happen, but rather serious injuries primarily to your lower back, shoulders, elbows and knees. Any weight ranging from moderate to heavy is very hard on your joints since almost all of the exercises place them underneath the weight.

The other possible thing that could happen is inflicting harm on yourself and others around you simply because you decided to add way too much weight that you could not handle. Your body needs to be trained in the movements of the exercises, and given time to figure out how to balance prior to heavy weight training programs.

Speaking of balance, the compound lifts we’ll discuss also target stabilizer muscles throughout your body. These are smaller muscle groups that normally don’t get any type of focus to cause contractions in them. That’s one of the reasons why people suffer during movements such as the bench press. Let’s discuss each of these exercises and see exactly why they benefit us. We’ll also give you the tips you need to perform them properly.

Squats

Squats are the best lower body exercise. Why? Simple. They target all of the primary leg muscles such as your quadriceps and hamstrings with your glutes included as well. This exercise also strengthens your hip and knee joints. Squats are important not only for the muscle and joint strengthening abilities, but also because they set the foundation for increasing balance that allows you to perform better deadlifts and military presses.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Drop your hips for the squatting portion without bending your back. Keep your chin up and chest out throughout the movement to keep a straight back.

Your feet should be parallel with each other. A wider foot stance targets your inner quads better. A closer foot placement places emphasis on your outer quads. Also, there should always be a slight bend in your knees. Never lock your knees.

olympic lifts gym

Deadlifts

This exercise is the big lift that is performed usually on back training days. A portion of the training is also on the legs. Regardless, the deadlift is a well-rounded compound lift that is fun to do. Your erector spine, glutes, traps, quads and abs all benefit at once. These areas of focus are why we often call this a core exercise.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Drop your hips when you are going into the starting position and dropping down with the weight. Keep your back straight during the movement. Many pro deadlifters round their back for the exercise. You are most likely not a pro, so you shouldn’t round your back. Make sure your back remains straight by keeping your chest out and chin up.

Your feet should be parallel with each other. Never lock your knees. There should always be a slight bend in your knees. Widening your foot placement works different muscle groups. This is called a sumo deadlift. You can also do a stiffed legged deadlift. Simply place your feet close together and then bend at your hips.

Lunges

Lunges are another great lower body compound lift. They are similar to squats, but they place more emphasis on the hip joints by extending them to their maximum range of motion. The primary muscles being worked are the hamstrings, quads, glutes and hips. Calves also get a nice workout while you try to balance yourself.

These Are Your Tips For Success

The knee being pushed forward during the lunge should not extend past the tip of your toe. You must maintain a straight back at all times for proper balance, especially if you use a barbell. You can do all reps on one leg then switch. You could also swap between each one.

Bench Press

The bench press is one of the big lift exercises for the upper body. Sadly, it’s one of the exercises that is most often done wrong. This is usually because there is too much weight on the bar. Another reason for improper form is because helper muscles aren’t very strong such as the triceps and deltoids. Aside from these two muscles, the bench press focuses primarily on your chest muscles.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Keep your feet firmly planted at all times for stability. Do not drive your hips forward to press the weight up. Roll your shoulder back and pinch them towards your spine for better pressing action. Keep your head against the bench at all times.

Your forearms should be directly underneath your wrist. This could change depending on your arm length, but it should be the starting point for proper form. If you failed early in your bench press sets and your chest doesn’t feel stimulated, then your triceps are either too weak or your hands are too close.

Military Press

This exercise is great for your shoulders. But, it can place a lot of weight on your lower spine if your form isn’t correct. The deltoids are actually made up of three muscle heads, and this exercise only really focuses on two of them. However, your upper pecs, triceps, traps and upper spine benefit greatly from this exercise as well. The military press requires great balance and a strong lower body foundation.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Place one foot behind your body with your toe driving into the floor if you sway front and back. Don’t bend at your knees to assist with the overhead press. Do not lock your knees out.

Keep the weight manageable because your shoulders are prone to bigger injuries. If there were one exercise that definitely needed a spotter, then it would be the military press.

Seated Arnold Dumbbell Press

Remember how the military press only targets two of the three deltoid heads? Well, the Arnold shoulder press hits all three of them along with your traps, upper chest and triceps. The reason you can hit all three muscle heads has to do with the rotation of the dumbbells while performing the exercise. As the name would imply, Arnold Schwarzenneger developed this move. That might just be a reason why this exercise works so well.

These Are Your Tips For Success

This exercise can be performed standing, but it’s better that you’re in the seated position. Get your shoulders ready by using a lighter weight to make sure your joints are warmed up prior to increasing the weight. Do not hit the dumbbells together after pressing. Also, don’t lock out your elbows.

Bent Over Rows

This is the big lift exercise for your back muscles that is often confused for being an isolation lift. The primary muscles being targeted are your upper and lower back, traps, biceps and serratus anterior. Some people even perform this exercise on the Smith machine, and quite a few bodybuilders love doing them this way giving us an idea that they work well either free weight or on the Smith bar. For some variation you can also check out inverted rows to mix things up.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Deadlift the weight up, and then slowly lean your chest forward as you bend at the hips. You are using too much weight if you can’t pull the bar directly to your midsection without swaying. Keep your feet shoulder width apart for better balance. Squeeze your back muscles every time you bring the bar in for a contraction.

Upright Rows

This is yet another exercise often referred to as being an isolation lift, but your traps and deltoids aren’t the only muscles benefiting from upright rows. You also work your biceps, brachialis, abs and levator scapulae (which runs along the side of your neck). This exercise is one of few that allow these areas to go under contraction at the same time.

These Are Your Tips For Success

A wider grip places more emphasis on your deltoids. A closer grips places more emphasis on your trapezoid. Keep your feet shoulder width apart for better balance. Do not lean your body back to assist with pulling the weight. Keep the weight amount at a moderate level to prevent shoulder strains.

Dips

Dips can be done with or without weights. You will receive the same benefits either way. The only difference being that weights increase muscle growth. This exercise is well known for being a triceps exercise, but it actually targets a lot of other upper body muscles. That includes your pecs, deltoids, brachialis and serratus anterior.

These Are Your Tips For Success

Lean your chest forward to place better emphasis on your pecs. Lean your body vertically to place better emphasis on your triceps. Your hands should be positioned parallel with your hips. Don’t lock your elbows during this exercise.

squats workout

The 3-Day Workout Program

These exercises can be combined together to form two training days full of compound lifts only, which will make it be a full body workout. This means that you will need a rest day following each training day, and the end of the week is two consecutive rest days. You will be able to recover fully if you consume adequate amounts of nutrients while also stretching to speed up the recovery process.

Training days will alternate between group #1 and group #2 so they are equally performed throughout the month of training. After each training day, you must give yourself 24 hours for recovery. You can perform this type of training program for longer than a month if you wish since this isn’t a specialized program.

GROUP #1

Use moderate weight settings for each exercise. Increasing these to heavy training days could be an overload on your muscles unless you are already trained for that intense of a workout program.

 

Exercise                                                                       Sets     Reps

Squats                                                                         4          8-10

Bench Press                                                                4          8-10

Pull-Ups                                                                     4          8-10

Arnold Shoulder Press                                                4          8-10

Bent Over Rows                                                         4          8-10

Vertical Dips                                                               4          8-10

 

GROUP #2

Use moderate weight settings for each exercise. Increasing these to heavy training days could be an overload on your muscles unless you are trained for that intense of a workout program.

 

Exercise                                                                       Sets     Reps

Deadlifts                                                                     4          8-10

Military Press                                                             4          8-10

Lunges                                                                         4          8-10

Upright Rows                                                             4          8-10

Weighted Forward Leaning Dips                                4          8-10

Hanging Leg Raises                                                     1          Until Failure

 

The two groups used for this type of training are guaranteed to increase your muscle strength and endurance. They will also add some muscle mass to your body. Increase the reps to 12 if you feel more is needed. You could also opt to increase your weight and go for eight reps instead.

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Conclusion

Want to stay in shape?

Do you also want to boost your muscle size, endurance, and strength? If so, just stick with these exercises. Do these compound exercises with proper form and watch the results. In no time at all, you’ll reach the levels you’ve always wanted

By Dennis Rose

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