Regardless of your goal, strength training is the way to go, and some of the best exercises are the tried-and-true, old standards, like the Squat, Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Bench Press, Row, Shoulder Press, and Pullup.
There are lots of exercise fads, gadgets, and gimmicks on the market, and a seemingly endless array of commercials and infomercials touting them as the “next best thing.” And, while there is probably some merit to anything that gets people moving, you can’t do better than weight-bearing exercises that engage multiple joints and muscle groups using complex movements.
You can perform this exercise with dumbbells or a barbell, or using only your own body weight. Single-leg squats are also an excellent, change-of-pace, variation.
Although this exercise is frequently performed with a barbell, we favor the trap bar. It allows for safer execution, through better ergonomics, while not sacrificing any of the strength and muscle-building benefit.
Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
One of the best exercise for the muscles of your posterior chain — lower back, glutes, and hamstrings (We also really like the glute-ham raise). Also try the single-leg RDL.
Perhaps the best upper-body strength and muscle-building exercise. We also like the dumbbell bench press — done simultaneously, alternating, or iso (single-arm).
The bent-over row, using dumbbells or a barbell, is a great “agonist-antagonist” (opposing muscle group) complement to the bench press.
The vertical version of the bench press, this exercise will also engage your core. All the same variations apply.
Wide grip, narrow grip, overhand, or underhand — this exercise will challenge you. The lat pulldown exercise is a suitable variation if you’re not yet able to perform the pullup.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!