You cannot go past the basics. The squat, bench press, chin ups and dead lifts need to form the majority of your training.
However, just below that, there are underdog exercises. Everybody loves an underdog correct? The one nobody expects to win but does. This gives most people a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
The following exercises will provide a win for your body. These exercises will help protect your body from injury and will improve your performance in the lifts listed above.
Sorry, there will be no warm fuzzy feeling. Just your muscles burning in appreciation.
Note- Click the link for exercise demonstrations.
1. Kettle bell swings- Kettle bells (those cannon ball looking things in your gym) originated in Russia and have been documented as far back as 1704.
Their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years because of their versatility. The foundation movement is called the kettle bell swing.
When the swing is performed correctly, it will provide a better looking behind, protection against low back pain for most people and a strong core. Plus it’s a great high intensity, low impact exercise.
So many benefits in the cannon ball.
2. Landmine press- Cannon balls and landmines, are you sensing a theme here? However both will help you, not destroy you.
The Landmine is a piece of equipment that allows you to put one end of a barbell into it. Or if your gym doesn’t have it, sticking the barbell into a corner will do.
This will allow you to do my personal favorite exercise, the Landmine press.
The Landmine press as half way between a shoulder press and a bench press. This combined with the barbell being slightly forward from the head, reduces stress on the shoulders.
If your shoulders are beat up and you still want to lift, do this.
3. Side lying lateral raises- These differ from your standing lateral raises (besides the obvious) because the beginning of the movement is much more difficult
The side lying position targets the rotator cuff more effectively, helping your shoulders stay healthier and stronger longer.
Plus this exercise gives you sexier shoulders.
4. Farmer’s carry- This is as simple as picking up something heavy, holding on for dear life and walking. Simple doesn’t mean easy. This exercise challenges your grip strength, forearms, shoulders, back, core and legs.
Plus it will improve your cardiovascular capacity. Now that’s some serious bang for your exercise buck.
5. Band pull apart- In today’s day and age we spend too much time with our shoulders slouching forward. This leads to weakened muscles between our shoulder blades.
Doing the band pull apart will help undo this. This will keep your shoulders happy beacuse this exercise directly targets the muscles weakened by this bad habit.
Plus, who doesn’t want to stand up, loud and proud?
Insert one or more of these exercises into your routine. Your body will thank you.