IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR FULL-BODY STRENGTH, POWER AND BALANCE THEN THIS LIST SHOULD SET YOU UP FOR SUCCESS.
We aren’t looking for any crazy nonsense you may have seen on Instagram or some fad to look trendy and innovative. Exercise is pretty simple and while people always look for the next best thing, they’re usually missing out on progress in strength, fitness, mobility and full body balance by missing out the tried and tested movements of time.
I realise that your time in the gym is precious and you want to achieve as much per session as possible. As such compound exercises such as the Squat are the answer, they work a load of muscle groups at the same time. GREAT. Squats are excellent for all your leg muscles (the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves), and they also strengthen the stabiliser muscles and supporting ligaments which help your main leg muscles work more efficiently. When done properly they also help improve your flexibility and strengthen your ankles and hips. Sound good? Well we’re still not done, squats also work your abs to help you along the road to an impressive six-pack. Looking to get beach ready for summer? Then get Squatting!
These are the first exercise most people try, simple, no equipment necessary and a great indicator of core and upper body strength. Core strength from a push up? The push up is a moving plank, so you’d better have your core engaged, if not then you will feel your lower back becoming sore. That curve in your lower back while doing push ups is from not engaging your core, you want to flatten this by engaging your abdominals and squeezing your glutes. Try it next time you do your push ups.
Another upper body exercise and another exercise used as a strength test by organisations, this time focusing on the back and biceps along with your core. (Told you we’d get your whole body covered). Chin Ups target the latissimus dorsi muscles of your back, but also involves a number of muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest, including your posterior deltoids, triceps, biceps, abdominals along with lower and middle trapezius. That’s why Chin ups are referred to as the “upper body squat”!
Often brushed off as an exercise for girls by many guys in the gym, this exercise could be the key to fixing your squat, deadlift and those back issues you have been getting after lifting. The reason this exercise has been receiving so much attention from social media is that the main group of focus has become the glutes. The Glutes are often an under used muscle for most people and being the strongest muscle in the body they really shouldn’t be. If you can’t feel your butt burning during exercises then chances are it’s not working, enter the Hip Thrust. This movement not only strengthens the hips and glutes, but forces us to go into hip extension, a range of motion that is often lacking in many athletes. It is also easy to modify and beginners can start with a basic bodyweight glute bridge, progressing to adding weight as they are able.
So if you’re looking for a full body workout, then the list above will keep you on track and making progress, try 3 to 4 sets of each exercise for 8-12 repetitions and see what you’ve been missing out on.