I wanted to direct you to a few articles and posts to reinforce some of the exercises that you love to hate but in the end do the trick. Mastery of certain exercises will better results than others so by process of elimination get rid of the ones that suck. Here is an article by Jason Ferrugia in Men’s Fitness called 10 Exercises That Suck. In my opinion there are many, many more and I do see people doing them every day. But who am I to judge?
Another mode of exercise that I would like to see thrown off the edge of a cliff are many of those exercises machines you see in the gym. When it comes to training, you should be focused on working your core, posture, and nervous system in addition to your specific muscles. Here is an article that explains why machines suck more than Jersey Shore….barely. Can you believe this tool is set to make over 5 mil this year? Ok, back to the post…..but seriously, they effing scoop gellato. No wonder why people still do crunches and use weight machines to get in shape. Please don’t be one of these people.
Here are some links to the exercises that don’t suck that should be part of everyone’s basic strength training program. This is the stuff that will get you stronger, a better posture, a solid core, and help you prevent injury. (Insert fist pumping here)
Once you are able to master the body weight squat, Goblet Squats are the next progression. Although they feel awkward at first they should be the staple of any good training program as they have many important functions. Yes the weight is heavy, stop complaining because it is helping to stabilize your shoulder and rotator cuff muscles. With proper form you are not only strengthening your legs, but giving your core and lower back a great workout also. As long as you practice and maintain proper form, keep slapping on the weight because this total body exercises will help correct bad posture and burn fat as well.
One exercise that everyone loves to hate is the Push-up. And for simple reason too, they can’t do one and they are initially hard to master. Well, just like any other exercise there should be a proper progression so just getting on the floor and expecting to be able to bang out 10 perfect pushups your first time is just not realistic. Speaking of realistic, wtf Jersey Shore. Sorry I’ll stop. The best way to master the pushup is to begin on an incline and master the move until you are down to the floor. Not to sound like a drill sargeant, but until you can drop and give me 20 perfect pushups, there is no reason you should be benching any weight. Now drop and give me 20 maggot!
Another great exercise that you should be perfecting is the Inverted Row. For most people, especially if you work at a desk, rowing should be done twice as much as any pushing exercise in order to balance your posture and your shoulders. I like inverted rows simply because they force you to use your core to stabilize your hips and shoulders before engaging in the movement. Extra core work, hmmm.
Band Assisted Pullups and Pullups, what is there to say? Well, women don’t do them at all and guys, most of you are doing them wrong. Just like the pushup, most people don’t do them because they are hard and don’t know the proper progression to get you up on that bar and pulling up your own bodyweight. It is a pretty lofty goal but perfecting the pullup just might give you the core you want as pullups tartet your six-pack muscles just as much if not more than doing sit-up exercises (which to me are as useful as a poop-flavored lolipop). Begin with the band-assisted version before moving on to the full version.
In my opinion, the Deadlift is the king of all strength exercises as it takes every muscle in your body to move that weight off the floor. Nuff said. As long as you maintain perfect form with your back flat your are set to start moving some serious weight. This means you too ladies. I have a definite affinity towards this exercise as it gives me a quantifiable number to how much stronger I am getting. For those of you who don’t run or do much strength training, this should be useful to help build bone density, again this one’s for you ladies.
Ok, with all of the new research surrounding core training, the Pallof Press seems to be one of the top exercises for training your deepest core muscles. You know, the ones that protect your organs. I have been spreading the word of this fantastic exercise for a while now and the answer I always get is “Wow, that’s harder than I thought” and “I can actually feel it!” (I’m not even going to say it).
Another exercise that will take some time to master is the ever so popular Hip Thrust. This exercise evolved from the standard glute-bridge which is popular in pilates across the globe. Giving credit where credit is due, Bret Contreras has not only spread the word about all the benefits of butt-training but has also made this a fun exercise. Proper technique and progression will give you the assets you need to correct your posture and improve everything from your lifts to athletic performance. Thank you Bret for giving America a nice ass.
Here is a Workout Template to help you understand more about how to put all this together in one basic strength training program. I must say that one of the most difficult parts for most people is not understanding the exercises but putting it all together. In my opinion as long as you are mastering each technique and progressing in your training, it doesn’t really matter much to the beginner how you put them all together.