Whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose fat or just improve your health, these six exercises are an absolute must for your training. Together they hit every single muscle in your body and can be used to build strength, burn calories or increase your size.
The squat is a natural movement that we all need to learn how to do correctly in order to build stability in the core and strength in the lower body. It also teaches you how to deal with a heavy load placed upon your back which improves your ability with other movements as well as your capability to handle physical stress.
The deadlift also hits the lower body but predominantly targets the lower back and hamstrings. Similar to the squat, it improves strength in the core and also, helps to teach you how to lift heavy objects off the ground. Many injuries in early and later life to the back are caused by improper form when lifting objects. By learning how to deadlift, you not only build strength in the movement, but teaches your muscles to work together when lifting heavy objects.
3. Overhead Press
The overhead press builds strength in the shoulders, chest, and arms whilst also, helping to build core stability as you press a heavy weight overhead. This improves your joint and muscular health, too.
4. Bench Press
The bench press is a less mentally fatiguing movement than the others but targets the front of the torso. Predominantly, the bench press hits the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but with a main emphasis on the chest opposed to the shoulders.
Rows hit every muscle on the back of your torso as well as your biceps. Many people like to do a lot of pressing movements which causes a hunch in the shoulders and upper back. By doing an equal amount of pulling movements, you can even out the muscles so that there are no imbalances which cause injuries.
6. Chin Up/Lat-Pulldown
Much as how the row is the antagonist of the bench press by targeting the opposing muscles, the chin up and lat-pulldown hit the opposing muscles to the overhead press. By using all four of these movements, you’re making sure that no muscle is left untouched and there are no imbalances in the upper body. Both the pulldown and chin up hit the lats and biceps, but the chin up is a harder movement. Yet, by learning how to do a proper chin up, you then have a movement that you can do almost anywhere. All you need is a bar. On the other hand, the lat-pulldown requires a specific machine.