We attend the gym for many reasons, change of lifestyle, grow muscle, get fit and healthy and to even impress a girl or boy. Listed below we believe are the top exercises to implement into your training regime. When we go the gym and lift weights, we don’t necessarily grow from the workout. The aim is to apply adequate stress throughout the session from variation of different angles or progressive overloading, which essentially means increasing the weight. The growing phase begins when we get enough sleep, consume a good nutritious diet depending on fitness goals and let our bodies recover correctly. We believe the exercises below will help develop your physique more consitently and provide you with a greater insight into training efficiently.
Barbell flat bench press
A brilliant upper body exercise focusing on the chest, shoulders and triceps. The straight barbell provides stability in the movement allowing you to feel comfortable under the bar. Progressing into the movement, ensure you have a tight midsection, feet driven into the ground and shoulders retracted. An important procedure prior to the exercise movement to minimise any potential risks and injuries. When progressing with the weight, we recommend asking a member around to spot you, this will set the mind at ease knowing someone will be able to assist if the weight is too heavy. Grip on the bar varies from different individuals, some prefer a close grip to work more chest and triceps, whereas others prefer I much wider gripe isolating the triceps and focusing more on the chest with a shorter range of motion.
In addition to that, this exercise would be a brilliant feature in a upper body routine for both male and females. We would highly recommend incorporating 3 sets of 10-12 working repetitions on a weight that feels comfortable to begin with. Furthermore, if you are looking to increase the weight to help apply different elements of stress to the upper body, we would recommend having a training parter for assistance or asking a member of the gym alternatively.
Below is a short video that simplifies the movement so you can try this out next time.
Barbell back squat
The ultimate lower body exercise. Squats have many benefits in terms of muscular development, increased fitness, improves flexibility and aids in mobility. Whether you are looking to develop your glutes, legs or increase range of motion in the entire hip complex, incorporating squats into your leg routines will defiantly contribute to this. How you would perform this exercise would be picking an appropriate weight, as form of the movement is the the most important feature. Make sure when you grip the bar it sits firmly below the middle of your trapezius, pull it in tight to ensure the bar is steady and is not loose. Apply your feet shoulder width apart with your toes facing slightly outward and perform the squat movement. Applying this method will prevent your knees from moving inwards and promote a well performed squat. A key mention is to focus on the midsection (core) whilst performing the exercise making sure it is tight and controlled throughout.
For many people, leg routines are considered a hard workout. It is all about completing the movement correctly and focusing on the time under tension allowing you feel the lactic acid build up. Providing the movement is correct, this will limit any joint pain in the hips particularly, it will also tighten midsection promoting a pain free lower back and also grow and tone your legs however you prefer. A movement like this especially if you are looking to progress with the weight, will require a spotter or safety bars present. This will increase the level of safety and minimise any dangerous injuries from occurring. We would high recommend this for both male and females looking to grow their legs or tone them up. 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions with accurate form would be a great starting point, once comfortable under the weight slightly increase to your preference.
Below is a short clip to show to how to execute a perfect barbell back squat.
In my opinion, the ultimate exercise that everyone should implement into their training regime. The deadlift, which is one of few exercises that works multiple muscle groups at the same time. A key compound movement that works the major muscle groups in our body that are the glutes, hamstrings, trapezius, upper back and lower back, not to mention shoulders and arms in the process. The most effect movement to build core strength that supports all other major muscle groups. A perfect combination if you are looking to increase general fitness, tone up or build muscle everywhere.
To perform a deadlift, we would recommend levelling your feet under the bar shoulder width part. Grip the bar and drop in position with a slight bend in the knees whilst maintaining a tight midsection and straight back, to prevent any injuries occurring. Lift your chest whilst maintaining a straight back in the pulling exercise, straighten your body up and repeat the process. A fantastic exercise not only for developing muscle and applying adequate stress but also increasing cardiovascular endurance. We would recommend aiming between 8-12 repetitions for 3 sets of this movement at the start of your workout. Give it a try and let us know how you get on.
Checkout the short video below that will show you the correct technique to perform a deadlift.
Jordan Fleet joins the team to help simplify complex topics ranging from training, nutrition, supplements and many more. With a trade in mechanical engineering and one more year remaining on completing his sports nutrition and health degree at Liverpool John Moores University. Jordan will provide a better insight into different areas of fitness in the hope to provide the best quality service/information he can offer.
An advocate for training with a strong mindset, nutrition balancing and enjoying life. Find him in the nearest gym or many coffee shops.