You cannot go past the basics. The squat, presses, pulls and hinging need to form the majority of your training.
However, just below that, there are underdog exercises that you tend to forget about. Everybody loves an underdog correct? The one nobody expects to win but does just like the Eagles in last nights Super Bowl.
This usually gives most people a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
The following underrated 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 from winning. Just your muscles burning in appreciation.
1. Kettlebell 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 and results kettle bells can give you. 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. Get some today.
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. Both of these will allow you to do my personal favorite exercise, the Landmine press.
The Landmine press is 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 exercise.
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. Trust me, I’m a trainer.
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 without punishing yourself on the treadmill. 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 as this exercise directly targets the muscles weakened by this bad habit.
And who doesn’t want to stand loud and proud?
Insert one or more of these exercises into your routine pronto. Your body will reap the benefits and so will the scale.