If you’re going to spend time at the gym, it’s vital that you invest in the exercises that matter most! That means the movements that build your entire body, not just focus on the smaller, individual muscle groups. For those who want to get shredded and fit, here are the most important bodybuilding exercises to include in your daily routine:
No doubt about it, there are few exercises as good for your legs as squats! Front and Back Squats both help to target not only your quads, but also your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. The movement will give you better core stability and develop raw power in your legs—power that will translate into faster runs and higher jumps!
Deadlifts are one to be very careful with, because they place a lot of strain on your back. And yet, if you do them regularly, you’ll find your lower back is far less injury-prone because you’ve strengthened the muscles that protect your spine, specifically at the point where they intersect with your pelvis. Deadlifts are probably the most important exercise you can do for a strong core, and they will help to protect your back against all sorts of injuries.
For those who want to get shredded using their own bodyweight, push-ups are the king of exercises. Not only do they engage your chest muscles, but they work your triceps and shoulders as well. They help to develop better wrist strength, tighten your core, and help you to focus on maintaining proper form as you move. Plus, you can always find some variation that makes them a whole lot more challenging—it will always be easy to one-up your performance!
If you’re bulking up, bench presses are the best for your chest. They’re the classic bodybuilding exercise that we all know and love, and they can do wonders to pack on the pounds of muscle on your pecs. All you have to do to improve your chest muscle definition is change the angle (incline or decline) or the width of your grip (close grip, wide grip), and you’ll see bigger, badder pushing power in no time.
Pull-ups aren’t easy, but once you can master them, you’ll feel like a million bucks. They’re the best bodyweight exercise for all of your pulling muscles: upper back, biceps, shoulders, and forearms. They’ll develop serious grip strength and give you greater control over your bodyweight and movement. Plus, they’re your path to a huge upper back.
If your goal is to build stronger core muscles—and it always should be—the plank is a killer way to go. For 30 to 60 seconds, you’re keeping your core muscles engaged, leading to serious isometric contractions of the muscles. Turn to the side to focus on your core, get to the bridge position for your lower back, or try one of the many plank variations to give your abs a killer workout. Plank is guaranteed to build strength without risking your lower back!
To dedicate time and energy to your shoulders, the overhead press is your smartest move. Not only will it train your deltoid muscles, but it can hit your traps and your triceps, leading to far stronger pushing muscles. Perform them standing to get more control, one-handed to focus on your core, or sitting to allow for greater weight without straining your back. However you do it, you’ll soon see wicked results and shoulder muscles that are stronger than ever before.