Exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health.
There are countless ways to workout, but some exercises are more effective and beneficial than others.
Here are the top 10 exercises that anyone and everyone should try, including push-ups, pull-ups, squats, single-leg RDLs, single-arm rows, etc...
Always make sure to modify exercises according to your needs as some pains are not worth just "working through it."
Alrighty then... let's get jacked!
PS Stick around to the end of the article for 5 honorable mentions!
Ps My favorite is probably number 8!
1: Push-ups: Everyone loves a good pump!
This a classic exercise that strengthens the chest, triceps, and shoulders. They can be done anywhere and require no equipment.
To do a proper push-up, start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest almost touches the ground, then push back up to the starting position.
My favorite way to modify the push-up is by doing them on an incline and gradually lowering as you get stronger.
Check out a free 7-Day Trial to my workout subscription here! A new 4-week phase of my Gym Gainz Guide and Bodyweight Blaster Plan starts on Monday 10/9. Gain momentum now, rather than waiting for January!
2: Pull-ups: an excellent upper body exercise that targets the back and biceps. I would probably crown the strict pull-up as the king of upper body exercises.
They can be challenging, but with practice, anyone can master them.
To do a pull-up, grip a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar, then lower yourself down.
You can modify pull-ups by using a band for assistance doing a modified version in my quick YouTube tutorial.
3: Squats: Ain't no chicken legs up in herrrrr. (Pretty sure that was grammatically correct)
This is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The KING of all exercises. Bow peasants.
They are great for building lower body strength and improving mobility.
To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground (I like to go hip crease below the knee). Then drive the feet into the ground and push back up to the starting position.
4: Single-leg RDLs: Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for improving balance and stability while strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.
This exercise is for athletes and anyone wanting to stay nimble and build an athletic physique.
To do a single-leg RDL, stand on one foot with a slight bend in the knee. Hinge at the hips and lower your torso while raising your opposite leg behind you until it is parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side or complete one whole set on one leg, then switch.
I program this exercise weekly in my Free 4-Week Workout Ebook (Link Here)!
5: Single-arm rows: a great exercise for strengthening the upper back and to do build unilateral strength.
Building unilateral strength ensures that we don't have imbalances between extremities!
To do a single-arm row, hold a dumbbell in one hand and place your opposite hand on a bench or other stable surface. With your back flat and your core engaged, pull the weight up toward your chest, then lower it back down.
6: Bent lateral raises: If you want to build boulder shoulders and improve posture... this exercise is for you!
To do a bent lateral raise, bend over at the waist with a slight bend in the knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Raise your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the ground, then lower them back down.
I like 3 sets of 12-15 reps!
7: Overhead presses: Build the delts, triceps, and core with this classic shoulder exercise. If the core is braced correctly, these make for an awesome ab strengthener.
To do an overhead press, hold a barbell or dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Press the weight overhead until your arms are fully extended, then lower it back down.
8: Sprints: Probably the most underused, highly effective exercise.
Sprints can both help build muscle and aid in fat loss. Jogging doesn't do that. Or "Yogging. It might be a soft 'j.'"
They are great for improving speed, power, and cardiovascular health. To do a sprint, run as fast as you can for a short distance, then rest and repeat.
9: Swimming: I'll be honest... I hate swimming. But...
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for improving cardiovascular health, endurance, and muscle strength. Due to hydrostatic pressure it is also great for recovery.
10: Superman holds: An excellent exercise for strengthening the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Posture is such a huge issue due to all the time on devices. This is a super effective posture perfector!
To do a superman hold, lie face down with your arms and legs extended. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground. This is an exercise that can be performed daily.
Add these top 10 exercises and their variations to your workouts to level up your fitness. Remember to modify in order to reflect your current fitness level.
On push-ups for instance, I would rather you modify and do 10 quality push-ups from the knees than doing a harder version with poor form.
Biceps: Seated Incline Curl (I like 3x12 heavy, lower slowly)
Triceps: Ez Bar Skull Crushers (3x12)
Abs: Hanging Leg Raises (3x15-20)
Calves: Seated Calve Raise (3x8-12 slow reps)
Functional: Single Arm Farmers Carries (3-5 trips of 40 yds/ side)
Alright... let's hit the gym!!! (or the track or pool!!!)
Ps Check out my "about me" page for more on my story!