Every good fitness trainer has at least a few dozen exercises they recommend for all of their clients--movements that are tried and true. These classic exercises are effective, but it's good to switch things up in order to really see growth.
But sometimes trainers don't know best. They don't know ALL of the exercises, especially the less-common ones that can do wonders for your fitness. Here are a few of the best:
1. Weighted Push-Ups Between Benches
Want to give those chest muscles the workout of a lifetime? Get off the floor, and do wide-grip push-ups between two benches. Have your trainer place a weight disc on your back, and dip as low as you can to really push your chest, shoulders and triceps.
2. Dive Bomber Push-Ups
This exercise will shred your shoulders, chest and triceps, and even push your core. It's a tough movement that you will have to practice in order to get right, as you have to dip down low into the push-up to really feel the burn. The beauty of this one is that you can customize it according to your fitness level.
3. Suitcase Deadlifts
Want to push your core and isolate those traps? Grip a barbell or dumbbell in one hand, and lift it like you would a suitcase. Make sure to repeat the deadlift on the other side to balance out the workout.
4. Behind the Neck Cable Row with Rope
A behind-the-neck cable row with a bar is not recommended, as it places a strain on the wrists and shoulder joints. With the rope, however, you have a lot more flexibility, and there's less wrist and shoulder strain.
5. Overhead One Arm Dumbbell Press
Push your core as well as your shoulders and triceps with this workout. The fact that you're only using one arm at a time means your core is straining to keep you balanced, and it increases the range of motion for your shoulder. Stand with your back straight and your free hand by your side as you press the dumbbell over your head one handed.
6. Seated Good Mornings
Want to shred those hamstrings? Try the classic Good Morning exercise, but in a seated position. It will still give your lower back and glutes a great workout, but the position will place more focus on the backs of your legs.
7. Leg Curls with Resistance Bands
Push your hamstrings even harder with this variation. Adding the resistance band to the leg curl machine will force your legs to work hard as you curl, and you will never get a break from the tension as you do the exercise. It will have your hamstrings and calves blazing by the end of the set.
8. Drag Curl
Do this one like you would a regular curl, but drag it up to the front of your body instead of doing the traditional curl. It's much harder to cheat on this exercise, and will make those biceps work hard!
9. One Arm Shrug
Grip a barbell or dumbbell in one hand and shrug it. The uneven distribution of weight will force your core to engage, and you'll have a greater range of motion in your shoulders than you would with a barbell gripped in both hands.
10. 3 x 30s
This is a personal favorite of mine to get my calves burning. Point your toes outward like a penguin, and do 30 calf raises. Without stopping, do another 30 with your toes pointed forward, and another 30 with the toes pointed inwards. The 90 calf raises will set those calves on fire and will give the muscles an even tone.
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.