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The 5 Best Exercises You're Not Doing

If you've been sticking with a regular resistance training routine, chances are you're doing the same workouts on a weekly basis. While consistency is the key to success, it's also going to lead to plateaus in terms of strength, muscle growth, and weight loss. It's time to shake things up and try something new!

Here are a few of the best exercises you're not doing that you should be including in your workouts:

  1. Crush-Grip Dumbbell Press – Do this to double the effectiveness of your Chest Day workout! Lie back on the bench, gripping a dumbbell in each hand. When you lower the weights to your chest, press the dumbbells together as hard as you can. This increases the engagement of the chest and shoulder muscles, leading to an even more effective workout. It's a great finisher after a few sets of bench presses!
  2. Front Squats – This is the leg exercise to place more emphasis on your thighs and straighten your spine. Most people do back squats, with the weight resting on the back of your neck as you squat. Instead, hold the barbell across your shoulders, and keep your back and neck perfectly straight as you go into the squat. It can help to reduce the strain on your spine, making the squats a bit easier on your back.
  3. Wide-Grip Upright Row – Upright rows are amazing for your shoulders, but opening the grip a bit will work on the lateral deltoids as well as the anterior deltoids. Stand with your feet spread shoulder width apart, and grip the barbell just beyond shoulder width. Bring it just up to the level of your nipples, then lower to the original position. You'll feel the burn in the front and sides of your shoulders.
  4. Good Mornings – These are an amazing exercise for your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Instead of doing the classic Deadlifts, you can try this movement with the weight resting directly on your shoulders. It works the lower back and lower body from a unique angle, and forces you to control your movements. Stand with your feet spread just beyond shoulder width apart, with the barbell resting across the back of your neck. Bend slowly forward until your chest is parallel to the ground, then stand back up straight.
  5. Overhead Squat – If you want to go truly hardcore, this is the movement for you! The Squat works on your legs, but the fact that you're holding a weight overhead means your shoulders and arms are engaged. Your back also does a lot of the work of maintaining your balance. The result is one AMAZING full body workout, including emphasis on your core. Stand in a regular Squat position, with a lightweight barbell in a regular grip. Lift the barbell straight overhead and hold it there without locking your elbows. Drop into a Squat, hold for a 1-count, then come back up to stand. Do not lower the weight until you have completed your set.

These 5 exercises can be a wonderful addition to any workout program, and they'll help you to kick your fitness up a notch!

[Image via Getty]

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