There are a lot of great exercises you can use in the gym. Walk into any decent commercial gym and you’ll probably see between 50 and 150 stations. There will be cable areas, hammer Strength and Nautilus machines, and of course free weights and benches. You might have a hard time discerning between the many options available to you. That’s normal. Today, we’ll be looking at a list of the top ten movements you should be using in the gym each week. You should be using them, and adding additional exercises as you learn about their function or just plain fall in love with certain movements.
If you don’t have any serious injuries holding you back, then you have no excuse not to be using these movements on a weekly basis. Moreover, as a rule, if you are using all ten of these movements each week for at least four sets, and you are using moderately heavy weights, there is no way you aren’t adding muscle to your frame. Use these ten weekly, eat and sleep correctly, and you will see growth!
Crunches, while often overlooked, deliver good looking abdominals and a midsection almost impervious to injury. If you want to look good and perform well, you need to complete 2 to 3 days of crunches each week.
Parallel bar dips are very useful for adding mass to the triceps and chest. Keep the chin to the chest for maximum exercise efficiency.
If a wide and thick back (as well as great overall functional strength that could one day save your life) is what you desire, then 40 or more repetitions of Chins belong in your routine.
Deadlifts add thickness to the lower back and hamstrings, and help to facilitate overall body weight gains. Use heavy weights and a back brace when completing this movement.
Close-grip bench press is the best movement for pure and unadulterated upper arm mass. Keep the weight heavy and the reps in the 6 to 8 range, following a warm up.
Standing barbell biceps curls are the top movement for adding mass to the biceps. Use this movement each week for at least four sets of slow and steady repping.
Seated dumbbell military presses are a terrific mass builder for the shoulders, triceps, and entire upper body region. Lean back on an elevated incline bench when completing this movement to keep the rotator cuff safe.
Barbell rows are useful for strengthening and building the upper back, as well as the biceps, forearms, and deltoids. When you see a thick bodybuilder in the gym, there is a 100% chance he enjoys barbell rows.
Bench Pressing is essential for building upper body mass and strength. The chest is the primary body part targeted, but the triceps and shoulders are used in secondary roles as well. Back, biceps, and forearm muscles also come into play. This exercise is the top upper body builder.
And the number one exercise you should be using each week for mass is, of course, the barbell squat. This painful movement delivers mass to the entire lower body primarily, but inspires growth throughout the rest of the body through hormone release. If you have healthy knees, this exercise should be a mainstay in your weekly lifting routine.
There you have it. Use each of these exercises during the week for at least four working sets following a warm up. Sprinkle in additional movements as you see fit. You can’t help but grow!
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