In the world of fitness, not all exercises are created equally; some are exponentially more effective than others, assuming proper form and appropriate resistance. And as it turns out, there are four crucial exercises that form the backbone of my workout.
If you’re looking for a solid workout foundation, start here:Barbell bench press
- . Quite frankly, it’s not a chest day without bench pressing. Although you can do a similar chest press with dumbbells, the barbell allows you to work with more weight and get better results. Though the bench press works similar muscles as a push up, the ability to progressively increase resistance (i.e., add more weight) makes it more effective.
Barbell bicep curls.
- Nothing works my arms like the barbell bicep curl. Similar to the bench press, using a barbell allows you to curl more weight than trying to balance dumbbells. Assuming proper form, more weight means better results. And even though you’ll need to include other exercises to work your triceps and forearms, barbell bicep curls are a great place to start.
- Barbell squats are an awesome compound exercise that works your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps and calves. In my opinion, there’s no single exercise that’s more effective for your lower body. While many people cut their squats short (it’s important to squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor), proper form produces great results – and it’s the best exercise for getting that bubble butt you’ve always wanted.
Dumbbell shoulder press.
- When it comes to getting strong, broad shoulders, I’m a huge fan of the dumbbell shoulder press. Though I’ve experimented with the barbell shoulder press, I find the apparatus to be cumbersome and unavailable at most gyms. The dumbbell shoulder press does the trick.
What’s the most important exercise in your workout? Let me know in the comments below!