We all have our favorite training regimen or our go-to piece of equipment at the gym. No matter how you like to work out, there are certain exercises that we can all benefit from adding into our daily routines.
The next time you head to the gym, try these time-tested favorites to sculpt yourself into shape:
The deadlift is a strength training exercise that works out almost every major muscle group in your body. You lift a weighted barbell from the floor to your hips while keeping your spine neutral.
The deadlift is great for improving core strength. Why do crunches when you can work out your abs by deadlifting? You’ll also be working out your back, legs and upper body.
The back squat is another strength exercise that targets your lower body. To do a back squat, position a barbell on your upper back before bending down into a squat. It is best not to go too deep to avoid injury.
Almost every major muscle group in your leg is worked by a back squat. You can build up the muscles around your hips, knees and ankles to help strengthen the joints.
The bench press is one of the most popular lifting exercises used in strength training. From a laid pack position, you lift a weighted barbell upwards in a series of reps. It’s especially important to have a spotter for this exercise, since there is a danger of accidentally dropping the barbell and breaking bones in your chest.
Bench-pressing mainly works out your pectoral muscles along with your shoulders and arms. When done correctly, your abs should also burn a little from generating some of the power.
A kettlebell is a heavy cast-iron ball with a handle that can be incorporated into your workout routine. Kettlebells are not only great for strength training, but also for the development of balance and posture.
The kettlebell swing is a full body exercise where you simply swing the kettleball back and forth between your legs. You core, glutes and hamstrings are all worked especially hard.
The suspended pushup has been shown to work muscle groups more strenuously than a conventional pushup. You have to use a suspension training system such as the TRX system, which is designed to help you take advantage of your own body weight to train.
A suspended pushup works a lot like a regular pushup. You grab onto two suspended rings or handles and set yourself at a 45° angle to the floor. As you do pushups, your arms have to work hard to keep your wrists stabilized and your core has to stay tight.
The pull-up is a true classic when it comes to strength training. It also relies on the weight of your body to work out muscles. You simply grasp a bar, pull yourself up to chin height, and slowly lower yourself back down again.
Pull-ups are a great way to sculpt your arms, back and shoulders.
A medicine ball is a heavyweight rubber ball that is a powerful tool for strength training. Medicine balls can be heavier than they look, so be careful not to accidentally overexert yourself.
The medicine ball slam is exactly what it sounds like-you lift the medicine ball over your head and slam it back into the ground. This primarily works your core, but you’ll also feel your lats burning.
The farmer’s walk isn’t exactly a lifting exercise, but it goes a long ways towards building strength and endurance. Pick up a pair of dumbbells that are as heavy as you’re comfortable with and walk a brief distance using quick, short steps.
This works out almost every major muscle group, but especially targets your forearms. You also get a slight cardio workout from the effort of carrying around all that weight.
To do a military press, you stand and lift a barbell above your head. This lift is a great upper body developer, especially for your shoulders and triceps.
There is also a seated variation of the military press, but it doesn’t work the abs as much. Standing exercises should be used whenever possible if you want to strengthen your core.
A resistance band is a simple and handy piece of exercise equipment that’s great for strengthening muscles. Instead of using conventional weights to train, you work out using elastic resistance from the band.
While seated on a bench, secure a resistance band behind your ankles. Make sure the other end is anchored securely in front of you. Bring your legs slowly back, and then release the tension. As the name suggests, this exercise is geared towards working out your hamstrings.