What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises?
Most people have an idea now that strength training can be highly beneficial towards their fitness goals – whether those goals are improved athletic performance, weight loss, strength gains or injury rehabilitation. What many people are unsure about, however, is what the best strength training exercises are. They often wonder whether they should be using free weights or machines, whether kettlebells are best, or dumbells, or barbells, and exactly which exercises they should be doing.
While every exercise has benefits for some people, in general the best strength training exercises are the compound lifts. These are the exercises that promote overall strength – exercising all of the body. This builds functional strength and also has the benefit of preparing the body for more focused training at a later date. It is not a good idea to start doing isolation exercises with very heavy weights if you have a weak core and weak shoulders, for example, because while most of the muscles in your body will be able to cope, the one part in the chain that lets you down could lead to serious injury.
So, here is a quick overview of some of the best strength training exercises:
The squat is a great exercise and one that is often overlooked. The stereotype of the beach-loving gym guy that spends endless hours doing biceps curls but that has underdeveloped legs exists for a reason. There is a lot of pride associated with having big biceps and a good bench press record, but squats are less glamorous. Squats are also very hard work, so few people enjoy doing them. However, done right squats develop the legs in a way that other lifts do not, and they also develop the core muscles. There are some that theorise that squatting heavy weights can actually promote the release of hormones that help you to build more muscle. So, in essence, squatting heavy helps to make you much stronger, and could improve your bench press total in the long term too.
The deadlift is another great strength training exercise. This exercise is important because it helps you to get stronger core muscles, as well as building up your legs and also your grip. If you are a manual laborer and you need functional strength then this is a great exercise.
But what about if you do not have access to a barbell? Well, Turkish getups are a great exercise, and one that can be done with just a kettlebell or dumbell held overhead. The beauty of this exercise is that if you have space to lie down and stand back up again, you have space to do a Turkish Getup. So, you can take a small kettlebell with you when you are traveling and do the exercise in a hotel room.
Anyone Can Get Strong
Anyone can get strong, as long as they are willing to exercise on a regular basis. You do not need to pay for an expensive gym membership or spend a lot of money on supplements. Simply taking the time to challenge yourself by lifting heavy weights – or even doing bodyweight exercises – a few times a week will help you to put on quality muscle mass in the long term. If you combine this with calorie counting, you can lose fat and get the body you have always wanted, or manage your weight so that you end up in the correct weight class for your chosen sport. There is no magic or mystery – strength training is all about dedication.
For some other examples of great strength training exercises feel free to check the video below… good luck!