I saw this recent article in the HUFFINGTON POST on the 18th October 2014. ” The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Probably Not Doing”. I thought mmmm, what could these be. I am very happy to report, that we do all of these exercises in my gym and have done for many many years.
Here is the article written by Eric Bach:
Every exercise in your strength program has a purpose — to help you build muscle, burn fat and improve your fitness. While there’s a time and a place for nearly any exercise under the right circumstance, some movements are simply more effective than others. And it should be no surprise that the ones that build a foundation for skills that you’ll use in real life will be the most beneficial for improving your fitness and quality of life.
So how does a lifter ensure they’re making all the right moves? If you’ve plateaued or just aren’t seeing the results you’re banking on, it’s time to get back to basics with these seven moves. From increased strength, better core stability, greater athleticism and improved overall health, these key exercises need to find their way into your routine.
1. Goblet Squat – Squats are an exercise many people struggle to perform safely and effectively. Luckily, the goblet squat is a great progression from a bodyweight squat before squatting with a bar. Because the load is held in front, the core works double-time to keep you tall, while your legs work to control your movement down and stand back up.
2. Pallof Press – The Pallof press is one of those movements that looks confusing, but is actually incredibly simple and beneficial. While you may not be hoisting heavy weight, the real challenge lies in resisting movement — in this case, rotation. That makes this an “anti-rotation” movement, forcing you to engage through your entire core: obliques, abs, lower back, glutes and more.
3. Dumbbell Row – Developing a strong back is key to balancing things out, improving posture and avoiding injury. The dumbbell row can help achieve all that, in addition to building strong arms and a strong core. The main muscles being used are the lats, traps and rhomboids, which reinforce good posture by pulling your shoulders back and aiding the core in stabilizing your spine
4. Push Up – The push up might appear basic, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do. The functional movement is great for training the upper-body pushing muscles — the anterior deltoids, triceps and chest. It also requires you to engage your core and allows full range of motion in your shoulder blades, unlike the bench press.
5. Split Squat – Traditional squats are great, but it’s important to incorporate single-leg movements to develop athleticism and minimize training imbalances. The split squat, a stationary lunge, does just that. The split stance requires you to balance with a narrow base of support, firing up stabilizing muscles of the hip and trunk while training your quads, glutes and hamstrings to perform the movement. In addition to building lower-body strength, the single-leg nature of the exercise helps improve balance and increase flexibility and stability in the hips.
6. Lateral Squat – The lateral squat combines two movements: a lateral lunge and a squat. It requires you to move side-to-side, providing a great stretch on the groin and inner thighs while training the hips, thighs and trunk to work together. Life isn’t strictly moving forwards and backwards. It’s best that your training isn’t either.
7. Hip Extensions (Glute Bridges/Hip Thrusts) – One of the most important muscle groups for any trainee — athlete, weekend warrior or newbie — is the glutes. Yet they are often neglected and underutilized from sitting for long periods each day. According to Campbell, “When we attempt movements from running to squatting without optimal hip movement we risk injury to our hips, knees and ankles. Getting glutes that not only switch on when they should but are strong is crucial, and that’s where this simple yet powerfully effective movement comes in.”
With all these exercises, pay close attention to form and execution. Continue to add weight to each lift once you can complete two more reps than prescribed with your training weight. Keep it up and after a few workouts you’ll start to notice rapid gains in strength and overall fitness. Within a few weeks you’ll have these exercises mastered and be on your way to having a body that better serves you!