Over the years, thousands of exercises have been invented. Everyone is looking for a new, better way to target their muscles. Either for strength or size, weightlifting innovations have changed the way we work out for the better. With that in mind, some exercises just stand the test of time, even decades later. If you want to skip the gimmicks and just build a solid workout around the tried and true, iconic foundational lifts, throw on your weightlifting clothes and give these a shot.
The Standard in Strength: Bench Press
From beginners to world-class powerlifters, the bench press is a favorite of many. It’s one of the first lifts we ever learn and is a staple in weightlifting routines everywhere. That’s because it’s a powerful compound exercise to help build strength, size, and overall power. With proper form, the bench press targets your chest, core, front delts, and triceps.
Deadlifts Work Your Entire Posterior Chain
Why are deadlifts one of the best exercises? If being able to lift double (or triple!) your own body weight isn’t cool enough, deadlifts also help build a strong foundation of strength from head to toe. Deadlifts work nearly every part of your body. You can also do variations, such as Romanian or stiff-legged deadlifts. They’re difficult and take a lot out of you, but they’re well worth it if you care about your overall strength.
Preacher Curls Target Your Bicep Peak
No matter how long you’ve been lifting, you probably see room for growth, specifically in your biceps. We all wish we had bigger arms, and the preacher curl is the top exercise to isolate your biceps. You can do a preacher curl with dumbbells, a barbell, or with a machine. Focus on squeezing your biceps at the top of the movement and slowly lowering the weight to unlock a ferocious pump.
Single-Arm Overhead Tricep Extensions Maximize Arm Day
The long head of the tricep is one of the hardest parts of your body to train or develop. The best way to target this area is through overhead exercises, such as single-arm overhead tricep extensions. It’s a controlled movement that effectively targets the muscle group. Perform this movement in a slow and controlled manner, and you’ll be sweating through your weightlifting clothes in no time.
Arnold Presses Work Your Shoulders Beneath Your Weightlifting Clothes
Do you want to feel like Arnold when you put on your stringer tank tops? Then you need to include Arnold’s signature exercise in your routine. Why are Arnold presses the best, other than being invented by one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time? They train all three heads of the shoulder. These comprehensive presses will help you develop boulder shoulders.
Squats for Legs, Core, and Overall Strength
Aside from the bench press and deadlift, the barbell squat might be the absolute king of strength and size-building movements. Squats are an absolute must in any weightlifting routine from your first workout until the very end. They target muscle development throughout your legs, along with your core. You can mix them up too, playing around with different rep ranges and variations.
With these six exercises in your routine, you’re practically guaranteed to make progress, no matter your experience. While some trends may come and go, these six exercises will never let you down. Now get after it!
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