The Best Strength Training Moves You May Not Be Making
Strength training is a very important part of your overall health and fitness repertoire. Strength exercises help you in building strength and muscle, burning fat and improving your overall fitness. Exercise movements that build upon and provide a foundation for everyday life activities are going to be the best ones for your fitness. Let’s take a look at some of the strength training movements fitness experts recommend, including exercises that benefit women and exercises that benefit men. Are you making the best moves for you?
Your Fitness Program
Every fitness program needs these basic factors, regardless of your gender, your current fitness level, or your ultimate goals. These basic factors are:
- Cardio moves
- Strength training moves
- Flexibility moves
- Necessary diet changes
- Necessary lifestyle changes
- Motivation to stick with it all
Cardio exercise gets your heart rate up, increasing your breathing and endurance as well. These are your aerobic exercises. Strength or weight training exercises strengthen your muscles, increase your stamina, and enable your body to burn more calories, even at rest. Flexibility moves will enable you to do your cardio and strength training moves completely and efficiently, and will also help your muscles to recover properly after your workout. 1Fitness experts agree that the best weight training exercises are the big movements that engage as much muscle mass at one time as possible.
If you find yourself at a point where it doesn’t seem like you’re making any progress – you’re not going backward but you’re not going forward either – you may have hit a plateau. Plateaus can happen with weight loss, strength training, etc. The best way to get yourself past a plateau is to shake things up a bit. Change your diet a bit, keeping in line with your weight loss goals; add a new move into your exercise program; switch activities, for example instead of only running, alternate running with swimming or fast walking or biking, etc.
Strength Training Moves for Men
With deadlifts you are lifting as much weight as possible from the floor. It’s important that you keep your center of gravity stable to avoid back strain.
3Deep Barbell Squats
It’s important, while doing these squats, that you go low. You want your hips to dip below your knees and again, you want to keep your movements slow and steady so you’re not relying on momentum to execute the move.
The Farmer’s Walk uses weights as you’re walking to condition and to increase strength. Increase the weight you carry with each session.
Also called the Wood Chop, this exercise builds fundamental strength as you lift and swing an ax. Extra points for pushing the wheelbarrow afterward!
Strength Training Moves for Women
The Split Squat is classified as a stretching move that works the hamstrings. You’ll use your own body weight in this move, no need for weights.
The Plank is a strengthening move that targets your abdominals. Keep your body straight all through this move and hold this move for as long as possible.
8One-Arm Dumbbell Row
This is another strengthening move and it focuses on your middle back. It’s important that while executing this move you keep your back muscles squeezed and that you’re using the back muscles NOT your arms.
9Dumbbell Bench Press
This move targets your chest muscles as you raise dumbbells, one in each hand, to shoulder width, as you lay on a flat bench.
General Strength Training Exercises
The Kettlebell Swing targets your legs, shoulders, glutes, lower back and hamstrings while also increasing your heart rate and endurance.
The Prowler is a sled-like piece of equipment with weights on it. The exercise consists of you pushing the Prowler for as far and as long as possible.
12Weighted Back Squat
The Weighted Back Squat is just that – you squat while holding weight across the back of your shoulders. This is a full-body move that burns calories both during and after exercising. Along with building strength it also helps you develop better mobility.
Another full-body movement, the Thruster targets your quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, shoulder, upper back and triceps. In this move you combine a front squat with a push press.
For an efficient fitness program and to see the results you’re striving for, make sure your exercise and fitness program includes the basics listed previously. To make sure you’re investing your time and energy in weight training exercises that will give you noticeable, measurable results, incorporate some (or all) of these weight training movements into your exercise program. Happy strengthening!
1,6,7,8,9“Women’s Strength Training: Your Guide to a Sexy & Fit Body!” Nia Shanks, https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/womens-strength-training-guide.html
2,3,4,5”The 7 Best Exercises to Build Brute Strength,” Amy Roberts, CPT, https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/7-best-exercises-build-brute-strength/
10,11,12,13 “The 15 Most Underrated Exercises According to Trainers,” Alex Orlov, http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/underrated-exercises-for-beginners/
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