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 Post subject: Best Weight Lifting Exercises
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:41 pm 
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We talk about this exercise for back, that exercise for chest but when it comes right down to it what exercises give you the biggest bang for your buck? What really are the BEST exercises for everyone? It's a tall order but I think I can shed some light on that.

I've done some research and have come up with exercises that focus on a specific muscle group but that also provide the most benefit in terms of supporting or secondary muscle use, cardiovascular demand and flexibility - meaning exercises that can be done anywhere, with or without weights, with or without spotters. I've broken it out by bodypart as best as possible and limited the field to the single best exercise as much as I could.


Nearly all the sources I used came back with the same two answers for chest/arms - pushups or benchpress.
Where the debate occurs is whether or not the best angle (or lack of angle) is flat or inclined to 45 degrees. The argument becomes one of aesthetics really - at least in my opinion so doesnt really belong here.

Interestingly I found Dips to be the runner in third.


It was a flat out tie between presses and upright rows so lets look at both of those. Presses (either seated or standing, dumbell or barbell) involve quite a few muscle groups aside from shoulders. They use abdominals, obliques and serratus to stabilize the core, triceps and forearms to support the movement of the weight and even lower back as well, especially at heavier weights.

Upright rows place a greater emphasis on the trapizius than presses do and more workload on the forearms and biceps brachii with less on the triceps. If used together in combination these two exercises should prove to be nearly perfect for the development of respectable, muscular detloids


As with shoulders I found two exercises neck and neck for top spot so lets look at those together. Pullups/chinups and bent over rows were the contenders for best exercise yet they are different enough that each warrants its own place in this. For example, the pullup/chin up is a great upper back exercise that relies heavily on bicep and forearm strength to carry the body through the ROM. Rhomboids, lats and rear delts all kick in major effort as the primary movers in the exercise.

Bent over rows tend to take aim at the middle of the back moreso than the upper back (unless the lifter is not bent over far enough in which case it'll be all upper back and rear delts all day long). Greater emphasis is placed on the latisimuss dorsi and rhomboids while even the trapizius is stimulated. Biceps have to work but dont seem to get the same pounding that they do with the chinup variation on pullups.


In theory arms should get enough work through supporting the efforts of chest and back but if a little extra arm work is needed these are the two you want to try...

Biceps: standing simultaneous hammer curls.
Triceps: Skullcrushers


Legs are almost universally understood to benefit from the same two exercises: squats and stiff legged deadlifts. 'Nuff said?

There you are, the TOP TEN best exercises for any weight lifting program. Simply by doing these exercises in sufficient quantity anyone should be able to create and/or maintain a respectable physique as long as they feel its a priority.


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