Everybody goes on about the squat, deadlift and bench press! There’s no doubt that these exercises are excellent and can yield fantastic results.
The trouble is that lots of people doing these exercises are doing so incorrectly, increasing the likelihood of injury and poor posture. The number of people I see in the gym performing these exercises incorrectly is alarming and they can often do more harm than good!
In this post I want to focus on 5 exercises very few people do but are absolutely key to physique development. If you add the below exercises into your routine, perform them correctly and do them for the next 12 weeks you can expect the following results:
- Improved posture
- A more balanced physique (well proportioned)
- Increased strength across the board, especially with squats, deadlifts and the bench press
Without further ado let’s dive in…
#1 Split squats
Most people have one leg stronger than the other. When you do squats for example, it’s natural to rely more on your stronger leg. Over time this creates a further strength imbalance between the right and left leg and all squat progress comes to a grinding halt (not to mention back pain!).
One of the best exercises to work on both the right and left leg separately is the split squat. This awesome exercise hits all of the major muscles in the legs, including the quads, hamstrings and glutes.
#2 Glute bridge
Having a strong pair of butt muscles is essential, not only because it looks good! but it’s also imperative from a posture and injury prevention perspective. Lots of people with lower back pain have weak hamstrings and glutes, which makes the lower back work harder and eventually become strained.
One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to improve the strength in the glutes. The glute bridge is one of the best exercises to achieve this outcome.
Alongside reducing back pain you will also be able to squat more and have a more balanced looking physique.
#3 Face pulls
Shoulder issues are another common problem that people experience. Most shoulder injuries are due to the shoulder being out of alignment, often due to overuse, poor posture/flexibility and a weakness in the upper back muscles.
One of the best exercise for improving shoulder health is the face pull. Done correctly this exercise hits the rear shoulder muscles and helps to improve scapula retraction (pulling back of the shoulders).
If you add this into your routine 1-2x per week you’ll notice a big difference over the next month. Alongside this exercise make-sure you do plenty of pec stretches.
#4 Glute ham raise
I’ve already talked about the importance of having strong hamstring and glute muscles. The glute ham raise, if done correctly absolutely annihilates these muscles groups!
A word of warning…
If you are not careful this exercise will work/hurt your lower back. Remember practice makes perfect and seek professional help, make-sure you get a personal trainer to show you how it’s done properly.
#5 Rear Shoulder Raise
Most people have overdeveloped front shoulder muscles. This is due to external rotation of the shoulders, which is often due to years of driving, poor posture, and overusing muscles in the gym such as the chest, and shoulders (people who overdo the bench press and look like a door bouncer!)
The rear shoulder raise is an excellent exercise to help iron out the imbalances between the front and rear shoulder head. Add it to the beginning of each shoulder workout and perform 3-5 sets of 15-25 reps.
Thanks for reading,
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