What are the best strength workouts?
When you first start strength training , the exercises can feel tough, which might have you wondering how you can get stronger so your workouts can go more smoothly.
After all, if every move is a struggle, it can be hard to motivate yourself to even start a Workout routine let alone give it a solid effort.
But as you get stronger and more familiar with the exercises, you’ll likely find it easier to execute each move. Once that happens, you can focus more on the workout in front of you. And that can help you get even stronger.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what you need to do to get stronger, we have you covered. Here are a few exercises to get started.
One of the purest tests of strength, the squat incorporates almost all the muscles in your legs and core.
Once your form is solid, you can add weight by holding dumbbells or a bar in front of your shoulders (front squat), resting a barbell on your back (back squat), or holding a weight in front of you (goblet squat).
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Lower your hips into a squat as you bend your knees and keep your back flat.
- Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Push into the floor through your heels to return to start. That’s 1 rep.
- Keep your heels flat and knees aligned with your second toe so they don’t cave in.
Deadlifts are considered hands-down one of the best exercises to train the backside of your body, namely your glutes and hamstrings.
And because you’re working from a stable base, you can really load up the weight on these. There are a bunch of different varieties of deadlifts, like the traditional barbell (where you pull the weight from the floor), and sumo (with a wider stance and toes pointing out.)
Proper form is essential to protect your lower back, so it’s a good idea to practice this with a lighter weight in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable with the exercise.
Remember to lift with your legs, not with your back. (That’s true for pretty much every exercise, but especially with the deadlift.) If you don’t have a barbell, you can use a pair of heavy dumbbells or even a loop resistance band.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms relaxed by the front of your quads, with a dumbbell in each hand. This is the starting position.
- Hinge forward at your hips and bend your knees slightly as you push your butt way back. Keeping your back flat, slowly lower the weight along your shins. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your core engaged, push through your heels to stand up straight and return to the starting position. Keep the weight close to your shins as you pull.
- Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. That’s 1 rep.
Moving your own bodyweight is one of the best signs of strength. If a regular push-up from the floor is too challenging at first, you can modify it by elevating your hands on a step or a table—the higher your hands, the easier it will be.
The push-up works all the pressing muscles in the upper body, including your chest, shoulders, and triceps, and can help you get stronger in the dumbbell or barbell chest press.
- Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and core and glutes engaged.
- Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. Drop to your knees if needed.
- Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms. That’s 1 rep.
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