Whether your goal is fat loss, build muscle tone and definition360 Fitness Kilkenny and/or maintain a healthy physique, there are certain principles that work when it comes to the correct type of exercises to perform for maximum results.
In my opinion all of the above should include a structured weights program as the foundation. The rep range and exercise selection may vary depending upon your goals, but the basic principles remain the same.
In this article I would like to discuss my favourite exercises to achieve maximum results and also offer some variations to prevent your workout form going stale.
So here are my top strength exercises for maximum results…
1. The Deadlift
In my opinion this is probably the best exercise to perform if you want a total body workout.
Because this exercise engages pretty much every muscle in your body, not only does it really tax your muscular system, it also gives you a great cardiovascular workout. Think the equivalent of performing a 100m sprint at your max capacity.
If your goal is strength and size, drop the rep range down to 4 to 6 reps and increase the number of sets you perform.
If your goal is weight loss and tone, keep the rep range between 10 to 15 reps/set.
Try performing with a Hex bar. This changes your grip position and also gets your centre of gravity more central during performing the exercise, thereby making it that bit easier.
Also, performing a sumo deadlift with an Olympic bar (wider stance, narrower grip) will engage your glutes more in the movement.
2. The Barbell Squat
In second place is the traditional barbell squat. This is a fantastic compound exercise for targeting your lower body, but if also engages the core to help stabilize your body during the lift.
As with the deadlift, you can change the rep range depending upon your overall goal.
If your shoulder, hamstring and glute mobility is poor (in other words if you struggle to hold an Olympic bar comfortably and/or struggle to get down deep in the movement) try performing goblet squats initially until your mobility improves. These can be gone with a single dumbbell or kettlebell and are a fantastic exercise for really engaging the core and glutes.
If you’re quite advanced with your squat technique, try getting a little lower (below 90 degrees) and maybe add a pause in at the bottom. This really helps build the muscle fibers through the full range of motion.
Tip: If you’re struggling to get down those final few inches without your upper body folding forward, try using plates under your heals to create more artificial dorsiflection at the ankles.
If you are looking for upper body strength and serious definition then this is the exercise for you. I mentioned this exercise in a previous blog and how, in my opinion, it is the best core exercise you can do. No exercise, bar the deadlift comes close. The core compression you generate while performing chin-ups makes sit-ups look like a waste of time. It really is fantastic exercise.
It takes a lot of commitment and consistency with your training the be able to eventually perform body weight chin-ups. To assist you, try using power bands. Wrap the bands around the chin-up bar and place one foot in the other end of the band. The tension generated from the band assists you during the movement by taking some of your weight.
If you can perform 10 chin-ups comfortably, then switch to pull-ups (change in grip position). These engage the lat muscles more. However,they are more difficult as you do not have the same engagement from the biceps.
Alternatively, try adding a little weight with the use of a dips belt.
The Barbell Bench Press
When it comes to weight training, most people are familiar with this exercise. The barbell bench press is another great compound movement which primarily targets the pec’s, triceps and front delts.
Mix between flat, incline and decline bench positions to rally target the chest muscles.
So there you have it, my top exercises for maximum results. Remember, results don’t happen over night, they take a combination of consistency, persistence and dedication, but choosing the exercises that give the greatest bang for your buck will certainly speed up the process.
To your health and fitness,