Have you ever wondered what are the 20 greatest exercises of all time? In this video, I am going to put together a list of what I feel are the 20 greatest exercises of all time and why I feel so strongly about them so that way you know exactly which ones you should be including in your workout routine. Not only that, I am going to give you some tips for each exercise that will help to make sure you are getting the absolute most benefit out of them.
In this list of 20 great exercises, there are going to be some exercises that you would expect anyone to include in the top 20 as well as a few exercises that you might be surprised to be given such a high honor. You can expect that some of the bigger, compound lifts are surely going to make the list – but you might be shocked to find some smaller, more corrective exercises within the rankings as well.
I believe that some corrective exercises hold more weight in their benefits than you might have considered before watching the video. Just because they are a smaller exercise that targets smaller, more neglected muscle groups does not make them any less important. In fact, I would argue that that is what makes them so much MORE important than people give them credit for.
That being said, let’s take a look at the list and see which exercises fall into the category of greatest of all time…
First up, we have the barbell squat otherwise known as the king of all leg exercises. To make sure you are getting the most out of this leg exercise, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Make sure that you are moving the pelvis and the ribcage together as a single unit. This will prevent the dreaded squat morning and make sure that the exercise remains fluid. Secondly, try to “grip the ground” with your toes to help create a stable base through the foot. Doing so will make sure that you remove any instability from the bottom of the kinetic chain.
Next up is the barbell curl. I like to add a little extra weight to this exercise and utilize the cheat variation because I can get a great overload on the biceps as well as taking advantage of my strength in the eccentric portion of the lift. One thing I like to do with the cheat curl is to keep a staggered stance – this is actually helpful for the cheat portion of the lift because it sets ourselves up to avoid excessive lean when bringing the bar up.
The dumbbell bench press is on this list of the greatest exercises of all time and for good reason. An awesome chest based exercise that is great for overloading the pecs and adds in a slight bit more adduction than it’s barbell-based cousin. Like the barbell bench press, it is important to take advantage of the use of your legs during the press by utilizing leg drive. Some people might argue that they avoid the dumbbell version based on shoulder problems they may have, but I often give the suggestion to play around with the speed or tempo of the reps as slowing them down may actually help solve a stability problem.
No list of greatest exercises could be complete without the inclusion of pullups. My suggestion on this exercise is to stop simply trying to increase the number of reps you can do on the exercise and instead add some weight to overload the movement. The weighted pull-up is a great strength developer and muscle building exercise when included into a routine. One tip that I would give with this exercise is to instead of pulling with your biceps and forearms, use the lats. My cue for this is to put your elbows in your back pockets on each rep.
If the squat is the king of all leg exercises, then the reverse lunge has to be considered the prince. By training through a staggered stance, we are making use of functional, real world movement patterns. Not only that but the exercise maintains an important versatility as well; not only does the lunge allow you to train with either a barbell or dumbbells to match your strength capabilities, you can also alter your torso position to better target different muscle groups.
Of course, there are many more exercises on this list to help you build muscle and get stronger. Be sure to watch the whole video to get the entire list and a breakdown on each exercise.
If you’re looking for a complete workout plan that includes the exercises featured on this list of the greatest of all time, be sure to head to athleanx.com via the link below and use the program selector to find the program that best matches your current goals.
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