Here’s a slightly revised article I did for Drum magazine. It’s all about those timeless weightlifting movements that – at one time or another – should be at the foundation of every regimen.
While there are a number of unique weight training exercises that can enhance your physique or athletic activity of choice, it’s always advisable to base your ongoing regimen around key foundational movements for superior overall strength and fitness. Body-Blasting Basics include three of the most important of these movements. Plus, you can do these back-to-back as an effective full-body workout when you’re pressed for time at the gym.
Perform sets in the 5 to 12-rep range after a thorough warm-up:
Dumbbell Presses: There is nothing better than these for accelerated chest development. Dumbbell presses also work the triceps and shoulders, making them one of the best “pushing” motion exercises around.
1. Sit on the edge of a flat bench and balance the dumbbells on each leg, then lie back into starting position while holding each dumbbell near either side of your chest.
2. Press each dumbbell simultaneously toward the ceiling until the elbows are almost completely locked-out.
3. Return the dumbbells to their starting position, which you will hit when then the top part of your arm is parallel to the ground. (No need to lower them all the way down to chest height.) That’s one rep.
Chin-Ups: This time-tested exercise is still the “big daddy” of them all when it comes to building a killer back. (They work the biceps really good, too!)
1. Grip the chin-up bar a little wider than shoulder-width.
2. With focus on your back muscles, slowly raise your body upward until you can see over the bar.
3. Slowly lower your body until just before your elbows lock out. (Keep your back slightly engaged at the bottom of the movement; don’t return to a “hanging” position.) That’s one rep.
Tip: If need be, you can perform these one, two, or three reps at a time, resting briefly before repeating. This will build chin-up strength over time.
Squats: While this movement has no equal for leg training, it also actively engages the entire body when done correctly.
1. With the barbell placed on the squat rack, step underneath it and balance the bar across the back of your shoulders.
2. Lift the bar off the rack and step back into your starting position, with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
3. Slowly squat down until the backs of your legs are parallel with the floor, making sure that your torso remains erect.
4. Raise yourself back up to starting position. That’s one rep.
Enjoy the burn of your Body-Blasting Basics!
PS. This is blog #8 in my 20-blogs-in-30-days series for June 2014. Hope you guys are digging the series…