For as many programs as I write, I always seem to use a select few over and over! Below is my favorite exercises I use in my programming!
1. Dead lift Variation – It would be hard for me to back a program that doesn’t have some sort of dead lift to train the posterior chain. The biggest thing to keep in mind is picking the correct dead lift variation for the particular person. My personal favorites? Hex DL/SUMO DL/Regular DL. If I come across someone who just isn’t ready to Dead Lift due to posture restrictions, poor hip or ankle mobility, and/or lower back issues, I usually turn to the DB RDL’s or the Glute Ham Machine! So, watch this video and go pick something heavy off of the floor!
2. Push Up Variations – There just isn’t a better all around upper body pushing exercise! Not only do you get great shoulder strength development but the anterior core is engaged as the body is positioned in the plank. Plus, since you are pushing the ground it is a great ground based movement. And if you ask me there is nothing better than pushing the ground whether it is with your hands or heals!
3. Single Leg Exercise: DB Walking Lunge – There is a ton of Single Leg exercises I use, but the simplest one might be the best. The DB Walking Lunge is one I can always implement. Not only is it a great Singe Leg movement it also can be classified as a carry!
4. Carries – Farmer’s Walk & Suit Case Carry – If there was a lift that could be classified as a “Manly Lift” it would be the Carry! Talk about frying your CNS and developing your total core!
5. Roll outs/Fall outs: I just can’t express enough the importance of anterior core strength. I use a few different exercises. I start most off on the exercise ball roll outs, move to the TRX Fall outs, then progress to the AB Roll out!
DB Row: Great Horizontal pulling movement that beginners and advanced lifters can use!
Hip Hinge Variation- DB Swings: When talking about athletic development, the hip hinge movement is so important to teach and have your athletes master. DB Swings are one way to get the job done! Just remember it is NOT a squat and raise but rather a snap of the hips!