6 Forgotten But Incredibly-Effective Exercises Which Need To Be Brought Back

forgotten exercises

Reliving the Golden Days

The beautiful sport of bodybuilding has evolved with time. Machines, juices, and glamour have taken over the bodybuilding world. Don’t get us wrong, we are not complaining, and neither is this article meant to compare the current bodybuilders with the good old days. We’re here to talk about the six forgotten exercises that need to be brought back for bodybuilding’s sake.

With the emergence of the online fitness scene, we see a lot of “influencers” posting their workouts online. We can’t help but notice how different their workouts are from the typical old-school training routines.

It’s almost as if the workout vanity is as important as the physiques that are a result of it. Now, there is nothing wrong with that but we miss watching nasty bodybuilders grunting through their workouts in pain, sweat, and sometimes even blood.

We have put together a list of exercises that were a hit with the golden-age bodybuilders but have now faded with time. Make these exercises a part of your exercise arsenal if you love the golden-age aesthetics as much as we do.

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6 Forgotten But Incredibly-Effective Exercises Which Need To Be Brought Back

Bench Tricep Dips

Imagine a sunny day in LA, and now picture yourself in a bare-bone gym in California surrounded by jacked dudes sporting staches, wearing tank tops and short shorts. Yep, we just narrated a scene out of the legendary documentary – Pumping Iron, and this is going to the theme of the article.

The triceps are an overlooked muscle. They don’t get the same love as their siblings – biceps. When people think “arm training” they usually picture themselves curling heavy dumbbells. Hardly anyone imagines themselves performing skullcrushers when arm training is brought up.

The bench tricep dips are on the verge of extinction and need to be rescued.


  1. Place your hands at a shoulder-width distance on a bench and lockout your elbows.
  2. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor at the top of the movement.
  3. Extend your legs until your upper legs are parallel and your lower legs are perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Place your feet flat on the floor.
  5. Slowly lower your upper body until your chest reaches bench height.
  6. Return to the starting position with an explosive movement and repeat for the recommended reps.

Modification: If you find this exercise too easy, you could add resistance by keeping your feet on an elevated platform or do what Arnold did – place a few weight plates on your lap and knock out the reps until the horseshoe muscles pop out at the back of your arms.

Barbell Wrist Curls

A few more years and you’ll only see people perform the barbell wrist curls in old bodybuilding videos or if a bodybuilding museum opens up someday. Forearms, these days, are considered nothing more than accessory muscles. People slap on a couple of fatgrips on their dumbbells or barbells and call it a day.


  1. Keep your forearms and elbows flat on a bench while holding a barbell with an underhand grip.
  2. Curl the barbell using your wrists and pause at the top of the movement for a couple of seconds.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired reps.

Mod: While holding the barbell with an underhand grip targets the sides of the forearms, grabbing the bar with an overhand grip will work the top of your forearms. Don’t let your ego get the better of you while performing this exercise. Use weights you’ll be able to follow a full range of motion with.

5 Reasons Why Your Calves Aren’t Growing

Donkey Calf Raises

Back in the day, hitting the gym was about training with buddies. These days, machines and Instagram have consumed the roles of training partners. Most people like working out on machines in isolation.

We would recommend performing the donkey calf raises with people on your back as it adds a new dimension to your training – stability. Aesthetics are fine but you should also focus on training for functionality. Donkey calf raises ranks high on the list of forgotten exercises that need to be brought back.


  1. Place your toes on an elevated platform.
  2. Bend over at your hips so that your upper body is taken out of the equation. It’s best to perform this exercise near a bench press or a smith machine as you’ll have something to hold on to.
  3. Ask your training partner to hop onto your back while you perform the calf raises with a full ROM.
  4. Hold and squeeze the life out of your calves at the top of the exercise.

Cross-Bench Dumbbell Pullovers

Dumbbell pullovers are one of the best exercises for building a V-tapered back, and yet only a few people consider adding them to their training routines. Performing the cross-bench dumbbell pullovers with a strict form will help open up your rib cage and add muscle mass to your lats.


  1. Lie down on a bench with your shoulder placed on the pads.
  2. Grab a dumbbell with both your hands over your chest.
  3. While keeping your elbows locked out, slowly lower the dumbbell until it is a few inches off the floor.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat for the recommended reps.
  5. Keep your hips low to the ground and make sure you don’t lift them while you’re performing the exercise.

Arm Blaster Curls

The arm blaster curls have to be one of the most badass bicep exercises of all times. We still don’t understand how it lost its charm with time and ended up on a list of forgotten exercises. If your gym doesn’t have an arm blaster, add one to your gym bag, and your arms will thank you later.


  1. Adjust the arm blaster so it fits snugly under your chest.
  2. Place the back of your elbows on the pads and grab a barbell while your arms are fully extended in front of you.
  3. Curl the barbell by bending at your elbows with a strict form.
  4. Only your lower arms should move while your upper arms stay in place.

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Roman Chair Situps

How often do you see the current Mr. Olympias train abs on a Roman chair? Back in the day, a Roman chair was a staple in an ab training routine. The Roman chair situps can be much harder than normal crunches as it requires a lot more control from your stabilizers and a strong core.


  1. The Roman chairs usually have a lot of moving parts so you’d want to have the roller height and seat distance adjusted right.
  2. Once you’re in position, place your hands on your chest or behind your head.
  3. Slowly lower your torso backward until you’re at least parallel to the floor.
  4. Return to the starting position with a slow and controlled motion.

Mod: You could make the exercise harder by adding resistance to the mix. Hold a dumbbell or a weight plate in front of your chest and perform the exercise to failure.


When it comes to working hard and performing these unbelievable exercises, having a good supplementation plan is something you can’t overlook. With exercises designed for serious growth and gains, like these above, looking to a solid protein powder or creatine supplement can really do the trick. For those looking to get a great pump, a pre-workout is an easy answer and a BCAA supplement is one to make sure all your muscle gains never go to waste. Regardless of what you need, make sure to have a solid supplement routine ready to go.

Do you use any of these forgotten exercises in your workout schedules? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.