6 Greatest Exercises To Build Strength
With the advancement and mainstreaming of machines in the gyms around the world, people tend to stick to exercises they’re comfortable doing. The sad news is, strength gains lie outside your comfort zone.
If you want to improve on your strength, you’ll have to give up the isolation exercises for compound (multi-joint) lifts. Performing the exercises mentioned in the article will take your strength gains to a whole new level.
Clean and Press
When was the last time you performed the clean and presses or saw someone perform then in your gym? Lifting weights off the floor and over your head is a badass way of putting your brute strength at the display.
The clean and press consist of two main movements. The first part entails lifting the barbell off the floor and to your shoulder level. In the second movement, you need to push the weight overhead. Return to the starting position with a slow and controlled movement, and repeat for the recommended reps.
Many people prefer using machines or doing rowing exercises in place of the deadlifts for convenience. The deadlifts should be a staple in your back workouts. An effective back workout should be as brutal (if not more) as an annihilating leg workout.
The deadlifts are a full-body exercise and are fantastic for building overall strength. Keep your chest up, back arched, and drive through the heels, knees, and hips to move the weight upward.
There’s a reason why the farmer’s walk (or a similar exercise) is a part of almost every strongman meet. Walking around while holding onto heavyweights will not only improve your strength but will also help in putting on muscle mass.
Set a one-minute timer and grab the heaviest pair of dumbbells you can find. You can add variations to the farmer’s walk by using a barbell or weight plates in place of the dumbbells.
The bench press is one of the best exercises to improve your pushing strength. The exercise can also help in developing your pectoral muscle size. With all the exercises listed in the article, your priority should be to learn the correct form of doing them rather than going after the heavier weights.
Keep your elbows pointing inwards while performing the bench press to reduce the chances of an injury. Most people expose themselves to a pec or shoulder blade tear by flaring out their elbows too wide.
The rack pulls are an incredibly effective but underutilized lift. The rack pulls are a modified version of the deadlifts where the bottom half of the movement is omitted. Lifting the barbell with a limited range of motion will put all the tension on your lats and will help in building strength.
While performing the exercise, most people make the mistake of bouncing the barbell off the rack. By using the momentum you’re leaving gains on the table by reducing the already limited range of motion of the lift.
Squats shouldn’t come as a surprise on this list. The big 3’s – deadlifts, bench press, and squats – are the compound exercises you shouldn’t skip at any cost if your goal is to build strength and muscle mass.
If you’re a beginner, start by performing easier versions of the exercises like the smith machine squats or dumbbell deadlifts and gradually progress onto the advanced versions with heavier weights.
*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.