Weight lifting exercises

Weight lifting exercises of all types and forms will be discussed in detail here. I’ll explain the best exercises and go over all of their substitutions for use with the WLC weight lifting workouts.

Please take your time learning proper form and technique for ANY exercise you plan on using in one of your weight lifting workout programs.

The most important thing you can do for each exercise once you have learned proper form and technique is to focus on getting stronger each and every workout. You should always try to increase the weight even if by a small amount OR try to do an additional rep with the same weight.

Always focus on making progress. If you don’t make progress for a single workout, don’t worry about it and come back stronger the next workout. All of the weight lifting workouts here at WLC are intelligently designed to HELP YOU get stronger each workout.

Consider all of the weight lifting exercises you find here on this page to be your WORKOUT ARSENAL in which you’ll use to build muscle, power, and strength within your body.

The 7 Core Weight Lifting Exercises

7 Core Weight Lifting Exercises. You will find that 7 exercises form the basis of every weight lifting workout program you’ll find here at WLC. (1) Squat, (2) Deadlift, (3) Bench Press, (4) Row, (5) Overhead Press, (6) Chin Up, (7) Dip are those 7 core weightlifting exercises.

– Squat. The squat is said to be the KING of all exercises and that might very well be true. I personally consider the squat and deadlift to be on equal ground as some versions of the deadlift will rival some versions of the squat. If you aren’t doing squats of any type, you must have a very good reason as you’ll be missing out on spectacular results.

– Deadlift. The deadlift works better for some people than squats. If you want a full body exercise that is sure to work all muscle groups throughout your body, the deadlift should be your exercise of choice. There are all types of deadlifts, but the trap bar deadlift is the version I recommend to most people. You’ll probably be able to lift more weight with the trap bar deadlift than any other exercise.

– Bench Press. The bench press does not need an introduction as it’s probably the most popular weight lifting exercise in existence. Most people have no idea how to do this exercise properly.

– Row. The row is an amazing full body exercise that targets the overall back muscles very well. There are many different versions of the row but the bent over barbell row uses the most musculature throughout the body.

– Overhead Press. I absolutely love the overhead press exercise. It just feels good to stand up tall and straight with your chest out as lift really heavy weight over your head. The overhead press can be argued as the best overall upper body exercise.

– Chin Up. The chin up is an exercise that may be very difficult for many people who are new to weight lifting. I can guarantee, though, that you will get much better at chin ups and will even be able to add weight around your waist in the future.

– Dip. The dip is another amazing upper body exercise. Sometimes the dip is referred to as the upper body squat, and you’ll see why. It really works the chest, shoulders, and triceps along with the back and arms.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise Substitutions

Substitutions for the 7 Core Weight Lifting Exercises. You shouldn’t always repeat the same exact exercises for years at a time. It’s great to do different variations as strength and functionality is improved.


Squat Exercise Substitutions. There are a large number of weight lifting exercises that can be substituted for the squat if needed. This is very useful and gives you no excuse to not be doing squats. Yes, squats are tough but the tough exercises are the one that work the best.

– Low Bar Squat. The low bar squat is the recommended option for squats, especially for beginners. This version should be the focus for most people. The only drawback is a barbell, weight plates, and a power rack is required to do this version safely.

– High Bar Squat. The high bar squat is the Olympic weight lifting version of the squat. I also love this version of the squat, and I personally do better with this version than the low bar squat.

– Zercher Squat. If you need to increase core strength, the Zercher squat is an awesome version of the squat. This one is also great if you have limited equipment as you can actually get the bar into place without a power rack or squat rack.

– Hip Belt Squat. The hip belt squat is great alternate version of the barbell squat. The hip belt will take all pressure off your lower back which can really help in the design of a weight lifting program. The lower back is sometimes easy to overtrain so the hip belt squat can help you get around that.

– Barbell Hack Squat. This is probably my all time favorite version of the squat and really hits the entire legs very hard. I can always feel it very well in the quadriceps which are sometimes a little harder to target in some versions of the squat.

– Bulgarian Squat. If you need to improve imbalances in strength or musculature between your left and right legs, this is a good version of the squat to do so. This squat movement also provides a great stretch for the opposite leg when doing each rep.

– Sumo Squat. The sumo squat gets your feet out wide and really targets different areas of your legs. If you work on this version of the squat, you can get really strong and maybe even lift the most amount of weight with this version of the squat.

– Wide Stance Squat. Changing the width of your squat stance will help you target different areas of your legs. A wide stance squat along with other stances should be utilized often to increase strength throughout your lower body.

– Narrow Stance Squat. A narrow stance squat can really help you target the quadriceps more than other versions of the squat. Sometimes the outer quad can be focused on with narrow stance versions of the squat.

– Front Squat. The front squat relocates the weight to the front of your body instead of the back. This requires a more upright stance throughout the movement. I am a big fan of different versions of the squat and this is a very good one.

– Forward Lunge. Forward lunges allow you to work one leg at a time and allow you to use some explosiveness when you go back to the starting position.

– Reverse Lunge. Reverse lunges provide you with yet another option to replace squats. Lunges are a great exercise because you can put a barbell on your back or hold weight at your sides. Holding the weight can help increase your grip strength.

– Goblet Squat. A goblet squat allows you to hold weight between your legs and squat. This means it might be tough to really push yourself once you get stronger as it will be difficult to hold a heavy enough weight to stress your legs.

– Jefferson Squat. This version of the squat really places the weight in a much different position than normal and forces you to use different muscles. This is a great version of the squat for that reason alone.

– Pistol Squat. A 1-legged squat is very difficult for many people and requires much coordination and practice. You have to develop strength in different areas that you’ve probably never used before. Practice makes perfect.

– Box Squat. A box squat is a version of the squat that takes some practice to get right. You need to know what you’re doing before trying this version. This version of the squat can really help you get strong on the squat by exercising specific muscle groups.

– Manta Ray Squat. The manta ray is a piece of equipment you place on your upper back. This moves the weight of the barbell in a different location than normal, which allows you to stress your body differently while squatting.

– Step Up. The step up is great for people who may have knee issues. It’s an overall awesome exercise because it makes you move your body through space. You can add heavy weight with a barbell or dumbbells and use different box heights for the exercise.

– Leg Press. I am not a big fan of machines, but if you have no other option the leg press will work. Again, use this as a last resort.

– Machine Hack Squat. I do not recommend a machine hack squat but have included it here just in case. If you feel anything weird during this exercise, don’t do it as certain machines can lock you into a specific plane of motion and cause injury either immediately or over time.

– Safety Bar Squat. The safety bar puts the location of the weight in a different area so the movement will be much different than a normal squat. This will help build strength in different areas of your body.

– Cossack Squat. Chains can be used with the Cossack squat to add weight. This is a very good version of the squat and awesome for people who have knee issues. Slowly adding weight over time will help improve knee health.


Deadlift Exercise Substitutions. The deadlift doesn’t have quite as many exercise alternates as the squat, but there are plenty to keep things interesting for you.

– Barbell Deadlift. This is the most popular version of the deadlift and one that will make you very strong all over. Start with this version if you have a barbell and weight plate. No need for a power rack for this exercise.

– Trap Bar Deadlift. This is my personal favorite version of the deadlift as it minimizes stress on your lower back and adds more of the legs to the movement. You can usually lift heavier weight than any other exercise with this version of the deadlift.

– Rack Deadlift. You can set the height of the barbell to different levels in your power rack and do deadlifts. Since these are partial versions of the deadlift, you can really focus in on different areas of the deadlift movement and get very strong in that range of movement.

– One Arm Deadlift. This version can be very fun due to the explosive nature of the movement if desired. Give this one a shot. You can work each side of your body independently with this version, but it’s sometimes tough to find a weight heavy enough to really stress your body.

– Snatch. If you want to develop more power, the snatch is an exercise you’re going to want to use for a while. A great exercise overall and very good for your body.

– Stiff Legged Deadlift. If you need to focus more on your hamstrings, glutes, and entire posterior chain muscle groups, the stiff legged deadlift is an exercise you’ll want to choose as a replacement for the deadlift in your weight lifting program.

– Romanian Deadlift. The Romanian Deadlift is great for your posterior chain and really works the hamstrings well. If you need to work on the posterior chain, this version of the deadlift is a great choice.

– Pull Thru. A cable system is required for the pull thru exercise. I personally love the pull thru because it’s more of an explosive exercise that adds power. Great exercise substitution for the deadlift and less stressful overall so it can be strategically used in your weight lifting workout program.

– Good Morning. The posterior chain as well as the lower back is targeted in this exercise. This exercise is sometimes used as an assistance exercise to improve your squat strength. You can get extremely strong on the Good Morning and this can really decrease your chance of lower back injury throughout life.

– Back Extension. If you need to improve lower back strength due to a weakness, the back extension is a good option.

– Sumo Deadlift. If you take a much wider stance when doing the deadlift, you have the sumo deadlift. This stresses muscles much differently than the normal version of the deadlift.


Bench Press Exercise Substitutions. Different angles and different grips make up most of the bench press alternate exercises. The push up is another very good substitution for the bench press and can be better if you find a safe way to increase resistance.

– Decline Bench Press. Placing a bench at less than horizontal will give you a decline position. This decreases the angle between your trunk and your arms when bench pressing. You will be able to lift heavier weights in this position once you begin to gain strength.

– Flat Bench Press. This is the most popular version of the bench press. You’ll see always see more people doing the bench press in the gym than any other exercise. Some people will only do this exercise and that leads to huge muscle imbalances.

– Incline Bench Press. You can place the bench at different angles to get more of an incline angle. This increases the angle between your trunk and your arms when bench pressing and brings more of the front deltoids or shoulders into play. You will usually be weaker on this exercise as the angle increases.

– Wide Grip Bench Press. If you want to decrease the range of motion and work the inner chest more, the wide grip bench press allows you to do this. Be careful to not stress the shoulders too much by increasing your grip too wide. Start out with lighter weights and increase slowly.

– Close Grip Bench Press. Bringing your grip closer together will stress the triceps more. You might choose this exercise as a substitution if you really want to work on the triceps more.

– Reverse Grip Bench Press. This is one of my favorite versions of the bench press as this allows you to really target the triceps with a wider grip.

– Parallel Grip Bench Press. By using dumbbells or a special barbell like the triceps or hammer curl bar, you can have a parallel grip which keeps your arms closer to your sides while bench pressing. This gives a completely different feel to the exercise.

– Push Ups. Push ups of all styles and variations can be used as a substitution for the bench press. Push ups require you to move your body weight through space which makes it a special exercise.


Row Exercise Substitutions. For some reason, many people have issues with doing bent over barbell rows. If you work hard on this exercise, the rewards are great. Don’t give up on this exercise. Usually, the toughest exercises give the greatest results. Here are some alternates, though, in case you need them.

– Power Cleans. If you’re looking to increase your power, power cleans are a great substitute for rows. Power cleans are one of the best overall weight lifting exercises in existence so you can feel great about choosing this exercise.

– Pendlay Rows. One of my favorite versions of the row and one that takes some practice and some added flexibility. Each rep starts on the floor.

– Bent Over Rows. Bent over rows is where I would like you to start. You should learn proper form and technique with this version of the row as soon as possible.

– One Arm Rows. If you want to take more stress off the lower back, this version of the row really targets the back and arms. You can use very heavy weights on this exercise, and you don’t have to be extremely strict. Use your legs on this exercise as well.

– Inverted Rows. Inverted rows are an amazing exercise because you are moving your body through space. If you can find a way to add weight safely to this exercise, this might be the best option available.

– Seated Rows. A cable system is required for this exercise. I recommend this exercise because of the amazing stretch you can get in your back at the bottom portion of each rep.

– Lying Rows. I’m not a huge fan of lying rows because they take the lower body out of the movement and attempt to isolate your back. This can be a good thing if this is what your body needs.

– Face Pulls. A great exercise for the health of your shoulders and for building the rear deltoids and upper back. Highly recommended exercise to cycle through at times.


Overhead Press Exercise Substitutions. The overhead press just may be the best upper body exercise or at least the best show of upper body strength. You need to really work hard on the overhead press exercises given below.

– Standing Overhead Press. This is the recommended starting exercise for the overhead press. Work on getting really strong on this one and then start cycling through other exercises.

– Seated Overhead Press. I’m not a huge fan of exercises that don’t use your body as a full unit. The seated overhead press takes your lower body out of the exercise but this can be useful if needed.

– Parallel Grip Overhead Press. Using dumbbells will allow you to have a parallel grip which gives the exercise a much different feel. You might actually be able to lift heavier weights with this grip which is always beneficial.

– Push Press. I am a big fan of exercises that really push your limits. The push press allows you to use your lower body just as you would in a real life situation to press the biggest amount of weight possible over your head.

– One Arm Overhead Press. The one arm overhead press is one of my personal favorite exercises and one you don’t see very many people using in commercial gyms. You can really lift heavy weights with this exercise and use your entire body to help press the weight.

– High Incline Bench Press. A very steep angle on your bench can really move the target of the bench press from the chest to the shoulders. Try this if you have a weak chest as this can work both your shoulders and upper chest very well.


Chin Up Exercise Substitutions. The chin up is an amazing upper body exercise and one that must be a normal part of your weight lifting workouts. Pulling yourself up vertically is something everyone should be able to do. With WLC, you will be able to get very strong on this exercise.

– Various Grip Chin Ups. Changing the type of grip you are using on the chin up exercise is a great way to stress different muscle groups. Doing so allows you to get much stronger overall as each muscle learns to work better and becomes more functional.

– Various Width Chin Ups. The width of your grip on chin ups changes the stress you are placing on different muscle groups. It’s a great idea to change your grip width very often.

– Rack Chin Ups. This chin up exercise is a highly recommended version that allows a very good stretch in the bottom position and allows you to safely add weight. You should include this exercise in your workout rotation as a great substitute for chin ups.

– Kipping Chin Ups. This exercise allows you to use momentum and power to perform more reps. You won’t do this exercise slow. It’s a great alternative to chin ups and one I recommend.

– Pullovers. Pullovers are an exercise that was very popular in the past but has lost its popularity. This weight lifting exercise can sometimes be a little awkward when using heavy weights. You may need a workout partner to help you out with this one.

– Side to Side Chin Ups. Changing the stress on muscle groups really makes a great exercise. Moving from side to side during each rep of chin ups will really provide a different stimulus for your body.

– One Arm Chin Ups. You might believe that you will never be able to do 1-arm chin ups, but I challenge you today. If you work hard, you will amaze others when you start doing chin ups with a single arm.

– Mixed Grip Chin Ups. Using different grips on each hand while doing pull ups will really add functionality to your strength. In real life situations, you’ll never have a perfect bar for a pull up if needed. Mixing grips is highly recommended for pull ups and chin ups.

– Band Assisted Chin Ups. If you’re having trouble doing full chin ups, get yourself some resistance bands that are made for chin ups and begin using them. This allows you to get stronger and stronger until you don’t need them any more.

– Jump Up Chin Ups. Jumping up to the top of the bar and then lowering yourself under control is another good option to quickly increase your strength on pull ups until you can do a rep on your own. This is the method I used many years ago and it worked well.

– Lat Pull Downs. This is not a favorite of mine at all and one that I would only use as a last option.

– One Arm Pull Downs. One arm pull downs with a cable system is a very good exercise that allows you to get a great stretch. This exercise can be very tough when done properly.


Dip Exercise Substitutions. Dips are one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises here at WLC for a great reason. You will work a huge number of muscle groups with Dips so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

– Parallel Grip Dips. Dips with a parallel grip is the most common version of the dip. You will need some dip bars in order to do this exercise. Make sure you have a good setup that can handle some weight because you will be adding weight around your waist in the future for this exercise.

– Forward Leaning Dip. Leaning forward will put more stress on your chest. If you need to focus more on your chest, the forward leaning dip is good to use in a workout rotation.

– No Lean Dip. Straight up dips meaning your body is vertical are great for your triceps. Your entire upper body is always worked with dips but vertical dips will target more of the triceps area than forward lean dips.

– Bench / Chair Dip. You can always do dips from a bench or a chair if you lack equipment. These are actually a very good exercise that targets the triceps differently. If you can safely add heavy weight to this weight lifting exercise, it’s a great alternative to normal dips.

– Push Downs. Push downs can be a good but not great alternative as it’s more of an isolation exercise. You can make it more of a full body exercise by getting your entire body into it but be ready for people to tell you that you’re cheating. In real life when you’re trying to get some work done outdoors, there is no cheating.

Weight Lifting Exercises by Major Muscle Group


Quad Exercises. Squats alone will cover your quadriceps but I wanted to include some other “weaker” options as they can sometimes serve a good purpose.

– Squats. The KING of lower body exercises. The squat doesn’t only target the quadriceps but the entire body. If other muscle groups grow too quickly when squatting and your quads do not, you might need another exercise for your quadriceps to balance things out.

– Leg Extension. The leg extension can be used to target only the quadriceps if needed. I don’t recommend using only this exercise for your legs unless you have a really good reason. If quads are a weakness for you and other compound weight lifting exercises don’t help, the leg extension just might be the exercise for you.

– Lunges. Lunges are an amazing exercise all around and there are so many different versions of them. Great exercise for the quadriceps but also gets your hamstrings and glutes very well too.

– Leg Press. The leg press can work the quads very well but I would rather you choose an exercise that uses free weights.

– Terminal Knee Extension. If you’re having knee issues, this exercise can really help you out. A cable system is required for this exercise. You’ll really be able to target the quads and strengthen them greatly.


Hamstring Exercises. If your hamstrings are not getting the work they need, you should first try changing your core exercise selection to one of the alternates that work the hamstrings better. For example, choose the sumo deadlift instead of the barbell deadlift.

– Glute Ham Raise. Special equipment is required in this case for full range of motion or a home made setup can work as well. This is a great exercise for the glutes and hamstrings and definitely a good choice if you have a place to do this exercise safely.

– Stiff Legged Deadlifts. A sign of a good weight lifting exercise is one that gives a great stretch under a heavy load. The stiff legged deadlift is a perfect example of this type of exercise.

– Cable Pull Thru. This exercise provides a much different feel. You may feel a little silly when doing this exercise but who cares if you’re getting amazing results.

– Leg Curls. Leg curls are more of an isolation exercise that I really don’t recommend too much. There are much better exercise options that use your entire body as a unit.

– Good Morning. I am not saying good morning to you. This is an actual exercise and a very good one for the hamstrings. Highly recommended for the hamstrings.


Calf Exercises. The calves are a very strong muscle group with lots of endurance. In order to build the calves, you need to hit them from all angles with a large variety of weightlifting exercises. Full range of motion is a requirement for all of these weight lifting exercises.

– Standing Calf Raise. This calf exercise works the entire calf region from top to bottom and is a must for building your calves and stronger lower legs.

– Donkey Calf Raise. If you want an amazing calf exercise that gives a full stretch under a heavy load, the donkey calf raise is what you want. Find ways to add weight safely and you’ll have an exercise that works great.

– Seated Calf Raise. In order to work the soleus calf muscle, you need to have your knees bent and that will target the soleus. Seated calf raises are very important for this reason.

– Squat Raise. This is an unknown calf exercise and maybe the best of all. Squat raises will work the entire lower leg very well. If you haven’t used this calf exercise before, you’re missing out.

– Reverse Calf Raise. In order to build a better set of lower legs, you need to work the tibialis anterior muscle which engulfs the front part of your lower leg. This muscle makes up a huge part of your lower leg and most people never target this muscle.


Back Exercises. The back is a huge muscle group that needs to be worked with a large variety of weight lifting exercises. Horizontal rowing and vertical pulling works the back very well as you’ll find with these back exercises.

– Rows. The best overall back exercises that build both back width and back depth are rows. A rowing exercise must be included in your weight lifting program.

– Pull Ups. Pull ups or chin ups are a must for every weight lifting workout program. You will find that I always include some form of pull ups in every weight lifting program you’ll find here at WLC.

– Deadlifts. If you want to be strong and powerful, the deadlift is a requirement. Picking up heavy things is very important in life and the deadlift trains you for these difficult tasks in life.

– Pullovers. A great stretch is provided under heavy weights when you do pullovers. Getting a good stretch under a weighted load builds muscle easily and is one of the best ways to know you’ve got a great exercise.

– Pulldowns. Not a huge fan of some forms of pulldowns. The 1-arm pull down is actually a great exercise due to the constant tension from the cable system and the quality of the stretch you get when this weight lifting exercise is done properly.


Chest Exercises. The chest is a very popular muscle group for both men and women, but especially for men. The bench press, as you know, is a very popular exercise and one that works well for the chest. There are many other weight lifting exercises that work the chest well besides the bench press.

– Bench Press. The most well known weight lifting exercise known throughout this planet. A good chest exercise and good overall upper body exercise.

– Push Ups Probably a much better overall exercise than the bench press since your body is moving through space. One issue is wrist stress and another is safely adding weight incrementally.

– Dips. This is an amazing upper body exercise and one that I like better than the bench press or push ups. You can add weight around your waist with the help of a hip belt to make this exercise even tougher.


Shoulder Exercises. The shoulders can be worked with a good variety of different weight lifting exercises such as the overhead press, side laterals, and rear laterals. The shoulders are a very complex muscle group.

– Overhead Press. Best overall shoulder exercise by far as this works all 3 muscles of the shoulder very well when done properly. Learning how to do this exercise properly will skyrocket your strength on this exercise and your shoulders will explode.

– Lateral Raises. I personally really like side lateral raises when not done strictly. Rear lateral raises are also a great exercise for the rear deltoids when done properly.


Triceps Exercises. The triceps make up approximately 2/3 of the upper arm, and that fact is one most people never learn. Curls are always done to build bigger arms but those only focus on the biceps. The triceps are where muscular arms are made.

– Dips. You really can’t beat dips when you’re trying to build the triceps. You’ll get so much more overload with this exercise than any triceps isolation exercise.

– Bench Press. The bench press can be modified to put more stress on the triceps. Close grip, reverse grip, wide grip, narrow grips. All types of modifications can be made to target your triceps.

– Push Downs. This is more of a isolation exercise but a pretty good one at that. I don’t recommend being extremely strict on this exercise. You’ll find that I like exercises to be more functional so if you want to use the rest of your body to help you do this exercise, have at it.

– Kick Backs. Kickbacks are actually a good triceps exercise when you get a little swinging motion to help overload the triceps. Again, I am not a big fan of extremely strict form on isolation exercises like this.

– Push Ups. You can modify this exercise by placing your hands closer together and keeping your elbows tight to your body. This will place much more emphasis on your triceps. Other modifications can be made as well.


Biceps Exercises. Curls, curls, and more curls make up most of the biceps exercises. Did you know, though, that pull ups with palms facing you can be a much better exercise for the biceps?

– Curls. There are many different versions of curls to target the biceps. There are actually a huge number of different curls you can use.

– Pull Ups. All versions of chin ups and pull ups will work the biceps very well and overload them quite nicely. Some modifications can be made that will place even more emphasis on the biceps.


Forearm Exercises. The forearms are an extremely important muscle group and one that is constantly in view. A nice set of forearms will give you a great grip. A good handshake is very important, but please don’t break someone’s hand when doing so.

– Curls. Different versions of curls will really place emphasis on the entire forearm region. There are some curl exercises that can use very heavy weights and these will not only work the biceps but also the forearms.

– Wrist Curls. Wrist curls are definitely an isolation exercise for the forearms and many different type of wrist curls can be done. From behind the back barbell wrist curls to seated reverse wrist curls, there are tons of different exercises here.

– Holding Weight. Holding heavy weights can be great for your forearms and can really teach you how to take some good pain during weight lifting when your forearms are burning and screaming at you to stop.

– Grippers. Your forearms were made to help you grip things and carry things. Increasing your grip strength through the use of grippers can really build muscle and strength in your forearms.


Ab Exercises. The abs are are not a very popular muscle group. Just kidding. I didn’t want to leave out the abs as I know you will be interested. The abs may be one of the most over worked muscle groups in existence. Compound weight lifting exercises work the abs and core very well.

– Crunches. There are a huge number of different crunches you do for your abdominal muscles. I will go over a large number of them here.

– Ab Roller. The ab roller is one of the few pieces of ab equipment you’ll see on TV that I actually recommend. This is a great full body exercise that works the abs very well.

– Leg Raises. Raising your legs from a vertical or horizontal position works your abs very well and something you should work on improving. Your abs will benefit greatly.

– Knee Raises. Raising your knees from a hanging vertical position is another great way to work your abs and gives a different feel than leg raises.


Trapezius Exercises. The trapezius muscle is the huge diamond shaped muscle in the middle to upper back and surrounds your neck. If you want to target the traps more due to a weakness in the muscle group, you’ll want to see these trap exercises.

– Deadlifts. You will work your traps very hard when doing any form of deadlifts. If deadlifts aren’t doing it for you, see shrugs as this will definitely hit them hard for you.

– Shrugs. There are many different forms of shrugs that can be done to improve your trapezius muscle. The traps are a huge muscle group and one that should not be forgotten if you have a weakness there and deadlifts just aren’t helping.

Additional Information on Weight Lifting Exercises

Additional Information on Weight Lifting Exercises. I will continue to provide as much information to you on weight lifting exercises as possible. You need to learn and study as much as you can so you know how to fix certain issues, design your own weight lifting program, and much more.

– Knee Strengthening Exercises. If you have issues with your knees as I have from a young age, you should work on strengthening the muscles around your knees. I’ll show you how to do this in detail.

– Best Butt Exercises. Some people might be looking to get a better butt. I’ve written a page on the best exercises for developing the glutes.

– My Favorite Weight Lifting Exercises. My favorite exercises change from time to time. But I want to share a few exercises with you that always seem to stay up there near the top for me.

– Strength Standards for Weight Lifting Exercises. How strong should you be on the best exercises? Find out here.

– The Best Muscle Building Exercises. Find out what makes the best muscle building exercises. Once you know this, you’ll know what exercises you should be doing.

– Weight Lifting Exercise Videos. Videos of the exercises used in our fat loss program here at Weight Lifting Complete.

– Upper Back Exercises. Building a wider upper back makes your waist appear smaller and give you the X-factor appearance. These upper back exercises will help you to do just that.

– List of Quad Exercises. Here’s a good list of quad exercises and my personal experience with each of these exercises.

– Compound Weight Lifting. The best exercises are ones that use a large number of major muscle groups. Lifting very heavy weight requires all the muscles throughout the body.

– Calf Exercises. Here’s a detailed list of the best calf exercises and how to do each one with pictures. This will be very helpful if you’re working on your calves.

– Bicep Exercises. First you should work on using big compound exercises like pull ups to build your arms. Then you can move onto bicep isolation exercises if needed. You may not even need specific bicep exercises.

– Hamstring Exercises. Here’s 6 of the best hamstring exercises you can do. Don’t forget to work the biceps muscle of your legs. They can be very powerful and a completely awesome muscle group.

– Chest Exercises. The best weight lifting exercises for the chest are ANY exercise that works the chest and uses heavy resistance. There are only a couple so find out here.

– Best Exercises. Here’s one of the best exercises for EACH of the major muscle groups. Exercise videos are included.

– Ab Exercises. If you truly need to work on your midsection muscles, here are 3 of the best exercises you can do to build the abs other than the big compound exercises.


This is a partial list of weight training exercises organized by muscle group.


The human body can be broken down into different muscles and muscle groups. The muscles can be worked and strengthened by exercise. This table shows major muscles and the exercises used to work and strengthen that muscle.

Lower body

Quadriceps (front of thigh)


The squat is performed by squatting down with a weight held across the upper back under neck and standing up straight again. This is a compound exercise that also involves the glutes (buttocks) and, to a lesser extent, the hamstrings, calves, and the lower back. Lifting belts are sometimes used to help support the lower back. The freeweight squat is one of ‘The Big Three’ powerlifting exercises, along with the deadlift and the bench press.

Equipment Squats can be performed using only the practitioner’s body weight. For weighted squats, a barbell is typically used, although the practitioner may instead hold dumbbells, kettlebells, or other weighted objects. Individuals uncomfortable performing freeweight squats may use a Smith machine or hack squat machine. Major variants Common variations include front squats, in which the weight is held across the upper chest, and box squats, in which the practitioner rests briefly on a box or bench at the bottom of the movement.

Leg press

The leg press is performed while seated by pushing a weight away from the body with the feet. It is a compound exercise that also involves the glutes and, to a lesser extent, the hamstrings and the calves. Overloading the machine can result in serious injury if the sled moves uncontrollably towards the trainer.

Equipment Leg press machine.


The deadlift is performed by squatting down and lifting a weight off the floor with the hand until standing up straight again. Grips can be face down or opposing with one hand down and one hand up, to prevent dropping. Face up should not be used because this puts excess stress on the inner arms. This is a compound exercise that also involves the glutes, lower back, lats, trapezius (neck) and, to a lesser extent, the hamstrings and the calves. Lifting belts are often used to help support the lower back. The deadlift has two common variants, the Romanian deadlift and the straight-leg-deadlift. Each target the lower back, glutes and the hamstrings differently.

Equipment Dumbbells, barbell, trapbar or Smith machine. Major variants Sumo (wider stance to emphasise the inner thighs); stiff legged (emphasizes hamstrings); straight-legged deadlift (emphasizes lower back).

Leg extension

The leg extension is performed while seated by raising a weight out in front of the body with the feet. It is an isolation exercise for the quadriceps. Overtraining can cause patellar tendinitis. The legs extension serves to also strengthen the muscles around the knees and is an exercise that is preferred by physical therapists.

Equipment Dumbbell, cable machine or leg extension machine.

Wall sit

The wall sit, also known as a static squat, is performed by placing one’s back against a wall with feet shoulder width apart, and lowering the hips until the knees and hips are both at right angles. The position is held as long as possible. The exercise is used to strengthen the quadriceps. Contrary to previous advice in this section, this exercise is NOT good for people with knee problems because the knees bear most of the load, especially when they are held at right angles (90 degrees).

Equipment Body weight, wall or other flat vertical surface, exercise ball placed behind the back is optional as well.

Hamstrings (back of legs)

Leg curl

The leg curl is performed while lying face down on a bench, by raising a weight with the feet towards the buttocks. This is an isolation exercise for the hamstrings.

Equipment Dumbbell, cable machine or leg curl machine. Major variants Seated (using a leg curl machine variant); standing (one leg at a time).

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

The Stiff-Legged Deadlift is a deadlift variation that specifically targets the posterior chain. Little to no knee movement occurs in this exercise to ensure hamstring, glute, and spinal erector activation. The bar starts on the floor and the individual sets up like a normal deadlift but the knees are at a 160° angle instead on 135° on the conventional deadlift. The person picks the bar up from the ground with a straight back to prevent snap city. This exercise will give you a strong back and booty cheeks as well as football player hamstrings when done correctly.


The snatch is one of the two current olympic weightlifting events (the other being the clean and jerk). The essence of the event is to lift a barbell from the platform to locked arms overhead in a smooth continuous movement. The barbell is pulled as high as the lifter can manage (typically to mid height) (the pull) at which point the barbell is flipped overhead. With relatively light weights (as in the “power snatch”) locking of the arms may not require rebending the knees. However, as performed in contests, the weight is always heavy enough to demand that the lifter receive the bar in a squatting position, while at the same time flipping the weight so it moves in an arc directly overhead to locked arms. When the lifter is secure in this position, he rises (overhead squat), completing the lift.


Standing calf raise

Dumbbell standing calf raise

The standing calf raise is performed by plantarflexing the feet to lift the body. If a weight is used, then it rests upon the shoulders, or is held in the hand(s). This is an isolation exercise for the calves; it particularly emphasises the gastrocnemius muscle, and recruits the soleus muscle.

Equipment Body weight, dumbbells, barbell, Smith machine or standing calf raise machine. Major variants One leg (the other is held off the ground); donkey calf raise (bent over with a weight or machine pad on the lower back).

Seated calf raise

Seated calf raise machine

The seated calf raise is performed by flexing the feet to lift a weight held on the knees. This is an isolation exercise for the calves, and particularly emphasises the soleus muscle.

Equipment Barbell or seated calf raise machine; can also be done on a leg press machine.


  • Vaginal weightlifting refers to strength training using the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles to lift weights after inserting an attachment in the vagina.

Upper body

Pectorals (chest)

Smith machine bench press

  • The bench press or dumbbell bench-press is performed while lying face up on a bench, by pushing a weight away from the chest. This is a compound exercise that also involves the triceps and the front deltoids, also recruits the upper and lower back muscles, and traps. The bench press is the king of all upper body exercises and is one of the most popular chest exercises in the world. It is the final exercise in ‘The big 3’.
    • Equipment: dumbbells, barbell, Smith machine or bench press machine.
    • Major variants: incline ~ (more emphasis on the upper pectorals), decline ~ (more emphasis on the lower pectorals), narrow grip ~ (more emphasis on the triceps), push-up (face down using the body weight), neck press (with the bar over the neck, to isolate the pectorals), vertical dips (using parallel dip bars) or horizontal dips (using two benches with arms on the near bench and feet on the far bench, and dropping the buttocks to the floor and pushing back up.)
  • The chest fly is performed while lying face up on a bench or standing up, with arms outspread holding weights, by bringing the arms together above the chest. This is a compound exercise for the pectorals. Other muscles worked include deltoids, triceps, and forearms.
    • Equipment: dumbbells, cable machine or “pec deck” machine.
    • Major variants: incline ~ (more emphasis on the upper pectorals), decline ~ (more emphasis on the lower pectorals), cable crossover.
  • Cable crossovers
  • Dips

Lats (mid back)

  • The pulldown is performed while seated by pulling a wide bar down towards the upper chest or behind the neck. This is a compound exercise that also involves the biceps, forearms, and the rear deltoids.
    • Equipment: cable machine or pulldown machine.
    • Major variants: chin-up or pullup (using the body weight while hanging from a high bar), close grip ~ (more emphasis on the lower lats), reverse grip ~ (more emphasis on the biceps).
  • The Pull-up is performed by hanging from a chin-up bar above head height with the palms facing forward (supinated) and pulling the body up so the chin reaches or passes the bar. The pull-up is a compound exercise that also involves the biceps, forearms, traps, and the rear deltoids. A chin-up (palms facing backwards) places more emphasis on the biceps and a wide grip pullup places more emphasis on the lats. As beginners of this exercise are often unable to lift their own bodyweight, a chin-up machine can be used with counterweights to assist them in the lift.
    • Equipment: chin-up bar or chin-up machine.
  • The bent-over row is performed while leaning over, holding a weight hanging down in one hand or both hands, by pulling it up towards the abdomen. This is a compound exercise that also involves the biceps, forearms, traps, and the rear deltoids. The torso is unsupported in some variants of this exercise, in which case lifting belts are often used to help support the lower back.
    • Equipment: dumbbell, barbell, Smith machine or T-bar machine.
    • Major variants: cable row (using a cable machine while seated).

Deltoids (shoulders)

Cable machine upright row

  • The upright row is performed while standing, holding a weight hanging down in the hands, by lifting it straight up to the collarbone. This is a compound exercise that also involves the trapezius, upper back, forearms, triceps, and the biceps. The narrower the grip the more the trapezius muscles are exercised.
    • Equipment: dumbbells, barbell, Smith machine or cable machine.
  • The shoulder press is performed while seated, or standing by lowering a weight held above the head to just above the shoulders, and then raising it again. It can be performed with both arms, or one arm at a time. This is a compound exercise that also involves the trapezius and the triceps.
    • Major variants: 360 Degree Shoulder Press (wrists are rotated while weights are lifted, then weights are lowered in front of the head before being rotated back to the first position).
  • The military press is similar to the shoulder press but is performed while standing with the feet together. (It is named “military” because of the similarity in appearance to the “at attention” position used in most militaries) Unlike the seated shoulder press, the military press involves the majority of the muscles of the core as stabilizers to keep the body rigid and upright, and is thus a more effective compound exercise.
    • Equipment: dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, Smith machine or shoulder press machine.
    • Major variants: Arnold Press (dumbbells are raised while rotating the palms outwards).
  • The lateral raise (or shoulder fly) is performed while standing or seated, with hands hanging down holding weights, by lifting them out to the sides until just below the level of the shoulders. A slight variation in the lifts can hit the deltoids even harder, while moving upwards, just turn the hands slightly downwards, keeping the last finger higher than the thumb. This is an isolation exercise for the deltoids. Also works the forearms and traps.
    • Equipment: dumbbells, cable machine or lateral raise machine.
    • Major variants: front raise (lift weights out to the front; emphasis is on the front deltoids), bent-over ~ (emphasis is on the rear deltoids), 180 degree lateral raise (weights are held slightly in front of the body and lifted over the head in a circular motion).

Triceps (back of arms)

  • The pushdown is performed while standing by pushing down on a bar held at the level of the upper chest. It is important to keep the elbows at shoulder width and in line with shoulder/legs. In other words, elbows position should not change while moving the forearm pushes down the bar. This is an isolation exercise for the triceps.
    • Equipment: cable machine or pulldown machine.

Lying dumbbell triceps extension

  • The triceps extension is performed while standing or seated, by lowering a weight held above the head (keeping the upper arms motionless), and then raising it again. It can be performed with both arms, or one arm at a time. This is an isolation exercise for the triceps. It is also known as the french curl.
    • Equipment: dumbbell(s), barbell, cable machine or triceps extension machine.
    • Major variants: lying ~ (lying face up with the weights over the face), kickback (bent over with the upper arm parallel to the torso).

Biceps (front of arms)

Dumbbell biceps curl on the preacher bench

  • The Preacher curl is performed while standing or seated, with hands hanging down holding weights (palms facing forwards), by curling them up to the shoulders. It can be performed with both arms, or one arm at a time.
  • Standing barbell curl
  • Alternating rotating dumbbell curl
  • Hammer curl
  • The Zottmann curl gives a stronger focus to forearm training compared to the traditional curl.



  • The crunch is performed while lying face up on the floor with knees bent, by curling the shoulders up towards the pelvis. This is an isolation exercise for the abdominals.
    • Equipment: body weight, dumbbell or crunch machine.
    • Major variants: reverse ~ (curling the pelvis towards the shoulders), twisting ~ or side ~ (lifting one shoulder at a time; emphasis is on the obliques), cable ~ (pulling down on a cable machine while kneeling), sit-up ~ (have touch your knees), vertical crunch (propping up to dangle legs and pulling knees to the or keeping legs straight and pulling up legs to a 90 degree position). Reverse hanging crunch (using gravity boots or slings to hang head down and pulling to a 90 or 180 degree form)
  • The leg raise is performed while sitting on a bench or flat on the floor by raising the knees towards the shoulders, or legs to a vertical upright position. This is a compound exercise that also involves the hip flexors.
    • Equipment: body weight or dumbbell.
    • Major variants: hanging ~ (hanging from a high bar), side ~ (lying on side), knee raise (lying on back, drawing knees to chest).
  • The Russian twist is a type of exercise that is used to work the abdomen muscles by performing a twisting motion on the abdomen. This exercise is performed sitting on the floor with knees bent like in a “sit-up” position with the back typically kept off the floor at an angle of 45°. In this position, the extended arms are swung from one side to another in a twisting motion with or without weight.
    • Equipment: body weight, kettlebell, medicine ball, or dumbbell.
    • Major variants: back kept off the floor at 45° angle, back rested on exercise ball, feet resting on the floor, anchored or kept off the floor.

Lower back

Back extension

Back extension on a Roman chair

The back extension is performed while lying face down partway along a flat or angled bench, so that the hips are supported and the heels secured, by bending down at the waist and then straightening up again. This is a compound exercise that also involves the glutes.

Equipment Body weight, dumbbell or back extension machine. Major variants Without bench (lying face down on the floor).


The deadlift is a very effective compound exercise for strengthening the lower back, but also exercises many other major muscle groups, including quads, hamstrings and abdominals. It is a challenging exercise, as poor form or execution can cause serious injury. A deadlift is performed by grasping a dead weight on the floor and, while keeping the back very straight, standing up by contracting the erector spinae (primary lower back muscle). When performed correctly the role of the arms in the deadlift is only that of cables attaching the weight to the body; the musculature of the arms should not be used to lift the weight. There is no movement more basic to everyday life than picking a dead weight up off of the floor, and for this reason focusing on improving one’s deadlift will help prevent back injuries.


The good-morning is a weight training exercise in which a barbell, two dumbbells, or no weight at all is held on the shoulders, behind the head. The person bends forward and bows at the hips and recovers to upright. The good-morning is so called because the movement resembles bowing to greet someone. It involves the hamstrings but is primarily used to strengthen the lower back; the degree of knee bend used will change the focus – nearly straight-legged involving the hamstrings most.


  1. ^ Johnson-Cane, Deidre; Cane, Jonathan; Glickman, Joe (2000). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weight Training. Indianapolis: Alpha Books. p. 169. ISBN 0-7865-4251-9. 
  2. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 170
  3. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 173.
  4. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 175.
  5. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 177.
  6. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 179.
  7. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 180.
  8. ^ Johnson-Cane et al., p. 187


There are 7 core weight lifting exercises that should form the core of every weight lifting workout program you do from here on out.

Many weight lifting programs focus on way too many isolation exercises. You get faster results in less time with compound weightlifting exercises. And the “show-off” muscle groups like the chest and biceps for men will do even better with compound exercises.

You get EVEN FASTER results when you learn how to do these 7 core exercises with proper form and weight lifting technique.

There’s more to learning how to do these exercises than you might think, so pay attention to these exercise videos and you’ll soon be lifting heavy weights in the gym and watching your body transform right before your eyes.

WARNING: There is some bad language in a few of these videos so please watch the volume.

I wish I could find some good videos without the language, but these are great exercise videos and good examples of people using proper weight lifting technique to execute each lift. Just be aware there is bad language.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #1: THE SQUAT

The squat is THE KING of all weight lifting exercises. Many doctors will tell you the squat is bad for you, and that’s 100% true IF you don’t learn how to do this amazing exercise properly. Watch these exercise videos to get you started in the right direction.

Make sure you watch all of the squat videos above! Pay attention and focus in on all parts of the body as you see people doing the squat. Notice all of the little things you have learned in the videos while watching others. The squat is dangerous is you don’t know what you’re doing.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #2: THE DEADLIFT

The deadlift rivals the squat as THE KING of all weight lifting exercises. Doctors will also say that the deadlift is a dangerous exercise, and again, they are 100% right if you aren’t doing it properly. If you learn how to do the deadlift properly, this is one of THE best exercises to strengthen your entire body. Your lower back will become strong and powerful and less prone to injury.

You need to make sure you understand how the deadlift works and its purpose in your weight lifting workouts. You need to start out with light weights on this exercise and make sure you are using proper form and technique. Get it right and start increasing the weight. You’ll notice fast and special changes to your body once you start getting stronger on this exercise.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #3: THE BENCH PRESS

The bench press is one of the most popular weight lifting exercises in the world. The bench press is a good exercise and that’s why I have it within the 7 core weight lifting exercises for WLC. It’s no where near as good as the hype that it gets, though!

Remember, the bench press is a good exercise but you need to be doing MUCH more than just the bench press. Many people hurt themselves badly with muscle and strength imbalances because they believe the bench press to be the only weight lifting exercise needed. It’s not.

Most people get stuck bench pressing the same amount of weight for many months and even many years. This is because they never learned how to bench press properly, eat properly, recover properly, and haven’t been using the right weight lifting workouts. Watch the videos above to learn more about the bench press and to get started in the right direction.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #4: THE ROW

I highly recommend use of the Pendlay Row as you’re going to see in the exercise videos below. The row is one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises because it’s going to target in on your entire back region. But that’s not all. The row works your entire body very well. Even the legs and especially the hamstrings are hit hard during the row with heavy weights. Watch these videos closely and get it right before you start increasing the weight.

Notice the difference in the Pendlay Row and the rows you see other people doing in most commercial gyms. There’s a HUGE difference. If you watch the first video above, they show you the huge differences. Again, I highly recommend this version of the row and this should be the type you are using from the beginning. You will need to lower the barbell under control instead of dropping them.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #5: THE OVERHEAD PRESS

Here’s one of my favorite weight lifting exercises. I haven’t made this one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises because it’s one of my favorites, though. This is an amazing upper body exercise that ALL PEOPLE need to focus on in their workouts. You’ll feel great as you lift heavy weights high above your head. Reach to the sky!

Most people aren’t going to get the form and technique right on this core weight lifting exercise until they practice using the techniques given in the exercise videos above. Learn and practice until you get it right. This is very important.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #6: THE PULL UP

The chin up or pull up is another one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises. It’s included because it is one of the best upper body exercises in existence. Your entire upper body is worked during the chin up including your midsection. Learn how to do this exercise properly. Don’t cut yourself short by doing partial reps either.

If you can’t currently do chin ups or pull ups, don’t worry. You’ll be able to do them in no time once you start using the WLC System. Once you start doing them with body weight and they become easier for you, you’ll even begin to start adding weight around your waist.

Core Weight Lifting Exercise #7: THE DIP

The final weight lifting exercise you’ll find included in every weight lifting workout here at WLC, is the dip. The dip is sometimes referred to as the “Upper Body Squat” and you’ll see why if you’ve never done these before. If you have, you’ll already know why.

You need to always warm up well before doing dips. Make sure you’re doing shoulder mobility exercises during your pre-workout warm-up and do a few more before doing your working sets of dips. Get your shoulders warm and don’t go down too far on this exercise but also don’t do partial reps.

These 7 Core Weight Lifting Exercises Are The Foundation

You will find that these 7 weight lifting exercises are the foundation of every weight lifting workout you find at Weight Lifting Complete.

No matter which weight lifting program you find here, these movements are the foundation!

There’s a reason for this as these are THE BEST weightlifting exercises in existence.

You need to spend the time learning how to do these exercises properly. When you learn how to do them with proper form and technique, your strength will skyrocket on these exercises.

I Highly Recommend Starting Strength For More Information

In many of the 7 core weight lifting exercise videos above, you probably noticed the same man. His name is Mark Rippetoe, and he is an expert on the 7 core weight lifting exercises shown on this page.

He has written a book titled Starting Strength that I HIGHLY recommend. He also has a Starting Strength DVD that gives you even more exercise videos for the best compound weight lifting exercises.

I purchased Starting Strength many years ago when I thought I already knew how to do all of the weight lifting exercises perfectly.

Well… I learned a lesson that day. I had no clue. I had never been taught to lift weights and simply learned on my own. Once I started using all of the weight lifting techniques within Starting Strength, my strength skyrocketed on each and every weight lifting exercise.

And this was AFTER I had been lifting weights for many, many years. This is why I highly recommend Starting Strength if you want to learn how to do the 7 core weight lifting exercises.


One of (if not THE) most important parts of an effective workout routine are the weight lifting exercises it is comprised of.

There are literally hundreds of different exercises out there for you to choose from, so it can definitely be confusing trying to figure out which are best for your workout routine, your body and of course your exact goal.

To help you narrow it down a bit, here are some basic tips and general facts about various types of weight lifting exercises along with some recommendations for figuring out which will work best for you.

Machines vs Free Weights vs Body Weight Exercises

Weight lifting exercises can typically be done 3 different ways. You could use:

  • Free weights.
  • Machines.
  • Your own body weight.

Machines are… well… machines. Free weights mainly refer to exercises done using dumbbells or a barbell. And, body weight exercises are done using your own body weight as the resistance (like a push up or pull up).

While all 3 can definitely be effective, there’s a few things to consider when deciding which are best for you. In general, free weight and body weight exercises typically have an advantage over machines for building muscle and increasing strength. Here’s why…

Machines are designed in such a way that they do part of the work for you. They keep the weight stable. The machine puts everything in a constant stable position that allows you to only have to move the weight from point A to point B. Free weights on the other hand are just that… free weights. They are weights that aren’t being held in place by anything except, well, you.

Weight lifting exercises done with free weights or your own body weight require you to not only move the weight from point A to point B, but to also keep the weight stable throughout the entire movement. Doing so requires the use of additional stabilizer muscles which would not be used had you done the exercise on a machine.

Not to mention, the fixed position certain machines put you into might not be ideal or fit “just right” for everyone. When it does, then sure… machines can sometimes be just as good as free weights or body weight exercises. But when it’s not (which happens more often than people realize), the potential for injury increases big time.

So, while all 3 types of exercises can definitely be an effective and useful part of your workout routine, machines are usually best kept as a third option when free weight or body weight movements aren’t possible or preferred.

Isolation And Compound Exercises

After that, weight lifting exercises generally fall into 2 basic groups: isolation and compound.

An isolation exercise is an exercise that isolates one muscle group to perform the movement. Some examples are bicep curls, leg extensions, lateral raises, and tricep press-downs.

A compound exercise on the other hand recruits the use of more than 1 major muscle group to perform the movement. Some examples include squats, bench press, deadlifts, pull ups, dips, and rows.

While both types of weight lifting exercises are once again effective and able to be used in most workout routines, compound exercises are generally more effective when it comes to building muscle and increasing strength.

They allow more weight to be lifted, which means progression (which is the most important factor of all) is able to happen more often and more consistently than with isolation movements.

For this reason, compound exercises are usually the best first choice and should almost always comprise the majority of your workout routine.

Proper Form

Always use proper form. I know, it seems stupid that I’d have to say that, but I do. I think everyone on the planet is fully aware that proper form is not only important for the purpose of building muscle, getting the most out of each exercise, and actually training the target muscle group… but it’s also obviously important for safety.

We all know this, right? However, despite knowing this I still see tons of people in my gym using terrible form because they either don’t know how to do that exercise, or because they are lifting more weight than they are capable of lifting with proper form.

In the latter case, they think the key to increasing muscle, strength or just weight lifting in general is lifting heavier weight. Well, they are 100% right as long as they are lifting that weight and doing that exercise with the proper form.

They aren’t. Instead they are NOT going through the full range of motion and are therefore NOT getting the most (or sometimes anything) out of the exercise.

Not to mention, they are also putting themselves in a position to get injured. This is bad. Ignore your ego. Ignore what weight everyone else is lifting. Ignore everyone and everything. Worry only about yourself and only use weight that will allow you to perform an exercise with proper form.

Now, in the case of people just not knowing how to do an exercise properly, I give a brief description of some common weight lifting exercises for each muscle group at the links below…

  • Chest Exercises
  • Bicep Exercises
  • Tricep Exercises
  • Leg Exercises
  • Shoulder Exercises
  • Back Exercises
  • Abdominal Exercises

Proper Programming

Possibly even more important than the exercises themselves is the way you program them into your workout routine. Meaning, doing the best exercises with the best form is definitely the right idea for success, but it won’t actually work if it’s not all set up correctly.

Read the free guide to weightlifting workout routines and take a look at some of my favorite workout plans and splits as well as my recommendations for workout frequency to ensure that everything is set up in a way that will work as effectively as possible.

Or, if you’d rather use the highly proven workouts I’ve used to help countless men and women completely transform their bodies, now you finally can.

The Ultimate Fat Loss & Muscle Building Guide contains the entire diet and workout system that I personally use and most often recommend. It contains all of the answers, details, and sample workouts you’ll need to get the best results as fast as possible. Learn more here.


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