If you want to get into your best physique, a proper strength training routine should be an essential part of your workout programme. Whether you're looking to boost your training or want to transform your body, it's important to include strength training exercises in your training routine to enhance muscle development.
While everyone has their own way of training depending on their fitness level, there are several ways and exercises that work for everyone. These strength training exercises have withstood the challenges of time and have become a staple in every gym-goer’s training plan. So, the next time you're about to start your gym routine, make sure to add these moves to your workout:
Strength Training Exercises for Men
Here’s a look at the six most effective and important strength training workouts every man should do regularly:
Deadlift is arguably the king of all exercises. It targets the major muscle groups hard and releases a huge amount of the muscle-building hormone - testosterone - into the blood. This exercise is a great cornerstone for any strength training workout plan.
To do a deadlift:
- Stand behind a barbell with your feet at shoulder width. Pushing your hips back, slightly bend your knees, and move your torso forward while maintaining a flat back and tight core.
- Hold the barbell with your hands at shoulder distance and palms facing towards your body. Press your feet to the floor, and stand up straight while pulling the weight and keeping your arms extended straight.
- Move your hips forward, and squeeze your core muscles at the top. Reverse the movement slowly by bending your knees and pushing your hips back to lower the barbell to the floor.
2) Bench Press
The bench press is another staple strength training exercise that can help build well-defined shoulders, triceps, and pecs.
To do this exercise:
- Lie on a flat bench on your back, and hold a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Make sure the bar is directly over your shoulders.
- Press your feet to the floor, and keep your hips stable on the bench throughout the exercise. Keep your core muscles tight, and maintain a neutral spine position while avoiding rounding your back.
- Lift the barbell off the rack (if using), and lower it towards your chest, allowing your elbows to bend slightly to the side.
- Stop lowering the barbell when your elbows reach just below the bench. Pressing your feet into the ground, push the barbell back up to return to the starting position.
3) Barbell Front Squat
Barbell front-loaded squats are an ideal exercise to strengthen the core muscles, upper back, and legs as well.
To do a barbell front squat:
- Stand straight keeping a shoulder-width stance and feet turned slightly out.
- Place the barbell on your collarbone, and slowly lower yourself till your thighs get parallel to the floor.
- Pause, and push back up to the starting position.
4) Power Clean
The power clean is another very productive strength training exercise that builds up power and recruits the same muscles as a deadlift, including the lower legs, upper back, quadriceps, deltoids, and glutes. If done correctly, it can be an ideal exercise to build muscles and achieve fat loss.
To do this exercise:
- Stand with your feet at hip distance, and place the barbell against your shins. Slowly hinge forward at your waist, and bend slightly to hold the bar using an overhand grip.
- Make sure your hands are outside your knees, and chest is up, with the core muscles tight and shoulders back.
- In one smooth motion, lift the barbell while pushing your feet into the floor and engaging the glutes.
- Keep the bar close to your body, and pull it towards your chest. Quickly flip your wrists back, and go into a quarter squat position, bringing both elbows forward.
- Stand with your triceps parallel to the floor, and flip your wrists down to lower the barbell.
5) Kettlebell Swing
Kettlebell swings are also one of the great strength training exercises that target the glutes, lower back, and hips. There's no better exercise for overall strength building and conditioning of your muscles.
To perform kettlebell swings:
- Hold a kettlebell in both hands using an overhand grip, and place your feet at shoulder-width distance.
- Slightly bend your knees, and hinge your torso forward to lower the kettlebell between your legs, with your arms extended.
- Explosively move your hips forward, and squeeze your glutes as you use momentum to propel the weight to your shoulder height.
- Swing the kettlebell back down to the starting position, and repeat.
The pull-up is one of the best exercises to build fan-shaped lats muscles. It's a multipoint exercise that widens the shoulders and also leads to testosterone release, enhancing strength and development of muscles.
To do this exercise:
- Stand below a pull-up bar, and grab the bar using an overhand grip with your hands further than shoulder-width distance.
- Slowly start to lift your feet up from the floor so that you are now hanging from the bar. Engage your core, and pull your navel in as you pull up with your shoulders down and back.
- Bend your elbows, and lift your upper body till your chin reaches above the bar.
- Extend your elbows at the top of the movement, and lower your body back to the starting position.
With each of the aforementioned strength training exercises, work at your own pace, and be sure of your form. Always choose a weight that’s good enough for you, and never push your muscles too hard. Go slow, and gradually increase your pace.