13 Jun 2019
Three excellent questions if you care about getting the maximum value from your weight training.
For the first question…
It’s an oldie, but a goodie; a classic exercise that’s stood the test of time and here’s why.
Well, we could say it’s unbeatable, but let’s go with virtually unbeatable. And while the bench press doesn’t target chest muscles exclusively – triceps and shoulders also get in on the act – your pecs get a properly targeted hit with every rep.
While it can’t claim the same all-body impact as deadlifts and squats, no exercise packs on upper body muscle mass like the bench press.
It might not seem important, but with all that upper body strength bench press gives you, you’re better equipped for other push exercises.
To the uninitiated, a deadlift might look like a failed lift – bringing a bar to your knees and putting it straight back down again. In fact, the deadlift will attack all the major muscle groups with gusto. Deadlifts work.
Why? Well, for a start, deadlift training uses heavy weights; that’s why you can only get the bar to your knees and be instantly keen to put it back down again. However, most experts believe deadlifts build upper body strength and lower body strength more effectively than any other exercise, including squats.
Deadlifts engage and work more muscles than squats and any other exercise you care to name. What’s more, they’re a fantastic way to work your entire posterior chain from the lower back to calves.
Well, so the experts say. This applies to weight training in general, but you can count on deadlifts as a fat burning exercise, especially heavy deadlifting.
Deadlifts reinforce core strength and, as a consequence, improve stability and posture.
How often do you squat in real life? You’d be surprised how often you perform this exercise in an average day – squatting to talk to a toddler; squatting to pick something up; squatting to tie laces. With or without weights, squats help to tone your body; the more weight you add, the more muscle mass you’ll build.
And if you think that muscle will be confined to your legs, think again. With a well-performed squat, your entire body comes into play – hamstrings, calves, butt, lower back, abdominals, shoulder blades and quadriceps.
Bend and stretch, reach for a more supple body in later life; that’s one of the enduring benefits of squats. Squats help to improve the limberness in muscles, tendons and ligaments.
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