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The Only 5 Exercises You'll Ever Need

posted in Health & Fitness
02/03/2015
  • How It Works

    Pick one move from each of these categories. Then do two sets of 12 reps. Change up the moves but repeat the plan three or four times a week. For cardio extra credit, see the add-ons below.

    PUSH

    The Ultimate: Bench Press
    Lie face-up on a bench, holding a heavy barbell at your sternum, hands shoulder-width apart, elbows bent into sides. Extend arms, pushing bar directly above chest. Pause, then lower barbell to start.

    The Alternates: Push-up, dumbbell shoulder press, single-arm kettlebell press, push press

  • PULL

    The Ultimate: Pull-up
    Hang from a bar with palms facing away from you, arms straight, knees bent so feet don't touch floor. Bend elbows, pulling chest toward bar. Slowly lower yourself to start.

    The Alternates: Dumbbell row, TRX row, chin-up, cable row, lat pull-down

  • HIP-HINGE

    The Ultimate: Deadlift
    Set a heavy barbell on the floor in front of you. Push hips back as you bend forward, grabbing the bar with hands more than shoulder-width apart, palms facing body. Keep back straight as you stand up, lifting the bar and thrusting hips forward. Slowly lower bar to start.

    The Alternates: Kettlebell swing, Romanian deadlift, trap-bar deadlift

  • SQUAT

    The Ultimate: Split Squat
    Stand on your right leg, left foot resting on a bench or box behind you, and hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand. Bend right knee, lowering body until left knee hovers just above the ground. Straighten right leg, returning to start. Complete all the reps on one side before switching legs.

    The Alternates: Barbell squat, lunge, goblet squat, reverse lunge

  • PLANK

    The Ultimate: Farmer's Walk
    Stand up straight holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body. Maintain your posture as you walk 20 meters. Turn, repeat, returning to start.

    The Alternates: Plank, bird dog, side plank, suitcase carry

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