Ten movements you need to have in your training to achieve some serious gains. 
Now you're here, of course it’s pretty bold to say if you don’t have these ten exercises in your programme you can’t build muscle, but let me put it this way; if you don’t have these ten movements I genuinely believe you are missing out on gains. 
 
I programme these movements for 90% of my clients and there aren’t many plans I write for myself that don't feature at least some of these. The reason being they are just so good and can really help you achieve some epic results. 
 
Without further ado, let’s get stuck in and see what you might be missing out on. 
 
1. Dumbbell chest press – This a great movement if you want to get stronger and add some size to your chest. It is an isolateral movement which means it will prevent the stronger side of the chest 'taking over', and compared to the bench press you can also achieve a greater range of motion and stretch the chest further in the lengthened range. 
 
2. Romanian deadlifts – The king of all hip hinges, and the exercise that can help you build hamstrings and glutes of steel. This movement also requires a lot of lower and upper back strength to keep the back neutral, so all in all offers great bang for your buck. 
 
3. Lateral raises – Whether you are a guy or girl I am sure you wouldn’t mind having more defined and stronger looking shoulders. The lateral raise can help with just this as it effectively targets the lateral/medial head of the deltoids which will give you that shape you want. It can be performed using dumbbells, or cables for even more consistent tension. 
 
4. Lat pull down – If you want wider lats, this is the movement for you. When performed correctly this movement can create a lat pump like no other. One thing I have observed is that people with longer arms can get a better contraction with a close grip handle compared to the wider arm attachment. 
 
5. Squat pattern – I put in squat pattern as I don’t want to say you need to back squat. Yes if you can perform it then I would say crack on but if you don’t feel comfortable or just don’t enjoy it then just make sure you have some sort of squat pattern in your plan. Goblet squats, front squats or straddle squats are all great alternatives. 
 
6. Incline dumbbell curl – For bigger arms and bigger biceps I don’t see any better exercise than this. With being in such a controlled position and taking the bicep through its full range it can create so much tension and a mind splitting pump. Just what you want. 
 
7. Bulgarian split squats – The marmite of gym exercises. Although they can sometimes make you hate life, they are a fantastic unilateral movement that can help get on top of muscle imbalances and really target the glutes and quads effectively. 
 
8. Deadlifts – I couldn’t not put these in. They are just the quintessential lifting movement. Picking up a heavy ass weight from the floor repetitively. Targeting the glutes, hamstrings and pretty much the entire back, the deadlift really does hit a lot of muscle groups and can really allow you to progressively overload. 
 
9. Shoulder press – No programme is complete without a good shoulder press. I personally rotate seated DB press, standing SA DB presses and seated machine press. This approach can help to keep your shoulders injury free and add in some fresh stimulus every 8-10 weeks. 
 
10. Leg press – You have so many options for the leg press. You can do a more quad focussed foot position, hamstring and glute position or even go for a single leg set up. The thing I love about the leg press is that it can work well in so many rep ranges. From 6 all the way up to 50 - if you dare go that high. Being in such a stable and controlled position can create some serious tension and really help build some impressive pins. 
 
So there you have it ten awesome exercises I would very much advise you have in your training programme. If you don’t have them in, it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t make good gains but with them in you stand a much better chance of in my opinion.  
 
If you want to learn more about how to take your training to the next level then make sure you download my FREE training for muscle gain eBook. Simply HIT THIS LINK to get your hands on your own copy right now. 
Tagged as: Muscle gain
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