<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://ct.pinterest.com/v3/?tid=f4de1632775725aa6fdc3fb6c132e778&amp;event=init&amp;noscript=1">
Muscle Growth, Fat Loss

5 Most Important Exercises for a Beginner

By Daniel Matranga on Nov 20, 2017 4:38:00 AM
7 Minutes Reading Time

One of the most common mistakes novice trainees, or anyone looking to change their physique, makes is in their selection of exercises. So many fitness celebrities on Instagram and YouTube promote the utilization of crazy, and “sexy variations” as I like to call them, of very basic exercises. While these exercises may be a nice addition into the routine of someone who has been training for quite some time, exercises like the single arm incline machine press with a rotated torso do not belong in a novices’ program. I am a firm believer that anyone looking to either make immediate or long term progress in their appearance (from a performance and aesthetic standpoint) should cut the aforementioned type of fluff, and start with the tried and true following FIVE BEST EXERCISES FOR A BEGINNER:

1. Barbell Back Squat: This is the proverbial “King of All Exercises”. While its cousin, the front squat, is every bit as good I believe it has too many biomechanical intricacies and prerequisites for a beginner, so instead I opt to teach clients of any type the back squat first. After they master the back squat I love to incorporate the front squat as they compliment each other so very well! The back squat is the supreme developer of lower body strength and mass as it enables the trainee to move a substantial load while utilizing all of the lower bodies musculature. The quads, hamstrings, glutes, and even calves are brutalized by the back squat and to this very day it remains, in my honest opinion, the single best exercise for building a strong, functional, and aesthetic physique. For a natural lifter, there are few things more important then getting truly strong under a barbell with a ton of weight on it. And the squat will do just that. Check this video out to ensure you have the proper foot position to maximize your squatting!

2. Hex Bar or Barbell Deadlift: Depending on the individual I am a huge fan of both variations of this lift. I will focus on the barbell version below, but do not be afraid to branch out and try the hex bar deadlift. The barbell deadlift, simply put, will cultivate a truly impressive (from a power and visual standpoint) posterior chain. The “posterior chain” is the group of muscles that make up the posterior (back) side of the body. The Calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, spinal extensors, lats, trapezius, and the muscles of the neck are within this chain. ALL of the muscles I just named play a vital role in performing a PROPER deadlift. For anyone looking to develop true strength, neuromuscular recruitment, and build the foundation for long term weightlifting mechanics, the squat and deadlift are a must. A side note for women, I am of the belief that a well-executed barbell deadlift is a top 5 “Butt Builder” as well, but that’s the topic of another article. BEFORE you dive into a deadlift, and because this is a VERY technical move I strongly recommend checking out this VIDEO to ensure you have good technique.

3. The Pull-Up: The Pull-up is not only one of the best indicators of functional strength, but it does an incredible job of developing that ever so sought after “v-taper” (the appearance of a wide upper back that flows nicely into a trim waste). The pull-up develops both the lats and teres major and is a must for anyone looking for that look of a wide upper torso. One of the often underappreciated benefits of this lift however, is in its ability to develop the biceps, forearm, and muscles used to grip. For example, look at the biceps of any Olympic gymnast – do you think these men do copious amounts of biceps curls? The truth is, they DON’T. This supreme arm development is an adaptation that stems from the pull-ups and pull-up like movements these men do! If you are not doing pull-ups, start now! And if you cant do one yet, check out THESE TWO VIDEOS:

Click here
Click here

4. The Bench Press: “How much you bench bro?” the typical question asked of anyone with a remotely muscular physique, and for good reason. The bench press has been around a long time, and is a staple in the routine of almost all successful bodybuilders and power lifters. There is no denying it, if you want a large chest and shoulder girdle, the type that makes women swoon – you need to bench. While I do prefer the dumbbell variation of the movement for hypertrophy (muscle growth) a properly executed barbell bench press is great for size, strength, and power – this is a non – negotiable exercise in the search for size. Consult this video to ensure you can bench with perfect technique.

5. The Overhead Press: I consider the Overhead Press (OHP) the squat of the upper body. In the same way the squat engages high amounts of musculature, so does the OHP. The ability to maintain a standing position while muscling a large barbell over your head not only screams “alpha male” its also incredible for developing and fortifying good posture. A well performed vertical press is great for bodybuilders, athletes, and weekend warriors alike. If I was trapped on a deserted island and could only bring three exercises, I know that this one would make the cut. 

Believe me when I say this, if you could only do five moves for the rest of your life, these are the ones to do – no exceptions, they truly are the cream of the crop. They will maximize your time, and results, while minimizing the risk of getting injured inside AND outside the gym (if done properly as shown here). Now, go find yourself a barbell and something to hang from and get to work!

FREE Flat Tummy Guide


Free Resources

Everything You Need to Know to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Learn More

Read more from the Mind Pump Blog

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Contact Us