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Most Bang for Your Buck: 3 Best Exercises for the Gym

Here are the three best exercises to do in the gym along with the pre-workout supplement ingredients that will power your performance on those moves.
best exercises

There are hundreds of different exercises performed in gyms across the planet every day. Some of them are good, some indifferent, and others downright dangerous. Yet, there are a few that stand out as being superior, providing the best bang for your buck in terms of strength and muscle growth potential. In this article, we’ll cover the three best exercises to do in the gym along with an overview of the pre-workout supplement ingredients that will power you to optimum performance on those moves.

Best Gym Exercises #1: The Squat

Developing squat strength is central to explosive power, fitness, and physical development. This exercise develops the legs, hips, and core muscles, which is vital to success in sports and serves as the foundation of a fit, powerful-looking physique. Squats are also critical for developing running speed, acceleration power, and jumping ability.

Squats are a great functional exercise because they build strength from a basic athletic position – knees and hips flexed, back straight, and chest out. [1]

To get the most from squats, and avoid injury, you need to follow two essential form cues:

  • Hinge at the hips
  • Keep the spine neutral

There are many variations of the basic barbell back squat, which target the leg muscles slightly differently. The back squat places primary emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings, while the front squat, with the bar resting across your clavicles, will target the quadriceps.

Best Gym Exercises #2: The Deadlift

The deadlift is a whole-body exercise that involves the major muscle groups of the body. This makes it a very functional gym exercise, especially if you are short on time. It primarily builds and strengthens the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, and front deltoids. It is also one of the best exercises you can do to increase your grip strength.

In addition to its muscle building potential, the deadlift is one of the most efficient ways to gain strength in virtually every muscle in your body at the same time. The foundation of strength that you can develop with this exercise will make you less prone to injury. It will also have a flow-on effect on other exercises you perform in the gym so that you’ll be able to lift more weight on those moves. [2]

Deadlifts also have a beneficial effect on real-world lifting. One of the first habits you’ll develop when learning proper deadlifting form is to maintain a neutral back. Rounding your back is the biggest ‘no no’ with this exercise. Pretty soon the neutral back position will become second nature. So, when you pick up heavy things outside of the gym, you will also maintain a neutral spine position. This makes you far less likely to hurt yourself when you’re picking up heavy stuff. [3]

Best Gym Exercises #3: The Dumbbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is the king of strength exercises. It is the most performed exercise in gyms, with a lot of guys obsessed with increasing their weight lifted to what they deem to be an acceptable level. When it comes to working your upper body muscles, the bench does a good job of working your chest, front deltoids, and triceps.

In addition, when done correctly, this exercise will strengthen your core and latissimus dorsi. But there’s a version of the exercise that does it more effectively: the dumbbell bench press.

Here’s are three reasons why the dumbbell version of the bench press trumps the standard barbell version: [4]

  • Since the barbell version has your hands in a fixed position on the bar, you are unable to bring the hands together in the top position, robbing you of that last bit of the full range of movement. The dumbbell bench press allows you to move through a full range of pectoral motion from full extension to full contraction.
  • The dumbbell version recruits stabilizer muscles and develops greater balance and coordination, making it a more functional exercise.
  • The dumbbell bench press is a safer exercise; if you get stuck on the upward movement, you simply drop the weights to the floor.

A Three-Exercise Workout Plan

While the squat, deadlift, and dumbbell bench press are arguably the three best exercises you can do in the gym, that doesn’t mean you should do them exclusively. Adding in several exercises will flesh out a complete and well-rounded program. And if you’re goal is specifically to build more muscle, check out our article on the best muscle-building tips:

However, there may be occasions when you’re short on time and need to concentrate on the top three alone. If that’s the case, here’s a great workout to perform. On each set, add 10 percent to the weight load as you drop the reps:

  • Squat – 6 x 15/12/10/8/8/6
  • Deadlift – 6 x 15/12/10/8/8/6
  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 6 x 15/12/10/8/8/6

Supplements to Power Your Workouts

Now that you know which exercises to put your energy into, let’s talk about the top three supplement ingredients that will help you optimize your performance. When you’re shopping for your next pre-workout, look for the following:

Creatine

The body’s primary energy source for training is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). However, your muscles quickly burn through ATP. The result is that it loses a phosphate molecule to become adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Supplementing with creatine provides a store of phosphate to replace the missing molecule and restore ATP. As a result, you will be able to train harder for longer. [5]

Beta-Alanine

A by-product of the body’s use of ATP to fuel your workout is the build-up of hydrogen ions which leads to a pH imbalance that increases fatigue levels. Supplementing with beta-alanine increases carnosine levels. Carnosine, in turn, absorbs the excess hydrogen ions, delaying fatigue onset. [6]

L-Arginine

L-Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator of blood vessels. As a result, you will experience greater nutrient and oxygen flow to the working muscle, providing you with greater training endurance and an amazing pump effect. [7]

If you want to use these ingredients to power through your three-exercise workout program, there’s no need to buy each individually. You can find all three (and MANY more effective pre-workout ingredients) in FP40.

FP40 is an elite pre-workout supplement that contains scientifically proven ingredients along with the study-suggested dosages. In other words, you’re getting the ingredients that work at the dosages they work best at! Outside of creatine, beta-alanine, and L-arginine, every serving of FP40 is packed with L-citrulline DL malate, taurine, caffeine, and much more.

Get the most out of your time under the heavy iron with FP40.

References

  1. Lorenzetti S, Ostermann M, Zeidler F, et al. How to squat? Effects of various stance widths, foot placement angles and level of experience on knee, hip and trunk motion and loading [published correction appears in BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2020 Jan 29;12:7]. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2018;10:14. Published 2018 Jul 17. doi:10.1186/s13102-018-0103-7.
  1. Nigro F, Bartolomei S. A Comparison Between the Squat and the Deadlift for Lower Body Strength and Power Training. J Hum Kinet. 2020;73:145-152. Published 2020 Jul 21. doi:10.2478/hukin-2019-0139
  1. Choe, Kevin H.1,2; Coburn, Jared W.2; Costa, Pablo B.2; Pamukoff, Derek N.2 Hip and Knee Kinetics During a Back Squat and Deadlift, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: May 2021 – Volume 35 – Issue 5 – p 1364-1371 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002908
  1. Saeterbakken AH, van den Tillaar R, Fimland MS. A comparison of muscle activity and 1-RM strength of three chest-press exercises with different stability requirements. J Sports Sci. 2011 Mar;29(5):533-8. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.543916. PMID: 21225489.
  1. Hall M, Trojian TH. Creatine supplementation. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):240-4. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829cdff2. PMID: 23851411.
  1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID: 22270875; PMCID: PMC3374095.
  1. McConell GK. Effects of L-arginine supplementation on exercise metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Jan;10(1):46-51. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32801162fa. PMID: 17143054.

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