It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this – whether your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle, the best exercises to reach that goal are exactly the same.
These 4 compound movements involve the biggest muscle groups in the body, and they all use more than one muscle group at a time.
The Pull exercises target mainly back muscles like the lats, rhomboids, middle and lower traps, rotator cuff muscles, and in the arms, the biceps – just to name a few.
There are endless exercises to choose from. The ones listed on the image are 3 of my personal favorites.
The Push exercises target mainly chest and shoulder muscles like the pecs, front and lateral deltoids, and in the arms, the triceps. Again, these are just a few examples of push exercises that I include in my routine.
The Hip Hinge is a functional exercise as we all bend at the hips countless times throughout the day, mostly when picking things up. The main muscles used in hip hinges are the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. I can’t stress the importance of these exercises enough! We all need to be doing them, but more importantly, we need to learn to do them correctly and safely so we can apply the form to our day to day movements.
Lastly, the good ole Squat. The main muscles used in the squat pattern are the quads, glutes, and inner and outer thigh muscles. Squats can be done with only bodyweight, using barbells or dumbbells, using machines, and even on one leg.
Next time you go to the gym and don’t know where to begin – pick one exercise from each category and try 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
If your goal is fat loss, keep the rests shorter (under 60 seconds) to ensure your heart rate stays up.
If your goal is gaining muscle, perhaps increase the rest periods up to 2 or 3 minutes. Longer rest periods will allow you to use more weight as well.