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The Ultimate Big 5 Fitness Training Exercises

The Ultimate Big 5 Fitness Training Exercises

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Last Updated on March 17, 2022 by Jack Saxon

The Fundamentals – Fitness Training Exercises

Identifying Key Pre-Program Information

fitness training exercises

Goals

Before including fitness training exercises into a plan for yourself or a client, it’s vital to identify the goals of yourself/client. This is relevant as no matter what fitness ‘influencers’ promote online, cookie-cutter training programs rarely work. This is the case as everyone has different bodies and motivations for wanting to begin training.

Risk Assessment

A vital piece of information worth gathering pre-training plan set-up is that of any health-related issues. You do not want to put yourself (or a client) on a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) program if you’ve previously had a heart attack. This is why if you don’t already, it may be beneficial to get a fitness coach, they’ll be able to assess your current needs according to your health.

Experience

Understanding the realistic experience of your client or yourself, is an important aspect to consider before performing any fitness training exercises. You shouldn’t be expected to deadlift 200kgs with the perfect form if you’ve never set foot in a gym…

Guidelines – Fitness Training Exercises

fitness training exercises

Frequency

Using fitness training exercises is great, but it’s not enough to just perform them once in a while. Current literature leans towards training each muscle group 2-3x per week.

Volume

As well as frequency, it’s also important to get enough volume in when using fitness training exercises, or any exercises for that matter.

Form

Often sadly overlooked is form. Proper form is what sculpts proper physiques. Poor form will not only leave you or your client lacking in gains, but also brings the risk of injury.

Getting Started

Now all the pre-starting information is covered, it’s time to dive into the top 5 fitness training exercises.

As mentioned in the before paragraphs, this is not a ‘one size fits all’ list. These fitness training exercises are general staples you can use to create a plan, for either yourself or a client.

So, let’s get started!

Top 5 Fitness Training Exercises

1. Deadlift Variation

fitness training exercises

An Overlook

The deadlift is one of the best fitness training exercises for a reason. The deadlift is a superior compound movement that has multiple health, strength and aesthetic benefits.

What Is It?

The deadlift is a free-weight plate loaded exercise. It uses hip flexion and the bodys’ posterior chain to perform the exercise. You can select a variation of your choice such as; conventional, sumo, trap bar etc.

How To Perform

  1. Approach the bar so that it’s in a central position over your feet. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend over at a 90-degree angle and hold the bar, make sure your back is not curved
  3. With a firm grip and strong posture, pull backwards and begin to extend your body into an upright position whilst holding the bar
  4. Thrust your hips forward once the bar reaches just below your knees
  5. At the top of the movement with the same posture as in previous steps, proceed to release the weight back into the position you first started in
  6. Repeat

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Traps
  • Glutes
  • Lats
  • Lower Back
  • Rear Delts

Ideal For

The deadlift is one of the most versatile fitness training exercises. It can be used for; strength, aesthetics, overall health and recovery. I recommend you include this exercise in your program if it matches your goals.

2. Squat Variation

fitness training exercises

Overlook

As well as the deadlift, the squat is one of the most beneficial fitness training exercises you can utilise in your training program.

What Is It?

The squat is generally a plate loaded exercise that utilises mainly knee and hip flexion to complete the range of motion. Once again, you can perform a variation of your choice such as; barbell squat, smith machine squat, hack squat etc.

How To Perform

  1. Approach the bar so that your feet are shoulder width apart. Now position the bar so that it’s resting on your traps, hold the bar firmly with your hands
  2. Drive your hips back and squat down with the bar, aim for a 90-degree angle between your knees and hips
  3. Hold the weight for a moment and then drive back up using your heels.
  4. Repeat

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Obliques

Ideal For

The squat is an ideal exercise for those aiming to build leg mass. It’s also great for strength programs and knee recovery (when done correctly). Lastly, for the ladies, a squat heavy program may be beneficial to you for building stronger and bigger glutes as well as thighs.

3. Pull Up Variation

fitness training exercises

Overlook

The pull-up is one of my favourite fitness training exercises. It can heavily influence width within the V taper when done correctly.

What Is It?

The pull-up is an upper body, pulling motion exercise that uses elbow flexion to perform the range of motion. You can perform a variation of your choice such as; machine-assisted pull-up, lat pull-down, bodyweight pull-up etc.

How To Perform

  1. Hold the handles slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  2. Push your chest forward and roll your shoulders back
  3. Pull yourself up using your lats, whilst angling your elbows into the side of your body
  4. Repeat

Muscles Worked

  • Lats
  • Biceps
  • Rhomboids
  • Rear Delts
  • Core

Ideal For

A pull-up variation is one of the best fitness training exercises for a program focused on aesthetics. When proper form and progressive overload is implemented, serious physique width is possible.

4. Bench Press Variation

fitness training exercises

Overlook

The bench press is one of the most famous fitness training exercises. It’s great for building muscle in the front of the upper body, specifically the chest.

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What Is It?

The bench press is an upper-body ‘push’ exercise that utilises elbow flexion and extension to perform the range of motion. It primarily uses the chest muscles to perform the exercise. You can perform multiple variations such as; flat barbell bench, incline barbell bench, dumbbell bench and chest press etc.

How To Perform

  1. Lay on the bench so that your eyes are level to the position of the bar
  2. Corkscrew your feet into the floor and roll your shoulders back
  3. Lift the bar of the holders and slowly bring it down to around 2 inches above your chest
  4. Now push the bar back up and repeat

Muscles Worked

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Front Deltoids (shoulders)

Ideal For

A variation of the bench press is ideal for anyone wanting to build strength and aesthetics within your chest. You can perform different rep ranges and sets depending on your goals.

5. Leg Raise Variation

fitness training exercises

Overlook

A well-rounded program has to include some sort of core work. One of my preferred fitness training exercises for the core is a variation of the leg raise.

What Is It?

The leg raise is a core stabilisation exercise. You’ll be using hip flexion to perform the range of motion for this exercise. It will target your core. Some of the variations are; hanging leg raise, the captains’ chain, the lying leg raise etc.

How To Perform

  1. Grip the handles at a width slightly wider than your shoulders
  2. Engage your core and lift up your legs, with a slight hold at the end of the motion
  3. Lower your legs and repeat

Muscles Worked

  • Lower Abs
  • Upper Abs
  • Obliques
  • Lats

Ideal For

This exercise is ideal for aesthetics and health. This is the case as not only does it provide chiselled abs, but it also adds overall health via core strength.

Final Thoughts

Personalise These Fitness Training Exercises

The best training plans are ones that work for you or your client. Take these fitness training exercises and see how they fit with the needs and goal data previously gathered.

You can try different variations, different rep ranges and different weights. But, as a general rule stick to a program that trains the whole body equally. By training the whole body, you or your client can achieve a balanced physique.

However, that’s all from me for now. I hope you’ve found value in my top 5 picks of fitness training exercises. Now it’s on you, try putting them to use according to your or your clients’ goals!

Best of luck, your coach, Jack.

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