For instance, the bench press will work the Pectoralis Major, the Triceps Brachii, and the Deltoids. This is a good compound exercise. However, the bicep curl only works the Biceps Brachii, so it is an isolation exercise. There is nothing wrong with isolation exercises, but when starting out it is best to learn the more efficient exercises. Here is a complete information on weight training for beginners. We will be looking at six exercises that will work major muscle group. Once we have analyzed each exercise we will place them into a workout program that you can follow the next time you are in the gym.
Muscles Worked: Pectoralis Major (chest), Triceps Brachii, Anterior Deltoid (Front shoulder)
Description: Hold a barbell (you can even use dumbbells) in a way that it is directly over your chest, your hands should be at least shoulder width apart. Take a deep breath in and then lower the bar until it touches your chest, pause and then drive the bar back upwards whilst breathing out forcefully. Stop moving the bar before your arms are fully extended. Pause at the top, and then repeat the movement.
Benefits: This exercise is a great as chest workout. Also, it can strengthen the shoulders and triceps. You can re-target the triceps by bringing your arms closer together (called a close-grip bench press) or place more emphasis on your chest by bringing your arms out wide.
Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, Gluteus Medius/Maximus
Description: Hold a dumbbell in two hands placed in front of the chest; the two hands should be holding the weight as you would a goblet (hence the name). Your feet should be shoulder width apart with toes facing out slightly. Take a deep breath and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Once you have reached that position pause, and then drive yourself back upwards whilst breathing out. Incorporate this in your workout routine for best results.
Benefits: Other than being an excellent exercise for working the quads and glutes, the Goblet squat is fantastic for improving your overall squatting technique.
Muscles Worked: Hamstrings and entire posterior chain
Description: One of the crucial weight lifting workouts, Romanian Deadlifts can be performed with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells; example we will discuss the barbell segment. Stand with your two feet slightly narrower than shoulder width apart, with your toes facing straight ahead rather than slightly outwards (like you would for squats). Create a slight bend in your knees and hold the barbell by your waist with your arms straight. Whilst keeping your shoulders back and chest out (this will straighten your back) bow forward and let the bar travel down towards your shins. Your arms should be straight throughout, pause at the point where your hamstrings start to stretch and then slowly return back to your original position.
Benefits: The Romanian deadlift is one of the best hamstring exercises there is, it is also a fantastic exercise to improve your hip-hinge movement.
Muscles Worked: Deltoids, Triceps Brachii
Description: Grab a barbell (or a pair of dumbbells) and place it at collar-bone height with elbows out in front of your body. Without arching your back, push the weight straight up into the air. Once it is past your nose, you can bring the bar slightly backwards as well, so that it finishes directly over the centre of your head. Pause and then lower the bar back towards your collar bone.
Benefits: Improving your shoulders' pressing power will lead to bigger, stronger shoulders, and improve your bench press technique. This is because your shoulders and triceps are required for both exercises.
Muscles Worked: Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi
Description: Lie underneath a parallel bar with your feet on a raised platform (bench). Place your hands on the bar at shoulder width apart and then pull yourself off the ground in a way that you acquire a hanging position. Take a deep breath, and pull yourself up until your chest is almost touching the bar; pause, and lower yourself back down whilst breathing out.
Benefits: The inverted row is the perfect stepping-stone to performing full pull-ups. Once you have mastered this exercise you should have the strength required to attempt proper pull-ups. It is also an excellent middle and upper back developer.
Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus
Description: Keeping your chest out, and shoulders back take a large step forward. Raise your back heel off the ground and then drop your back knee until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. Then take your back foot and take a huge step forward, raising your back heel to lunge again.
Benefits: Excellent quad and glute workout, walking lunges are also huge calorie burners.
Give yourself 45-60 seconds rest between sets (but take more if you feel you really need it). Use a weight that is challenging, but with which you can complete the exercise with confidence and good form.
Although, you may be weight training, don't skip your cardio session - one of the most important exercises for your body - Choosing cardio for weight loss - can be your best bet!