17 Exercises Everyone Should Do
Are you doing these exercises as part of your workout routine? Sure, some of these you might do, but there might be a few that you’ve never heard of before. Picking exercises that you include in your workouts can get old and dry real quick. That is why I am here to provide 17 exercises that everyone should do.
Why 17? We chose 17 of our favorite exercises to do at Garage Strength as a tribute to Anthony Myers. Anthony Myers was a local football player that inspired our entire community and set the bar for commitment to his sport as he came to the gym while battling brain cancer. Since his passing, we memorialize and honor his legacy as an athlete by including his jersey number, 17, into our workouts. Join us in honoring Anthony Myers and taking a look at some of his favorite exercises to do.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
#1 - High Bar Back Squat
That exercise to start off our list is going to be the king of all the compound exercises, high bar back squat. Not just squatting or a low bar back squat. A high bar back squat is going to help you with a few main things. One, it is going to improve your range of motion over time. The more you squat, the deeper you will go as your body adapts to the movement. Second, the high bar back squat can stimulate that high neural drive at the beginning of a workout to encourage hypertrophy. And that last benefit is going to be the ability to squat at a high volume and improve the muscle mass of the entire legs.
#2 - Bench Press
That second exercise on this list is going to be the bench press. The flat bench press is another one of the three main compound exercises that can be used to stimulate high levels of neural drive or be used with high levels of volume. Bench press is going to target your upper body on a push day and focus on improving the size of your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
#3 - Front Squat
Another one of the best exercises to add into your leg day is going to be the front squat. Using front squats instead of back squats is going to target your core and help you work on your upright positioning. Adding these into your workout routine is going to improve your dynamic trunk control over time so you can handle more load in the back squat. Lastly, front squats are going to be great for improving sports performance as they will target the quads for intense blast impulse movements.
#4 - Push Press
The next upper body exercise appearing on this list will be the push press. The push press is different from a strict military press because you will dip slightly and use leg drive to help drive the weight up. This is another great exercise for sports performance as many athletes are using legs at the same time as producing force with the upper body. It will also help you get used to stabilizing more weight above the head compared to a strict press.
#5 - Neutral Grip Pull Up
Our first upper body exercise to use on back day is going to be the neutral grip pull up. The neutral grip pull up is a great variation of the pull up because it is going to not just engage the lats and back, but will target the biceps more than regular pull ups. Often the volume you can do with neutral grip will be higher than regular pull ups.
#6 - Mini Hurdle Hops
To help you become more athletic and agile in the gym, doing mini hurdle hops will help work on balance and put to use the focus of your resistance training. Incorporating coordination and speed exercises into your routine will help develop your body awareness and stability in other lifts to create a snowball effect of gains.
#7 - Tricep Dips
Using an exercise like tricep dips is going to be an upper body workout that also improves the range of motion in your shoulders. This is an accessory you can load up with volume and to for sets of 17 to get a massive pump in the chest and triceps. Dips are also very versatile with rep schemes as you add a weighted to belt or extra resistance to challenge yourself.
#8 - Single Leg Squat
We’ve covered both of the main squat variations, but one that is overlooked is the single leg squat. Single leg squats are going to be the ultimate lower body exercise to improve speed and blast impulse for an athlete. Similar to a front squat, balancing on one leg will require a tremendous amount of dynamic trunk control which will carry over to your sport.
#9 - Miracle Grows
If you were to do this movement with a bodybuilder, they might identify this movement as a chest pull over. Here at Garage Strength, the miracle growth is an exercise that targets the lats and triceps to produce a massive pump. This is another one of our favorite accessories to do 17 reps with and honor Anthony’s vision for athletic greatness.
#10 - Sled Push and Pull
Looking for a quad pump that won't destroy your knees, but will actually save them? Then start doing sled push and pulls. This is an exercise that we started using after meeting the Knees Over Toes Guy that will flush blood into the quads to help improve recovery and reduce inflammation. This lower body exercise is a great finisher after a long leg day to help you recover for the next one.
#11 - Dumbbell Military Press
Next up on our list of upper body exercises will be the dumbbell military press. Instead of using a bar for strict presses, we like to use dumbbells for various reasons. First, we can play around with different grips and pressing positions in case we have a prior injury. Additionally we can do alternating reps that will also test our dynamic trunk control.
#12 - Homers for Biceps
This was Anthony’s favorite exercise: Homers. Homers are a bicep building exercise that will really focus on pulling blood into the biceps and forearms through time under tension. Homers will consist of doing a set of 12-17 bicep curls, walking 15 meters with the biceps held at a 90 degree angle, and then repping out another set of 12-17.
#13 - Power Snatch
Finally, we get to one of our favorite Olympic movements that are great for all athletes. Even if you have a hard time with shoulder mobility or overhead squat depth, you can use the power snatch to work on creating force with the entire body to move a lot of weight. This is going to be either the first or second exercises used on a training day to stimulate that neural drive and prime the body to handle additional volume.
#14 - Dumbbell Chest Rows
With bent over barbell rows, you are limited to just an overhand and underhand grip unless you have a special bar. By doing chest supported dumbbell rows, you can use a variety of grips to achieve the same goal in a more efficient manner. The reason chest supported dumbbell rows are more efficient is because by laying on a bench, it reduces the chance for using momentum and allows you to isolate the target muscles better.
#15 - Dumbbell Incline Bench
The last pushing exercise that makes the list is the incline dumbbell bench. By using dumbbells for incline bench, you can play around with different grips to find a movement that is comfortable with your body. This is another exercise where you can do sets of 12-17 reps that will improve that upper body muscle mass.
#16 - Hurdle Hops
Another jumping exercise that is essential to help put that resistance training to use is going to be regular hurdle hops. An upgrade from mini hurdle mops that target speed and agility, regular hurdle hops will test your overall power production. This should be used for any athlete that needs to cut or jump quickly for sport.
#17 - Clean
The last exercise to make its way onto the list of 17 essential exercises is going to be the clean. Doing cleans is going to have a similar benefit to snatches where it is a full body, compound exercise that focuses heavily on power production. Cleans are going to help improve coordination, strength, and speed over time to move heavy loads as fast as possible.
More Unique Exercises
We covered 17 exercises in this list to honor the late Anthony Myers, but the list doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of other exercises that we would love to share with you that you can start incorporating into your workouts right away. To get a better look of other exercises everyone should do, sign up for the Peak Strength app. But inputting your goals and constraints, we will make a custom program that will help you achieve your fitness goals both for athletes and general fitness.
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Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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