If you only have time for three exercises, which ones will you do? This article will reveal the most productive exercises and provide you with the details on how to do them efficiently and safely.
More often than not, short workouts are more productive than long ones because you are confined to preforming the most important and productive exercises that promote overall energy and muscle building gains.For the three most important barbell movements, we will have to go with the most comprehensive compound movements which are the clean & press, the squat and the dead lift.
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There are compound movements and there are isolation movements. Compound movements are those exercises that involve at least two, three or more muscles groups whereas; isolation movements are resistance movements that are restricted to one muscle group.
In an abbreviated workout schedule, it would be best to do compound movements so that you still get the most muscles worked out in the short session.
Clean and Press
The Clean and Press involves two basic movements; pulling the barbell off the floor to set it on the top portion of your chest and, pushing it to an overhead position.
- Start with the barbell on the floor.
- Set yourself in front of it with the bar touching both sheens.
- Bend down to reach the barbell by fully bending your legs while keeping you back straight (a little arched is better) and grab the bar with a grip spacing that’s a little wider than the shoulders.
- Pull the bar up by pushing with your legs against the floor with great force, as if jumping, to set the barbell high.
In this movement, you are using your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, erectors, lats, traps, shoulders and biceps. That’s nine muscle groups all in all.
- When the bar is high enough, step in and catch the barbell just by your collar bone with both elbows tucked underneath securing the barbell.
- The next part of the movement is the Push Press. You start by bending your knees slightly and again, push the barbell up using your legs.
- As soon as the barbell starts moving upward, start pushing it with your arms until your arms are fully extended upward to secure the barbell.
In this movement, you are using your calves, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, triceps and chest muscles.
- Trace the two parts of the movement in reverse to set the barbell back to the floor.
The clean and press is the most comprehensive compound movement because it literally gives every single muscle in your body a good workout.
You will need a squat rack for this exercise.
- Set the barbell on the squat rack at the level of your nipples.
- Step in and bend down under the bar until it rests on the on the top part of your back.
- Grab the bar and pull in your hands so that the back muscles will pile up at the center to cushion the bar.
- Push the barbell up with your legs and off the rack by making a few steps backward.
- The movement starts by slowly bending down into a full squat position while maintaining a slight arch on your back. Fixing you sight on a high part of the wall in front of you will help you maintain a perfect and safe arch on your lower back through the entire movement.
- From a full squat position, push yourself up using your legs back to an upright position. That is one rep and it already gave your calves,hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteal muscles and spinal erectors a good pump.
This movement starts out like the Clean and Press where the barbell is just set resting on the floor.
- Set yourself in front of the barbell where your sheens are touching the bar.
- Bend down and grab the bar with one hand facing in and one hand facing out. This grip style will provide you with more leverage to hold on to heavy weights.
- The objective is to pull the barbell off the floor until you are back in an upright position.
- To make sure your back is safely arched the whole time, set you eyesight to a high spot on the wall all throughout the movement.
- Pull the barbell up using your legs and lower back until you are back in an upright position. This works out your entire legs; calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes as well as the entire back area; erectors, latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles.
If you are only given time for three exercises, these three basic compound movements will make up your most productive routine for your greatest energy and muscle building gains.