5 Top Strength Training Exercises

Make these basic moves a part of your fitness routine.

Guest post provided by Chase Heckendorn. See below for more information about this author.

Strength training routines are all about what the name implies, which is training your body to be stronger through the use of pure strength. But what does this actually do?

You will be amazed at the results that strength training routines bring to your body, but it does not come easy!

Determination and willpower are great assets when it comes to strength gains, and you will then need to perform the routines properly in order to prevent injuries and actually gain muscle.

However, strength does not mean looking like the hulk. Instead, it is keeping your muscles lean and toned, but of course you could gain plenty of mass with a heavy diet if you wish.

Strength training routines are going to focus on five lifts that are known as compound exercises, which mean that they train a large number of muscles at the same time, while also targeting a specific large muscle group as well such as the chest, back, and legs.

You are going to perform x5 sets of x5 repetitions with heavy weight settings for each of the exercises soon to be discussed.

The following routines are great for both men and women.


This exercise does not get performed as much as it should and it will definitely get your strength gains increasing in just a matter of weeks.

The primary muscle group being trained is your back, but then you will also gain strength in your shoulders, arms, and legs as well.

You want to place the barbell on the floor with the weight that you have selected. Do not place it on a weight rack!

How to do it:

Place your feet about a foot apart, pointed forward, and with your toes underneath the bar.

Bend at the hips and squat down making sure that your shins touch the bar when in the squatting position.

Grasp the barbell with both hands placed just on the outside of your legs, and then pull the weight up by driving your hip forward and not using your lower back to solely lift all the weight.

You are finished once your entire body is straight i.e. arms, legs, and back are locked.


Squats are one of the other best strength training routines to perform, and they primarily target your legs.

Then you also workout your back and shoulders.

The squat is very easy to perform improperly and injure your knees or lower back.

How to do it:

Place a barbell on a squat rack to where you slightly have to squat down to place it across your upper back and traps region.

When ready, lift the weight off and take a couple of steps back to clear the rack.

Next, place your feet shoulder width apart or wider, and then look to the ceiling with your hands pulling the weight down across your back.

To execute, simply drop your hips and squat down to where you would be if sitting in a chair, and then drive your hips back up without using your knees.

Bench Press

This is targeting your chest muscles, triceps, shoulders, back, and abdominals.

Make sure to have a spot if you know you cannot perform the exercise on your own!

How to do it:

Lie down on a flat bench and place your hands where your pinky fingers are wrapped around the rings of the barbell.

Push the weight off of the rack while keeping your back, feet, and head on the bench.

Make sure you have a good position, and then lower the weight down where it touches your chest.

Immediately press the weight back up and repeat!

Military Press

Another exercise to have a spotter for because you can fall backwards with the weight!

The military press targets your shoulders mainly, but then train your traps, arms, back, chest, and legs as well.

How to do it:

Place the barbell on a rack setting where it is aligned at chest level.

Place your hands shoulder width apart, and then lift the weight while holding it against your chest.

Clear the rack and then press the weight straight over your head while keeping your chin pointed down.

Lower down to where your upper arms are parallel with the floor and repeat the repetitions.


Pull-ups are another great exercise to perform that targets your entire upper body.

You are going to want your body weighted down with this exercise for the purposes of strength training.

You can either hold a dumbbell between your feet, or get the waist chain designed to hold weight plates.

How to do it:

All you have to do is find a pull-ups bar and place your hands shoulder width apart.

Allow your body to drop down and keep it from swinging while  you perform the movements.

For execution pull your body up until your chin is able to go over the bar.

Be sure to stretch properly in between each of these strength training routines, and take a 2-3 minute rest as well.

This allows your body to be fully replenished for another set, which allows your body to give a perfect burst of explosive energy each repetition.

About the Author:
This is a post by Chase Heckendorn, Co-Owner of East Dallas CrossFit and Founder of



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