Favorite Exercises

My Favorite Exercises For Every Body Part

Many questions have been coming over the hotline asking me about my favorite exercises for the upper body and lower body for building muscle. Since selecting exercises for each muscle group is quite an extensive list, I picked my top 10 (for most categories), based on the below criteria.

How I Chose The Exercises From My Resistance Training Workout Routine.

  1. I had to pick compound exercises and isolation exercises with the equipment in my home gym. You may have more or less equipment than I do but the vast majority of you should be able to complete. There are also several variations, with even a basic home gym.
  2. You can link to my YouTube channel for exercise walk-throughs.
  3. This does not necessarily mean these are all the optimal choices, they are just my favorites for building muscle size with my current home gym equipment.

My Favorite Chest Exercises

  1. Barbell Bench Press
  2. Incline Barbell Bench Press
  3. Flat Dumbbell Press
  4. Incline Dumbbell Press
  5. Dumbbell Flyes
  6. Pullovers
  7. Leaning Unilateral Cross Flyes
  8. Weighted Push-Ups
  9. Landmine Presses
  10. Reverse-Grip Bench Press

My Favorite Back Exercises

  1. Weighted Pull-Ups
  2. T-Bar/Landmine Rows
  3. Unilateral Landmine Rows
  4. Cable or Lat Pulldown
  5. Barbell Rows
  6. Prayer Pulldowns
  7. One-Arm Rows
  8. Straight-Arm Pulldowns
  9. Incline Rows
  10. Inverted Ring/Barbell Pull-Ups

And for the Lower Back

  1. Deadlift
  2. Barbell Good Morning
  3. Hyperextensions (weighted)
  4. Kettlebell Good Mornings
  5. Supermans

My Favorite Anterior Delt Exercises

The body part that likely deserves the most rest and attention than any other.

  1. Barbell Military Press
  2. Dumbbell Military Press
  3. Kettlebell Front Presses
  4. Plate Raises
  5. Incline Front Raises
  6. Kneeling Landmine Unilateral Press
  7. Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press
  8. Barbell Front Raises
  9. Prone Incline Front Raises
  10. Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Press

Many individuals that end up with shoulder pain, have this as a result of rotator cuff injuries. Here are some of my favorites too.

Rotator Cuff Strength

  1. Standing External Rotation
  2. Standing Internal Rotation
  3. Lying External Rotation
  4. Lying Internal Rotation
  5. Cable External Rotation
  6. Cable Internal Rotation
  7. Banded External Rotation
  8. Banded Internal Rotation

In line with the Rotator Cuff, often improving shoulder mobility is a fast track to keeping your shoulders healthy and ready for your grueling pec exercises and anterior delt work. 

For Shoulder Mobility it would be:

  1. Banded Front to Backs
  2. Around-the-worlds
  3. Wall Foam Rollers
  4. Barbell Lat Eccentrics
  5. Prone Lift Offs
  6. Overhead Openers
  7. Kettlebell Z Press

My Favorite Lateral Delt Exercises

  1. Standing Side Raises
  2. Incline Side Raises
  3. Side leaning Unilateral Raises
  4. Arnold Press
  5. Kneeling Side Raises
  6. Upright Rows
  7. Unilateral Side Raises
  8. Y-Press
  9. Prone Incline Side Raises

My Favorite Posterior Delt Exercises

The forgotten delt muscle

  1. Bayesian Flyes
  2. Barbell Face pulls
  3. Bent-Over Flyes
  4. Rear Raises
  5. Seated Bent-Over Flyes
  6. Prone Incline Presses
  7. Cable Face pulls
  8. Unilateral Bent-Over Raises

My Favorite Triceps Exercises

You want to be sure to train all 3 heads:

  1. Close-Grip Barbell Press
  2. Close-Grip Dumbbell Press
  3. Unilateral Overhead Press
  4. Close-Grip Kettlebell push-Ups
  5. Skull Crushers
  6. Press-Outs
  7. Pressdowns
  8. Reverse Pressdowns
  9. Incline Kickbacks
  10. Ring Dips

My Favorite Biceps Exercises

Can’t have big tri’s and not have Bis. Be sure to work both heads.

  1. Barbell Drag Curls (including 21’s)
  2. Incline Dumbbell Curls
  3. Incline Hammer Curls
  4. Standing Dumbbell Curls
  5. Standing Hammer Curls
  6. Standing Cross Curls
  7. Hanging Ring Curls
  8. Spider Curls
  9. Unilateral Cable Curls
  10. Leaning Bicep Curl

My Favorite Forearm Exercises

I’ll be honest, an area that could use more work from me as this is the muscle I neglect more than any other. I do however do plenty of Traps work so this does help. If worked out properly, and with focus, check out Sylvester Stallone you can see what is capable with a workout split that involves a forearm emphasis.

  1. Standing Barbell Wrist Curls
  2. Standing Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls
  3. Seated resting Barbell Wrist Curls
  4. Seated Resting Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls
  5. Behind-the-back Barbell Wrist Curls
  6. Standing Hammer Dumbbell Wrist Curls
  7. One-Arm Wrist Curls
  8. Hanging Plate Pinches

My Favorite Trap Exercises

Some say that with enough Upper and mid-back work that training your traps is not necessary. BOO, I love strength training with my traps and there is nothing like having a great set of your own.

  1. Barbell Shrugs
  2. Reverse-Grip Barbell Shrugs
  3. Dumbbell Shrugs
  4. Incline Shrugs
  5. Reverse Incline Shrugs
  6. Overhead Shrugs
  7. Bent-Over Shrugs
  8. Monkey Shrugs
  9. Laying Flat Shrugs

My Favorite Quad Exercises

Big Wheels baby!

  1. Barbell Squat
  2. ATA Squat
  3. Landmine Squat
  4. Split Squats – I love and hate these and some can start with these as a bodyweight exercise. These are tough!
  5. Front Squat
  6. Elevated Squats
  7. Lunges
  8. Hack Squat
  9. Goblet Squat
  10. Reverse Landmine Squat

My Favorite Glute Exercises

  1. Straddle lifts
  2. Kneeling Squats
  3. Hip Raises
  4. Landmine Straddle Lifts
  5. Cable Rear Raises
  6. Kneeling Goblet Squats
  7. Kneeling Landmine Squats
  8. Lying Medicine Ball Glute Raises

My Favorite Hamstring Exercises

  1. Wall Mounted GHD
  2. Barbell RDL’s
  3. Single-Leg RDL’s
  4. Suspended Leg Curls
  5. Split-Leg RDL’s
  6. Dumbbell Curls
  7. Landmine Deadlifts
  8. Nordic Falls

My Favorite Calf Exercises

The muscle few enthusiasts seem to train (like the rest of the lower body). Did I just say that?

  1. Standing Barbell Calf Raises
  2. Seated Barbell Calf Raises
  3. Unilateral Dumbbell/Kettlebell Calf Raises
  4. Donkey Calf Raises
  5. Jumping Calf Raises
  6. Hanging Barbell Calf Raises
  7. Bent-Over Landmine Calf Raises
  8. Unilateral Landmine Calf Raises

My Favorite Rectus Abdominis (Abs) Exercises

  1. Weighted Planks
  2. Roll-Outs/Fall-Outs
  3. Old-Fashioned Crunches
  4. Weighted Pulldowns
  5. Kettlebell Twists
  6. Kettlebell Get-Ups
  7. Reverse Crunches
  8. V-Sits
  9. Hanging Hip Raises
  10. Palloff Press

These are my workout exercise choices and the ones I use most often. You can use as much weight as you want and all can help you increase muscle strength. You will notice that there are not many bodyweight exercises listed. Bodyweight exercises can be great, especially for new weight-training enthusiasts. As time moves on, you will need to progressively overload to increase muscle mass and that is why you do not see these listed. I do however perform weighted push-ups but did not include them in my top list.

Let me know what your favorites are and if you don’t have the gear to do these, then check out the website and app to get yours!

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