9 Underrated Exercises You Should Own Right Away
by Abby Austin
You’ve probably read all sorts of articles that tout the benefits of squats, push-ups, and crunches. As effective as your typical workout routine might be, tweaking it a bit from time to time not only challenges your muscles in new ways but also keeps you from cruising through the movements on auto-pilot.
Before your neck gives out from doing crunches, step out of your comfort zone and give these 9 frequently forgotten exercises a try! After all, research agrees… Changing up your workout regimen now and then leads to better training results.
- The Supermans
Ready to get muscles of steel? Supermans are the go-to exercise when it comes to training especially your back muscles. To most of you, this exercise seems pointless and time-wasting. But, let’s think again. By strengthening the muscles in your back, you do a better job at improving your posture and your body’s stamina. Jonathan Angelilli, the founder of TrainDeep, has come to the conclusion that Supermans carry more weight than crunches do.
Ideal For Training: Hamstrings, lower and upper back muscles, abs.
- The Single-Leg Squat
Also known as the pistol squat, this underrated exercise is more demanding than most dare to admit. In fact, the single-leg squat requires anything from strength and mobility to an excellent combination of balance and coordination. That is why this exercise can be quite challenging at first. Unlike its close cousin, the regular squat, this exercise helps you build muscle mass in the glute and adductor areas.
Ideal for Training: Hamstrings, glutes, lower abs.
- The Kettlebell Swing
The brainchild of Crossfit, the kettlebell swings are efficient alternatives to strength exercises such as Olympic lifts and jumps. Mimicking the pendulum motion, you maneuver the kettlebell up and down while letting it sail between your legs on its way down. This controlled movement improves your lower-body strength as well as adds up to your endurance training. If performed correctly, this underestimated exercise brings cardio into your workout without harming your knees.
Ideal for Training: Glutes, hamstrings, lower abs, upper arms.
- The Rowing Machine
How many times have you passed by the rowing machine at the gym? Well, for your muscles’ sake, don’t repeat this mistake again. Even though most athletes and bodybuilders think that this is an arm workout machine, we beg to differ. Aside from working on those arm muscles, the rowing machine forces you to make use of most major muscle groups (glutes, hamstrings, core, lower back, lats, even shoulders). What does this mean for your body? You get to torch a whole lot of calories while building muscle. At the same time, the rowing machine offers a variety of workout styles, from slow and steady to high-intensity intervals. So, all the more to give it a try based on your individual needs.
Ideal for Training: Every major muscle group.
- The Calf Raises
It may look like you are standing on your tippy toes during this exercise, but you are doing so much more than that. Most gym-goers usually forget about calf raises as they focus on other (more obvious) routines. However, apart from boosting your running strength, calf raises are the final touch to a regimen that focuses on lower body muscles. Who wants to see underdeveloped calves right beneath a set of strong glutes?
Ideal for Training: Soleus and Gastrocnemius muscles.
- The Plyometrics Workout
Even though you might have given it a shot, the plyometrics workout is a very effective way to achieve your muscle-building goals. From jump squats to broad jumps, the plyometrics workout forces you to work muscle groups that you wouldn’t fire up through other exercises. Pump your heart and increase your power all in one plane of motion.
Ideal for Training: Most muscle groups (depending on the plyo exercise, of course!).
- The Lunges
Lunges are yet another underrated exercise, mostly because there are so many different ways you can perform them. Also, most women forget about them as they focus on their popular butt-boosting cousin, the squat. However, lunges offer something that squats never could: motion in multiple directions. So, give up on those squat exercises for a bit and grab those dumbbells. Hold them at chest height and target your core and glutes while improving your functional stability.
Ideal for Training: Glutes and Core.
- The Bridges
Remember the exercise your high school coach forced you to do? The one where you had to raise your hips and hold there for several seconds? Well, it seems like he knew what he was doing! This exercise, known as the bridge (named after the shape of your body), is one of the most underrated exercises for no significant reason. On the contrary, bridges can effectively target your butt and glutes. You can even incorporate this training routine as part of your strength workout if you throw weight in the mix.
Ideal for Training: Glutes, adductors, and quadriceps.
- The Turkish Get-Up
Although the name might put you off a bit, this is an exercise you shouldn’t ignore. Turkish get-ups are highly technical moves which will give you a hard time at first. But, as soon as you get the hang of it, this exercise is all about muscle control. During this exercise, you lie on the ground and slowly get up on your feet. A properly executed Turkish get-up focuses on the quality of the movement rather than the speed of getting up. This way not only you strengthen your muscles but also improve your stability.
Ideal for Training: Abs, back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
Now that you know all the benefits put these 9 underrated exercises into your workout map. Mostly focusing on the glutes and abs, most of them are more than perfect for sculpting the female physique. Plus, it’s high time you updated your exercise routine, right?
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