Are there any indispensable gym exercises?

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If it can be said that there are good exercises, then it can also be said that there are bad ones and dangerous ones which may not be adapted to your body morphology. The problem nowadays is that most programs are generalized and don’t pay attention to the person’s unique traits.

Just because an exercise is popular, it doesn’t make it indispensable. As an example, what if you are practicing a very stretchy exercise like inclined curl on very short biceps? Could it overstretch it and be dangerous? At the same time, inclined curls on long biceps could be more beneficial?

In this article, you will understand that you can actually improve even if you don’t do deadlifts or squats!

What gym exercises are considered good or bad?

Good exercises are supposedly the exercises which bring you results and therefore should be the ones you focus on. What makes sense to call a good exercise is an exercise that will not put you in danger in relation to your body anatomy.

A good exercise should offer a good stretch and whilst remaining within the right range of motion without over-stretching. Skull crushes can be a good example of a great exercise for triceps while kickbacks with dumbbells would be a pretty bad exercise (unless performed with cables, which then offer an actual stretch).

It is important to recognize which parts of your body are particularly strong. For example, if you have strong triceps and big shoulders which just seem to develop easily, they can tend to take over on exercises where you are trying to develop your chest. In this case, perhaps, the flat bench press isn’t what you need.

Instead, the decline bench press might be better so that your shoulders and triceps aren’t participating as much as your chest. Once you have a good understanding of your body muscle composition, mobility, flexibility, pros and cons – you can adjust your routine and find the best exercises to specialize and be efficient with your training (focusing on the best exercises for yourself).

Bad exercises will be the ones that are not following the rules listed above

If an exercise is hurting you, there is a chance you’re either sacrificing your form or it is not adapted to your body morphology. Some of the most popular and so-called “indispensable” exercises are not necessarily the best ones. Some offer poor stretch, some are just bad for your articulations.

If you really like some exercises but they seem to be bad after knowing the factors explained above, there are still ways where you can do partial movements to benefit from it. For example, if your mobility does not allow you to go all the way down on your benchpress, going half of the movement could be enough for you to fully benefit from it.

So how do you find the best exercises to build muscle?

First and foremost, learn about your body. You won’t be able to see what’s good for you until you start lifting some weights. To begin with, understand which exercises offer a good stretch and stick to the basics. Go to a gym with a structured routine with the exercises which primarily offer you that stretch.

Build muscle for the first few months to your first year of lifting. Once you have some results, you will be able to look at your muscles and assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Are your muscles long or short? What kind of muscles are strong and which ones seem to be weaknesses?

A good rule is to try your movements without weights and see how far/deep you can go in the movements. The maximum range of motion you can use with these movements with no weights should not be overtaken when exercising with weights. If the weights are forcing your stretch, you are putting yourself at risk!

Once you know the right range of motion to use you can utilise exercises the right way.

How can I work more on my weaknesses and how to do it?

After training for a while, you may have noticed your biceps are super strong and taking over your back sessions. In this case, you might want to do partial pull-ups and always go with a pronated grip. You will then put your focus on your lats. This is just an example; everybody is different and will have different strengths and weaknesses.

There is the article “Natural steroid like results? sets of 100 repetitions!” which is an alternative and explains how you can work on lagging muscles. The important thing is to recognise which muscles are the weakest and then learn about how to exercise them in a safe and controlled way using high repetitions so you can fully benefit from them when using heavier weights.

So, are there any indispensable exercises?

The answer is no. If popular exercises like deadlifts (which can be a great exercise to build muscle in the long run) hurt you or are not made for you, leave it. You can build a great back with other exercises such as rows, pull-ups, etc. There are more than enough good suitable exercises, so you can avoid the “popular ones”.

Thanks for reading this article.

You might as well be interested in the post “How many repetitions to build muscle naturally?”

Any questions? Leave them in the comments below!