6 More Exercises You Aren’t Doing That You Probably Should



In my first article of this series, 6 Exercises You Aren’t Doing That You Probably Should, I argued that the most important exercises are the ones you haven’t done yet.

Well, I promised you more, so here are six more fantastic ones you probably aren’t doing, and why you probably should.

Turkish Get-Ups

At its core, the Turkish Get-Up is extremely deceptive (and humbling) because it looks so simple, but it kicks your ass.




Why You Should Do It:

The Get-Up (uh, Turkish) is a phenomenal and functional exercise that promotes core strength, shoulder stability, balance, coordination, and burns calories. In addition, because it utilizes almost every muscle in your body, it can expose glaring weaknesses or asymmetries. After attempting the Turkish Get-Up, you might find yourself adjusting your current workout routine to improve on what is lacking.

Much like any exercise, technique is key. Start light and work your way up. Go Turkish or go home!

Roll-outs

I see quite a few people do Prone Bridges, or “Planks”, at the gym. Kudos because it’s a fantastic exercise to develop your core stability. But let’s kick it up a notch… with roll-outs.





It’s very important to brace your core throughout the movement. You don’t want to compensate by over-arching your lower back.

Why You Should Do It:

Your abdominal muscles were designed for stability, not flexion or rotation. Otherwise,

“…it would look like a hamstring because that would be a flexion type of muscle – a single-joint muscle. But they don’t look like that. They have lines running both vertically and horizontally across them, because they’re there to stabilize you in all planes of movement, to prevent rotation and to really stabilize your spine and your fragile low back.”

- Chris Lopez, CTT, CSCS

Roll-outs are a fantastic way to improve that stability.

Overhead Squats

Many fitness coaches employ the Overhead Squat as an important assessment tool for new clients. But, as good as it is, I’ve only seen it performed once or twice in my commercial gym. It’s unfortunate because the Overhead Squat is a tremendous exercise that strengthens your lower body, while improving mobility in several important areas.




Why You Should Do It:

“You can send your athletes to all the yoga classes in the world, but the overhead squat develops athletic flexibility. As for leg strength, that is the only way to get out of the whole in this exercise. You can’t lean forward, twist, bounce or cheat in anyway. The bar will come off the top and you will have to start again.”

- Dan John, “The Overhead Squat Article

A properly executed Overhead Squat requires great mobility in the hip, shoulder, thoracic spine (upper-to-mid back), and ankles. It also necessitates good core and lower back strength, coordination, and balance.

And that’s exactly why you should do it. Assuming you have no injuries, I highly recommend incorporating it into your workout program – at least as a warm-up or something.

Lunges

I say “lunges”, but really, any sort of unilateral (single leg) work would suffice. Lunges are a phenomenal way to strengthen your legs and improve your balance.





The video above is of a Barbell Reverse Lunge, but Forward Lunges, Bulgarian Split-Squats, Step-ups, Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts, and Pistols are all great exercises, too. There’s plenty of unilateral love to go around!

Why You Should Do It:

Now, I love bilateral leg work – heavy squats and deadlifts are my personal M.O. – but unilateral exercises are phenomenal because they correct imbalances (right leg stronger than left, or vice versa); simulate the movement pattern of sprinting, crucial in many sports; keep the lower back in a neutral position; and often boost your bilateral leg lifts! Not bad for just one leg…

Face Pulls

Face pulls concentrate on several, important movers in your upper back and shoulders: the scapula, the lower and middle traps, and rear deltoid muscles.




Why You Should Do It:

It’s a fantastic exercise to reduce shoulder problems and improve your posture. Because we spend so much time hunched over a computer, driving, and/or focusing primarily on our chest muscles, we begin to develop kyphosis, a condition characterized by slouched shoulders and a rounded upper-back. Face Pulls combat that dysfunction and reteach the proper movement of the scapula.

Behind-the-Neck Band Pull-Aparts

This exercise focuses on the lower trapezius and increases the range of motion of your shoulders and thoracic spine (mid-back).





If you don’t have resistance bands, try Scapular Wall Slides:




Why You Should Do It:

The lower traps are more challenging to target while training, compared to the upper and middle traps. As a result, the lower traps become more problematic and weaker.

Behind-the-Neck Band Pull-Aparts and Scapular Wall Slides strengthen your lower traps, reversing your kyphosis. In addition, it enhances your thoracic mobility, which not only in betters your shoulder girdle, but sharpens your technique in lifts such as the Overhead Squat.

Well, there you have it!

I’ve shown you twelve powerful (and relatively uncommon) exercises that will help you gain more muscle, improve mobility, and correct imbalances. Now, I could be wrong again and maybe you regularly perform all of these exercises! In that case, you are really on top of your game.

But if you’ve never seen these before, I highly encourage you to give them a try. Your body will thank you.

How have these exercises worked for you? Do you perform other lesser-known ones as well? Leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter, or add me on Facebook.

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