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basic lifts



Exercise is undeniably good for you. Although getting started down the path of physical fitness can feel overwhelming at first, there are a variety of workouts available that ease you into the experience. Since basic weight training comes with a myriad of benefits (such as the ability to get an average of seven hours of sleep per night), we're going to be looking at the Big Five lifts today.

These basic lifts are called compound lifts, meaning they engage multiple muscles at once to give you a complete workout in one exercise. Since the simple act of feeling like you're making progress can go a long way in encouraging you to commit to this lifestyle change, the Big Five are considered fundamental in the world of weightlifting. Let's get started!

  1. Squats: Because squatting as a movement is easy to learn, it is the perfect way to begin weightlifting. It activates muscles all over the upper and lower body as well, but good form is required to get the most out of the exercise.
  2. Deadlifts: Other than squats, deadlifts are the most practical exercise you can do. The muscles strengthened in your legs, shoulders, and lower back thanks to deadlifts can help you better perform daily tasks where you need to bend over or lift something off of the ground.
  3. Bench Press: The bench press is one of the most recognizable of the basic lifts -- even those who have never exercised before understand the movement. If you're looking to build up your pecs, upper chest, and shoulders, the bench press is the way to go.
  4. Bent-over Rows: Because the back is one of the largest muscle groups, it should be exercised as much as the arms and shoulders. If you're looking to increase your strength and maximize mass, bent-over rows are a perfect choice.
  5. Overhead Barbell Press: You can't get more simple that overhead presses. In addition to being ideal for building muscle on the entire upper body and core, this lift is also exceptionally simple: just press a barbell from the top of your chest to its overhead, arms-extended destination and repeat.

Once you get a hang of these five basic lifts, there's no telling where your fitness journey will lead; you may go on to compete professionally in the weightlifting world, or simply end up discovering a variety of classes at your local gym or fitness center that pique your interest in different ways. Whether you're looking to build muscle or focus on strength training, weightlifting is great place to start.


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