Get Maximum Gains with Minimum Effort At The Gym
Look, we all have to face something at one time or another:
Going to the gym sucks a lot of the time.
It does! You know how you meet those people that say “I always love going to the gym! I couldn’t imagine life without going to the gym!”
Screw those people. Jerks.
Sometimes, going to the gym isn’t great – it’s a pain in the butt. Sometimes you’re beat from a long day at work, or you didn’t sleep well the night before, or your legs have been amputated while you sleep and replaced with telescopes – you get the idea.
So that’s why when you do go to the gym, you should make the most out of the time you have there.
Note: If you’re having trouble mustering the courage / energy / desire to go to the gym in the first place, check out our guide for how to get started on an exercise plan and stick to it here: 8 Easy Tricks To Get Started And Stick With Exercising
Plus, if you’re using your time more efficiently… that means that you can spend less time at the gym… which means…
Anyway here are 5 really good and efficient exercises that will save you time and effort at the gym.
1. You Should Be Doing More Loaded Squats
Squats are great. And at the gym (or otherwise), squats can be even better.
When you add weights to your squats, you make them harder, but you also make them way more efficient at building muscle, strengthening bone, and supercharging your metabolism.
The easiest way to do a loaded squat is to take a normal squat and carry a 10 lb weight in each of your hands, with your arms straight down by your sides.
Not only do you supercharge how effective your squat is, you also look like a super cool squat warrior.
More: 7 Amazing Benefits Of Strength Training For Women
2. You Should Be Doing More Side Step Ups
You know Step Ups, right? The thing where you step up onto something in front of you and then step back down? Like… you know… what you do on actual stairs?
Steps? Ups? Step… ups?
Anyway, those are good for you, but side step ups are even better.
They work different muscles than you use regularly, like your inner and outer thighs, glutes, and obliques. They make you better at doing normal stuff (like running, walking, and even making your balance better) and are a great way to get more out of your time at the gym.
Make sure to keep your shoulders square while you’re doing them, and also step lightly when going up and coming down to the ground.
3. You Should Be Doing More Rows
Rows are so great, you guys.
Not only do they improve major muscle areas like your chest, biceps, and abs, but they also help strengthen your back and balance out your posture.
What I’m saying here is that they’re super, super effective.
Bend over at the waist with your knees slightly bent and make sure you don’t hunch your shoulders.
Then, with a weight in each hand, pull your elbows back while keeping them close to your sides. You can help strengthen your core by alternating pulling your arms back (but remember not to twist – keep your chest square with the floor).
And then you’ll be getting stronger while also getting better at being in a rowboat.
4. You Should Be Doing More Reverse Wood Chops
OK, hold on. Reverse wood chops are good even if you don’t find yourself chopping wood very often (or at all).
Plus, how would they even help you chop wood? You’re chopping wood – but in reverse . It’s like you’d be chopping a tree behind your head. That’s crazy talk.
Anyway, this is a great and efficient exercise to do because it involves so many muscles. Getting more muscles in on the workout means 1. It’s a more efficient exercise and 2. It boosts your metabolism (because more muscles).
Anyway, take a weight like a dumbbell, medicine ball, or cable handle, start with knees bent and the weight next to one hip, and then raise up and lift the weight over your opposite shoulder.
This rotation gives a great workout to your core – plus a ton of other muscle groups – and really makes the most of your time at the gym.
More: Why Your Workouts Aren’t Working: 5 Mistakes People Make at the Gym
5. You Should Be Doing More Planks
Planks are just fun to say. And they’re not only a stupid 2011 internet sensation.
They’re also really good for you! Who knew?! (Not those stupid internet meme kids)
Planks are great because they strengthen the ever-loving bajesus out of your midsection. Do you know what that means? Hint: It means a tight waist and super flat abs. Those are good.
Make sure to keep your arms locked at a 90 degree angle, keeping your back as straight as you can and your whole body on a straight line down to your toes, and then squeeze and crunch that core as much as you can.
It’s hard! It’s tiring! It’s also effective! You can use it to spend less time at the gym.
Now, less reading, more exercising! Go!
The 5 Best Exercises You Should Be Doing More Of
- You should be doing more loaded squats
- You should be doing more side step ups
- You should be doing more rows
- You should be doing more reverse wood chops
- You should be doing more planks
If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:
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I love adding variety to my workout!
Thank you for sharing this list. It will be a great addition to my already kick ass workout!
I hate to do more exercise, but these seem to be very beneficial to the workout that I have already been doing for months. I can mix things up and reap the benefits even better. Thanks for the tips!
If you are going to do some training or a hard workout, I would recommend these types of exercises all day long. Great list. Many benefits to have.
Exactly. These workouts are great and the benefits of working out are even better with ANY workout these days! Clear your mind and build some muscles!
Very good tips! I love the fact that when I workout, it does not have to be the same thing all of the time. Each exercise is like a brand new start to your workout!
When I workout, I am really lazy and tend to do the same workout each time. I know it is not likely the best thing that I can do for myself, but I am really doing it for the ladies :)
What do you think?
I love doing the ROWS. I think I might add a few of the ones you have listed to my normal routine.
If you want to be a fitness freak, then these are the exercises that you are going to do. These will work the muscles that you have not worked yet, the hidden ones that we all forget about until we are sore and the results are awesome!
I love to workout my core and tone my muscles. ALL of these are great for that and were actually suggested by my personal trainer a few months ago. I have seen some great results from doing them! Good luck to all who are trying!
I am all for adding a new routine to my workout. However, how do I know what to “trade out” when I add something new? I prefer to keep the workout to 30 minutes and if I add something new, I am going to have to remove something.
I love to do planks. My core always seems to be more “fit” when I do them. This is actually a great list and all of them have been suggested by my personal trainer.
I love exercising and I am going to add these to my workout right away. I am so close to my workout goal and have been running out of “fresh” things to do.
Thanks for the motivation to continue!
I am in CrossFit and that was the first time that I realized there are so many more exercises that I could be doing. Ones that are more powerful for your muscles and even better for your body as a whole. These are all a great part of any workout routine.
I will admit it, I HATE to exercise. I have gone months without it and then all of s sudden I am back on track. These exercises seem new to me and maybe that is what I need to get motivated again, right?
My trainer said the same thing. He said that if I stay in one spot too long, your routine is going to get boring. “Mix it up with these great exercises”.
I already pack way too much into my daily routine, what can I really do when I want to add these exercises to the routine, but I do not want to make my workout 60 minutes.
I recently added step ups to my routine and they are great! Should I remove one exercise from my routine now that I added that one, or is it safe to do them all?
These are great exercises. They really work your core and that is the key to keeping the fat off the middle part of your body!
These are all great exercises. I always feel great after I do them each week. Are there any exercises that I should be doing just in terms of building muscle in specific areas?
When I do more of these exercises I feel very strong, motivated and flexible for sure. Great tips for that person just starting out!
Very good exercises here! If you do more of them, you are going to benefit and quickly!
That is correct, Alaster. Remember though, you can do these exercises as a part of a larger routine that you might have. Good luck!
Yea, I hate planks :) However, the few months they were included in my routine, my backside and upper legs got the best workout yet!
They do suck. I tend to pick a few exercises and stick with them for my entire routine. I might switch it up or add something new after a month just to keep it fresh.
I think that if you can do any exercise that will help your core, you are in good shape. Anything else on your body that benefits from the workout is just a bonus!
The step ups are one of my favorites. My legs burn so bad one I am done and that gives me a nice adrenaline rush for the rest of the day!
I agree with you! The step ups are fun and can really get that blood flowing!
This is way better than a brick & mortar esetslibhmant.
It might sound weird, but I LOVE to do the loaded squats and stepping. I feel so good, loose and energized when I do more of those exercises.
Like my trainer always says, “keep room for something new all the time” and that goes for these types of exercises.