In order to build a physique with good symmetry and proportion investing your training hours wisely means giving greater focus to areas of weaknesses. In order to continue building and shaping your body, you should always vary your workouts and train to muscle failure.
Muscle failure is not for the weak-hearted. It’s that point when your muscles are twitching and burning* so much you simply cannot perform another repetition.
Whether you’re a bodybuilding athlete or just a girl looking to sculpt a sexy physique here are the top five exercises you should always include in your weekly workout.
Squats and I don’t mean a slight bend in the knees before you power up. I mean the full range of motion ass to grass squats. Half reps are cheating and don’t achieve much.
You know you have the correct technique when your knees have bent to 90 degrees, and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Squats are a great exercise to develop those sexy legs but can also work the core and glutes. Many bodybuilding judges have told me they don’t start scoring competitors until they have seen the rear poses.
If an athlete’s glutes aren’t well developed, they can be a downfall during competition. Developed glutes are often a weakness for females. No one wants a flat butt, so performing variations with the type of squat is key to obtaining results.
Goblet squats, front squats or the traditional barbell on the back squats to name a few. Then of course variations in foot placement and width of stance can further develop not only your ability but also your shape.
Don’t forget to keep your spine straight and your head up at all times!
Lunges are an essential must do exercise. It’s perfect for hitting the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. If you’re doing the exercise right, it can also make you switch on your abs as you struggle to maintain your balance.
I like to do a variety of different types of lunges to avoid hitting a plateau. Sometimes I’ll warm up Legs by doing walking lunges. Other days I’ll do stationary lunges or even reverse* lunges.
As you progress of course, lunges can be performed with dumbbells or barbells to increase* the resistance. To maintain your balance a shoulder-width stance is best.
During the lunge, you should step forward lowering your knee until it’s at 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to the floor. When I am cutting for a comp adding in walking lunges for your cardio sessions helps further improve* and cut your legs.
Lunging on a treadmill with a steep incline whilst challenging can be extremely beneficial. Also varying the length of the step, you take when you lunge can alter the muscles activating. Taking a long step can really work into the glutes well.
Deadlifts are a great exercise to work for multiple muscle groups. They can drastically improve* your overall strength. Bent leg deadlifts work hamstrings quads and glutes.
Whereas straight or stiff legged deadlifts work into hamstrings more since the quads have been taken out of the equation. Given women’s hamstrings are often a trouble spot that holds fat this exercise should not be neglected.
I prefer an over/under grip (one palm faces forward while the other is backward) to prevent the bar rolling. Deadlifts are a great exercise for building muscle and cutting.
Because of the exertion required to perform the deadlift you use more muscle fibers and burn more calories than you do with other exercises.
This of course results in improved* cardiac fitness and increased fat burning*. Practicing this exercise often will assist you in developing exceptional technique at the same time as obtaining results.
4. Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Improving* the size of your deltoids will improve* the shape of your shoulders commonly referred to as boulder shoulders.
Women who have well-developed deltoid muscles assist them in undertaking everyday tasks, balances her symmetry by widening the upper body and minimizing the appearance of the hips, and assists in giving great posture.
This widening of the upper body will present the inverted triangle physique that the judges want to see in body building competitions. The lateral raise mostly works the lateral deltoid but can also involve the front deltoid (anterior) rear deltoid (posterior) and traps.
Try not to raise the dumbbells above shoulder level, or you’ll take the tension off the deltoids, and the trapezius will take over. The exercise can be performed either standing or seated either is effective with good form to build mass.
5. Crunches (Not Crunchies)
Many people perceive abs as being a problem area. Women who have too much fat won’t be able to see the 6 pack develop. This doesn’t mean they don’t have abs just means they are hidden. As they say, abs are grown in the kitchen.
So if you’re eating chocolate and not dieting you probably won’t see your abs! Performing exercises that engage your core are beneficial not just for developing that 6 pack but also to improve* your posture and help alleviating lower back pain.
The proliferation of abs selfies certainly suggests society identifies abs as an admirable look for fitness girls. Whilst it is a pleasing look it is not healthy long term to maintain the lower body fat needed to see abs. So it is important to keep things in perspective.
Whilst these are the top five exercises you should never miss in your workout there are endless exercises and variations to achieve results. Consideration should always be given to performing exercises which will improve* a person’s areas of weakness.
Weakness can also be overcome by training the weakness more than once during your training cycle until it catches up. However, effective training is only a part of developing the desired physique.
Diet also plays a critical role in either building muscle mass or becoming lean. So train hard to achieve results using these top 5 exercises but don’t forget to combine with a clean diet to maximise results!
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Image provided by author, shutterstock.com