Squat, deadlift, and benchpress are 3 of the biggest “bang for your buck” exercises you could do in the gym. They hit damn near every single body part, and allow you to move a fuck ton of weight. They aren’t the end all be all when it comes to moves you can do to build a great body, though.
In fact there are countless variations of the big 3 lifts, and plenty of others lifts that can be done to build ridiculous strength, and an aesthetic body that King Leonidas would raise his shield to.
Here are the top 5 most underrated exercises in the history of man.
- The trap bar deadlift.
I have 0 idea why this isn’t done more in the gym. Maybe it’s that most gyms don’t spend the skrilla on a trap bar? Maybe it’s that the trap bar just don’t get no love? Whatever the reason, it needs to change. The trap bar deadlift is one of the most legit exercises known to man.
It’s very similar to the deadlift in that you’re still picking heavy shit up off the ground. The difference is with a trap bar, the weight is more in line with your center of gravity, which puts you at more advantageous pulling position. With your hands out to the side, it’s far easier to pull than if your hands are in front of you.
You can also pull about 10% more weight with a trap bar deadlift, thanks to that advantageous position, and thanks to the extra quad recruitment you get. 10% may not seem like much, but when we’re talking about 300-400lbs or more, an extra 30-40lbs makes a fuckton of difference when it comes to the gainz you’ll be given.
Added bonus: If your gym has space, the trap bar is perfect to do farmers carries.
- The suitcase carry.
Having a great set of obliques can do wonders for your physique. Well defined and strong create a great “frame” for your abs. Getting well defined obliques isn’t exactly easy, and doing a million twisting movements isn’t the answer.
The obliques are best trained as antirotation muscles. They work to keep you upright, and keep you from rotating too much.
Which is exactly what the suitcase carry is. It’s a variation of the farmers carry, you just only use 1 side at a time. You pick up something heavy, like a dumbbell, and walk. The challenge lies in having to remain as upright as possible.
Don’t think it’s working a ton? If you’re carrying a heavy dumbbell in your left hand, put a hand on your right oblique. It should feel hard as a fucking rock.
- Snatch grip barbell row.
I really just wanted to see how long winded I could get with an exercise, so I chose this one. Anytime an exercise has 4 words in the name, you know it’s specific as fuck. The snatch grip barbell row is no exception.
Normal bent over barbell rows are a great developer for the upper back, and force the hamstrings, butt, and lower back muscles to function as stabilizers.
The snatch grip version still has the same stabilizers. The lats, rear delts, your grip, and the rest of the upper back gets even more work now because your hands are spread so far apart. What’s the effect? Greater recruitment of the muscles in your upper back, and a superior exercise at widening your upper back, and giving the “v taper” look that so many dudes, and your girlfriends, crave.
- The barbell hip thrust.
Everything that is great in life begins with violent hip extension. That’s a fact. Anyone who tries to deny that needs to get their head checked.
No bro likes having a completely flat ass, and neither do the ladies. The barbell hip thrust is the perfect remedy to pancake assed syndrome most bros suffer from. Combine the hip thrust with squats, deadlifts, and lunges and you’ve got the makings of an ass that your lady finally enjoys grabbing on to.
It’s also suggestive as hell, and has been proven to impregnate every single woman within a 30 mile radius when done correctly.
Put simply, the barbell hip thrust is kick ass. It causes maximum ass muscle recruitment, and makes you better at the sexy time.
- The front squat.
These days I’m not sure if the front squat is actually underrated, routinely fucked up, or both. The front squat, the back squats lesser known cousin, is a kick ass compound move that many experienced lifters actually prefer.
Basically, the front squat gets the quads much more involved, helps develop serious athleticism, and gives your core a ridiculous workout.
The most commonly fucked up part of the front squat has to do with the grip. Many people lack the flexibility to perform the front squat with a clean grip, but try anyways. This means the elbows dip down, leading to more rounding of the upper back. Cat backing ain’t nothing to fuck with.
If you lack the flexibility to get your wrists contorted into a clean grip, a crossover grip is an excellent alternative. You might feel like you’ve got less control though. Another alternative that you can check out here involves the use of lifting straps. This one takes some getting used to, but gives great stability without being too much of a stress on your wrists or upper back rounding.