Workout Routines

9 Best Exercises You're Not Doing

These muscle-building moves have been absent from your workouts for too long - maybe forever.

Front Squat

Sometimes the best exercise is the one you’re not doing. And why, exactly, is such a great move not part of your training? Probably one of two reasons: a) you don’t know it exists, or b) it’s so challenging that you’d rather skip it and do something easier.

The following nine exercises are ones we feel every physique-conscious guy should practice. Some you’ve heard of but are ignoring, and others are so unique we bet they’ve never crossed your mind. Either way, it’s time to add these moves to your repertoire.

1) Front Squat

Why You Should Be Doing It

“Front squats have really helped my quad development, especially when I was preparing for the Ironman,” says Heath. “Most people don’t do front squats, because they’re uncomfortable and there are easier alternatives, but to really add size to the quads, they’re a must.”

How to do It

In a power rack, place the bar across your front deltoids with your forearms crossed in front of you and hands gripping the bar. unrack the bar, step back, and begin the set standing straight up with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your elbows pointed straight ahead, not downward.

Keeping a slight arch in your lower back, squat down over your heels, keeping your elbows up, until your thighs reach parallel with the floor. Press up through your heels until your knees are extended but not locked out. 

Check out our Cross-Arm Barbell Front Squat video >>

CONTRIBUTOR: Phil Heath, reigning Mr. Olympia.

2) Arched-Back Pullup

Why You Should Be Doing It

“This exercise involves both a vertical and horizontal pull from the upper body—most pulling moves involve only one or the other,” Rooney says. “It maximizes core and abdominal recruitment. So, the arched-back pullup hits about as much total muscle as any lift.”

How to do It

Drape a neutral-grip cable rowing handle over a pullup bar. Grasp the handle with both hands and start from a hanging position, arms fully extended. Pull your chest toward the handle while also lifting your hips up and letting your head travel back so that at the top of the rep, your chest touches your hands and your torso is roughly parallel with the floor.

CONTRIBUTOR: Martin Rooney, CEO of and author of Warrior Cardio: The Revolutionary Metabolic Training System for Burning Fat, Building Muscle, and Getting Fit

3) Crush-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press

Why You Should Be Doing It

“‘Crushing’ the dumbbells together while slowing the tempo increases the tension across the chest, shoulders, triceps, and upper back,” says Jim Smith, C.S.C.S. “More time under tension will immediately increase the muscle-building and natural hormone-release effect.”

How to do It

Sit on the end of a flat bench holding a pair of dumbbells. Lie back and hold the dumbbells over your chest, arms extended, with the insides of the dumbbells touching. as you lower the weights toward your chest, press them together as hard as possible. When they reach your chest, lift the weights back up, still pressing them together. Keep the rep speed slow.

CONTRIBUTOR: Jim Smith, C.S.C.S., owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning (, member of the advisory board

4) Wide-Grip Upright Row

Why You Should Be Doing It

Wide-grip upright rows can be a great deltoid builder if used correctly, Justin Grinnell says.

How to do It

Stand holding a barbell in front of your thighs with your arms fully extended and your hands outside shoulder width. With your knees slightly bent, pull the bar straight up your body, bending your elbows, until it reaches chest height. as you lift the bar, don’t let your shoulders shrug up; keep them depressed to maintain tension in the delts. Hold the contraction at the top for a count, then lower back down.

CONTRIBUTOR: Justin Grinnell, C.S.C.S., powerlifter and co-owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, MI (