Workout Tips

6 Muscle-Building Exercises You Can’t Do Wrong

Build more strength without the risks and embrace the power of self-limiting exercises.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

The single-leg Romanian deadlift hammers your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. It also develops great balance and stability.

How to do it:

Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand. With your right leg, reach back as far as you can while sitting into your left hip. Keep your shoulders pulled back and imagine crushing your right armpit. Go down as far as you can while maintaining the natural arch in your lower back. Perform all your reps and switch sides.

Why is it self-limiting?

If you do it incorrectly, you’ll lose balance and stop. If it’s too heavy, you’ll stop and set the weight down.

Goblet Squat

The goblet squat teaches excellent technique and builds the rigidity in your core and upper-back to lift huge weights.

How to do it:

Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell in the “goblet” position with the weight in your hands and your elbows directly underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Sit back with your hips and bend your knees. Keep the weight on your heels and spread your knees apart. At the bottom, try to touch your elbows to the insides of your thighs. Drive back up and maintain a neutral arch in your lower back at all times.

Why is it self-limiting?

By holding the weight in a goblet position, you will activate your core and maintain a great torso angle throughout the squat. Lean too far forward and you’ll drop the weight. Use too heavy of a weight and your upper back and grip will exhaust before your legs will.

Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press

Here’s one simple trick that exposes any disconnection in your body: hold a kettlebell handle with the large part above your hand (called the “bottoms-up” position). If the kettlebell balances, you’re connected — if it falls, you’re not.

How to do it:

Stand and hold a kettlebell in the bottoms-up position by your shoulder. Press up the kettlebell without it falling and squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs throughout. Don’t think about pushing the kettlebell away from you; think about driving yourself into the ground.

You probably need to use a lighter weight than normal until you get used to the motion.

Why is it self-limiting?

When you hold a kettlebell bottoms-up, your entire body must work in harmony; if you lose your posture, coordination, or core activation, the kettlebell will fall.

Also, avoid using only your grip. Instead, create total-body tension so you don’t have to squeeze so hard. 

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