Most Important Weight Lifting Exercises
The most important weight lifting movements are compound movements because you use many body-parts to complete the movement. This means that you will put more stress on your entire body when lifting the weight and that means you will demand blood and oxygen to complete the movement and not just the muscle glycogen in the muscle fibers.
Compound movements are essential when getting stronger, if you were limited to only isolated movements to develop your body you would not have a very symmetrically balanced body. Compound movements are multi-joint exercises that need practice to perform correctly.
Although you will find a machine to do the exact same movement it has been proven by sports scientists that less muscle fiber will get recruited using machines compared to free weights. There is a wide range of supporting or secondary muscles recruited when using free weights that are not activated when using machinery.
There are many different compound movements but the most commonly used by athletes to increase strength are called the Big Four and they are squats, deadlift, bench-press and military press or overhead press. The form used to perform these four movements is vitally important if you want to avoid injury and get good results.
There are four other compound movements that strength coaches recommend besides the Big Four listed above and they are Power Cleans, Reverse bent-over rows, Pull-ups and Dips. It is strongly suggested that you use all 9 compound movements over a period of time cycling your workout routines so that you take a break from squatting for 6 weeks while you do power cleans etc.
The experts recommend 3 sets of 12 reps when starting but your training intensity should be extreme so that you are only resting 30 seconds before starting the next set. Sports science tells us that this high intensity will produce the best results.