Bala Cynwyd 610-664-6464

Feasterville 215-355-2700


Bala Cynwyd 610-664-6464

Feasterville 215-355-2700

Radnor 484-840-4500

Free 30 Day Trial

Tried and True: Classic 5 Strength Training Exercises

Tried and True: Classic 5 Strength Training Exercises

At AFC Fitness we have every type of fitness class, pool, and exercise machine that you would expect at a gym and more. And while machines provide effective ways to target specific muscle groups and perform cardio workouts, they are not considered to be the best at building overall body strength. This is where the classic five strength exercises come in. The 5 main weight training exercises are compound movements involving many muscle groups. Rather than machines, they use free weights, such as dumbbells which are the small bars you can lift with one hand, and barbells which are the long bars raised and lowered with both hands (We have a huge variety of dumbbells and barbell equipment). The classic 5 strength training exercises are an outstanding way to build strength and muscle mass. Together, they will give you a tried and true, full body workout without any mention of fitness fads or trendy machines.

The Classic Five Weight Training Exercises
Prior to beginning these exercises, make sure you know the proper form. Each new member at AFC Fitness receives two complimentary personal training sessions to help you become familiar with equipment, form, technique, reps and setting appropriate goals. Make sure to schedule your free sessions when you start a FREE 30 Day Trial at AFC Fitness. Additionally, you will want to warm up before jumping right in. Doing some light cardio and lifting light weights before your full workout can help prevent injury and prepare your muscles.

Targets: Muscles of the shoulder and other connected muscles

You might know it as military press, this exercise is effective at strengthening shoulders and arms.
Developing shoulders can improve your looks and build strength in an area where injuries are common. If you’re unsure how to do this consult with an AFC Fitness personal trainer.

Targets: muscles of the leg, thighs, glutes, abs, obliques and back muscles

Everyone has heard of squats. It’s the famous lower body exercise known for shaping legs and butt, but more unknown is how many other muscles the movement can activate, including the obliques, and back muscles. When holding the bar, you’ll notice how your core activates, as well as your legs. If you’re unsure how to do this consult with an AFC personal trainer.

Targets: back muscles, biceps, shoulders and forearms

The bent over row is one of the best all-body workouts you can perform. The repeated motions of pulling up and in to your body are excellent strengthening actions that widen the back and work the biceps. To hit slightly different angles of the muscles, your grip is changed when you alternate between using dumbbells and barbells. This exercise is also effective at activating your core, even though they are not the main muscles targeted. Just like any of these exercises, if you’re unsure how to do them consult with an AFC personal trainer for free!

Targets: chest muscles, triceps, and front shoulders

Best for: Working the chest and the arms
Like most of the strength exercises that make up the main five, you probably already know the bench press as a tried and true muscle builder. And that’s for a good reason – it worked 50 years ago, and it’s just as effective today at building pec muscles, triceps and shoulders.

Of course, you will need a spotter when you’re using a single bar on a flat or incline bench. Balancing the bar as you raise and lower it is partly why the exercise is so effective. You’ll engage every stabilizing muscle during the movement.

Alternatively, you might find starting bench press on a Smith machine helpful because it will help balance the bar for you, making it easier to concentrate on pushing the bar up.

Another variation is using dumbbells instead of a barbell. This method has many benefits including the ability to do bench presses by yourself. An added plus is that gripping dumbbells can be safer than barbells if you have shoulder problems. By allowing the angle of your grip to change as you raise the weight it can release pressure from your shoulder. If you’re unsure how to do any of these exercises, please consult with an AFC Fitness personal trainer for free as part of a Free 30 Day Trial!

Targets: leg muscles, glutes, lower back

Don’t get scared by the name. The deadlift gets its name from simply picking up a dead weight off the floor. Using a single barbell, and performed properly, a deadlift will activate most of the muscles in your body from your neck down to your feet – traps, abs, core, lower back, glutes, thighs calves, glutes, etc.

Even though deadlifts can be done anywhere, it is important to consult an AFC personal trainer to help learn the proper form and limits first. Doing deadlift movements and form correctly is very important to avoid injury. If you have back problems speak to your doctor before starting this exercise.

With any of these exercises, if you’re unsure how to do them, consult with an AFC personal trainer for free! Sign up for a FREE 30-Day Trial at AFC Fitness in Bala Cynwyd or a FREE 30-Day Trial at AFC Fitness in Feasterville.