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A Handful of Top Exercises For Men

A Handful of Top Exercises For Men

Generally speaking, both men and women can perform the same sort of exercises to achieve muscle tone and a great shape, but men may have slightly different goals and aspirations from the girls. Anyway, it’s safe to say that most blokes would rather not have man-boobs or a beer belly, and here are five great exercises, recommended by personal trainer and Manager of Fitness4Less Watford, Tom Ward, which he particularly recommends for men who want to banish these undesirables and achieve a toned and strong physique.

Squats are considered to be the king of all exercises for the simple reason that they activate pretty much every single muscle within the body. They’re great for building strength, conditioning and stability across the body. They can be tricky to get to grips with, so we suggest you take time to refine the technique by using an online guide or even better, get a personal trainer to show you how to do the exercise safely and effectively.

Top tip – Focus on keeping your shoulder blades together throughout the duration of the movement and ensure you drive to standing through the heels, not the toes.



The pull-up is an excellent exercise for the posterior side of the body and a great way to develop stronger and more durable back muscles. However, if you’ve not done them before, pull ups can be very tough exercises, due to the forces applied to your muscles and joints during the movement. So we suggest that you take some time to practise the exercise frequently and that you try alternative ways of doing it, for example using resistance bands, doing TRX Pull-Up or Australian Pull Ups to help build a more dynamic technique.

Top Tip - focus on the muscle-lengthening stage of the movement (when you’re coming away from the bar and towards the floor) as this is arguably the most important phase. Try to ensure you control your bodyweight down, rather than allowing gravity to do the work for you.



Military Press
Otherwise know as the overhead press, this exercise is considered one of the primary exercises that should be included in a workout plan to develop strength and conditioning across the upper body. However, a lot of people fail to gather true muscular activation due to poor form or technique, so it’s important you focus and analyse the movement before loading the plates on! If you're in any doubt, ask a member of your gym's fitness team or a personal trainer to help you.

Top Tip – Try to focus on keeping your shoulder blades retracted throughout the duration of the movement and ensure your core is braced and tight to support the spine from the forces that will be passing through it!



Bent Over Row
This is a go-to movement for anybody looking to grow and develop stronger and wider back muscles (Latissimus Dorsi - commonly referred to as ‘Lats’). The exercise itself can be a tricky one to perfect, as the body’s positioning when completing the movement can be pretty stressful for those who aren’t used to it, due to the leant-over braced position you must assume to perform the rows. So once again, focus on light loads and build them up only when you are strong and stable enough to do so!

Top Tip – In Tom's opinion, the best way of completing the bent-over row is by having boxes on either side of the barbell (as in the photo) to help support and protect the spine from the forces being applied to it. That way, you can focus solely on the complexity of the lift, rather than having to keep readjusting your position between reps (not forgetting to keep the core engaged throughout).



With the vast array of wonderful equipment and machines available at the gym, it's easy to overlook bodyweight exercises but Tom always tells gym users to never stray too far away from the fundamentals, and this is one of them! They can be surprisingly difficult to do for those who are new to them, so he suggests starting on a narrow grip (more triceps engagement) and developing the movement from there.



Top Tip – Like a lot of bodyweight movements, this will take a while to master, so please take your time and periodise the reps and sets you complete to avoid putting too much stress on your joints!

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