T Nation

Your Favorite Exercise?


#1

I just returned from a great workout with deadlifts forming the center of the routine. I really, really like deadlifts because:

  1. You can't cheat
    Sure, you can use bad form (like any other exercise), but it's nearly impossible to really cheat. With almost every other full body exercise -- squats, benches, or pullups -- it's pretty easy to cheat by using a limited range of motion, particularly at high weights. The deadlift is binary: either you completed the lift by lifting the weight or you didn't.

  2. It is a full body workout
    After doing hard deadlifts, I always come away with sore forearms, shoulders, back, abs, and quads. There is no other exercise that comes close to doing such a total workout.

Now that being said, I'm 43 and I know to be careful with this lift. I am very careful to watch my form, particularly to keep my back properly arched at the start of the lift. I also listen carefully to my body and back-off if I'm getting too much stress in my lower back. It' is also important not to overtrain -- I do max weight deadlifts at most once a week, and more usually once every two weeks (in addition to other workouts).

I don't understand why more people don't try deadlifts at any gym I've attended. I think many guys are afraid of back injuries.

Thoughts? What's your favorite exercise?

cruncher


#2

Deads are my favorite, by far. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do them because of my knees.


#3

that's a tough one.

Either squats or woodchops


#4

I'll have to admit that deadlifts are my favourite as well. It's a raw strength exercise, so it just feels great when you get the weight up and just hold it there for a couple of seconds. One of the main reasons I didn't deadlift in the past was that I had back problems on and off when I was younger; however, my back has been feeling great since I've started DLing.

Another reason why deadlifts kick ass is that not many people do them. In fact, I've only seen two people doing deadlifts at my new gym... one was an off-duty personal trainer doing 135 lb deads. Enough said. Most of the few people I've seen deadlifting have shit for form anyway, so I'm almost glad most people don't deadlift.

Recently, I got my girlfriend to buy into deadlifting... that's a huge step towards getting her to ditch all the machine exercises they push on her at Spa Lady.


#5

Deads are my favorite as well.
probably because it is the most weight i can move around.


#6

I used to love deadlifting, it was the most effective hamstring work for me. After I started having so much trouble with my si joints I had to get away from them because they aggravate that injury so much! Now if I do them at all I use pathetic light weights because if my hammies get sore the back soon follows. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to possibly break that cycle? I'm female so perhaps my pelvic structure is an issue.Any ideas?


#7

I'm going to say deadlifts or rack pulls followed closely by snatches.


#8

Handstand Push-ups... who says bodyweight exercises are weinie? I can do 10, which is balanced well with my 10 max Pull-ups, another favorite.

I also like One-Legged Squats, while holding a dumbbell.

Can you tell I don't have a gym membership, or much equipment?

Nevertheless, these are good exercises.


#9

SL squats are a fave of mine, that's why I said squats, there are numerous variations that make it a great fundamental exercise


#10

Deadlifts are great. Full body soreness the next day.

I really like doing chinups (with palms facing away). I haven't done them for years (since high school, like 1973). I really feel these in my back like no other back exercise. I feel stupid for not doing them all along. I have a chin-up bar on my power rack. If you workout at home, ya gotta rig some thing up to do these. That's the only problem.

Farmers walks are really good for me. I walk around the basement where I workout and I shrug the weight on and off while walking.


#11

Pelvic thrust's


#12

cruncher,

Sparring with a raw 18 year old.

TD


#13

Front Squat! mmm :smiley:


#14

It's gotta be weighted dips or pull-ups. Deads are okay, but a little rough on the back. Squats are fun, but a little tough on the old football knee. I do these exercises weekly anyway because they are both satisfying.


#15

I have many favorites, but the Clean and Press has to be very near the top.


#16

Good answer!

Clean&Press, Snatch, Deads, Squats, Split Jerks.

There's just something about doing an exercise that nobody else is willing to try. Walk into your gym this week and start with one-arm barbell snatches and see the looks you get.


#17

I thought chins were your favotite?? Just kiding;-)

I love DL aswell, especially now since I have some nagging kneeproblems which stops me from squatting. Thank god deadlifts don't aggrevate my knees. I'm on my way to a new PR! If I have to say it my self, not bad when you're 47!

Claes


#18

And don't forget

  1. If you stuff up you can drop the weight and not die

Everyone loves deadlifts it is good to see. Just reading about them makes me want to do some now but I'll resist.

I also like the leg press machine that is fun.

And any dumbell work with 3" handles.


#19

For me that woulb be pull-ups and ass to grass back squats


#20

Power clean and press/push press/jerk (whichever one it takes to get the weight overhead).