No matter how hard we try to make the optimal workout program we’re almost always bound to miss an exercise or few. This doesn’t mean that our plan is weak or that we’re underutilizing certain parts of the body. Rather, what it means is that there is just a lot of exercises out there for us to try and we can’t use them all unless we’ve got an eternity to spend in the gym.
The other reason why there are hidden exercise gems all over the place is quite simple – prejudice. Some exercises simply look more appealing, they are popular, or someone said they are “the best exercise”. Whatever it might be, some exercises will always be on the come up and others will be on the downtrend of the ‘gym chart’.
However, we must not let this blind us to some amazing exercises out there. With just a little bit of simple exploration, we can open up a new world of opportunities. Some of these might feel weird at first or lacking in their efficiency but you just might find your new favorite exercise and that’s a chance you don’t want to miss. Read on to see some of the exercises we’ve found to be underrated that could use some tending to.
The hip thrust is one heck of a gluteus exercise. Adored by only a few, this exercise needs to be tried more, especially by the males of the gym who hesitate to give it a go. The momentum for performing the movement of your lower-body parts comes from the hips. That means this exercise is hip dominant and will work your glutes and hamstring differently in comparison to those knee-dominant exercises.
The reason why you want more hip thrusts in your life is that it’s a fantastic exercise for improving your hip stability and posture. This will no doubt help improve your other compound exercises such as deadlifts and squats.
In order to perform this exercise, you’ll need to find some sort of an elevated surface to rest your back on, like a bench for example. You can do hip thrusts with both dumbbells and barbells, but people usually go for the barbell variant. Pick a pair of adequate plates (or dumbbells), get under the bar, and have your shoulder blades resting on the bench. Start the movement by squeezing your glutes and pushing upwards until your hips and your shoulders are in a straight line. Once you’re there, slowly move the weight down and control the movement with your glutes at all times.
Half-Kneeling Landmine Shoulder Press
Landmine exercises are the bomb and half-kneeling shoulder press is no different. Whether you go for the single-handed version or use both of your hands it doesn’t matter because you will feel the effect of this amazing exercise in both cases. Although, if you don’t mind incorporating an isolation exercise then you ought to try out the single-handed version since it will allow you to focus more on the contraction and sap the most out of this one.
This exercise needs more attention because it does wonders not only for the primary muscles activated, those being shoulders and traps, but also your core and those small muscles in your hips, glutes, and spine responsible for keeping your balance upright.
For this exercise, you will need a barbell that is connected to a platform, or pushed in a corner/between two plates. You need one sleeve of the bar firmly fixed on the ground and the other completely free for movement. Once you’re established on that part you’re good to go. What you want to do next is get on your knees. Extend one foot forward and have the other one resting backward on your shin.
Grip the barbell with one hand and have the other hand resting either on your leg or hold on to whatever is close to you. Raise the bar up to your shoulder and hold it firmly. Now, raise the bar further up until you’ve fully extended your arm upward. Repeat this process until your shoulders are fully engaged. You should feel them working even after a few reps.
The Y-press is not your typical shoulder exercise. Many people have never seen this exercise because it is one of the more obscure ones you can find out there. That doesn’t mean that it won’t give your shoulders some proper building.
This exercise should virtually include all of your shoulder muscles – front, side, and back. That is why we included it in the list since the majority of other shoulder exercises usually isolate a certain part of your shoulders and neglect the others. That’s thanks to not only the lifting that takes place but also the stabilization which takes place as you try to keep the dumbbells at the proper position above your head.
Now, how do you perform the Y-press? That’s where the exercise got its name from. The goal of the exercise is to make a “Y” shape while you’re lifting the weights. Begin with finding a pair of suitable dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, lift the dumbbells up to your shoulders with your elbows pointing to the side. Push the dumbbells up and out forming the aforementioned Y letter. After that, bring the weight down to your shoulders and that wraps up your rep. Feel free to do as many of these as you can.
Saving the day isn’t the only thing superman does, he also saves back pain. Jokes aside, the superman is an incredible exercise for both your back muscles and your glutes. This exercise will have you sweating like a pig within seconds because of the intense strain that is being put on the muscles.
Even though it’s a minimalistic exercise in its nature, it still causes your muscles to burn and not always in the most pleasant way. No wonder why a lot of people avoid this one. Every second will feel like a minute while you’re holding both your hands and feet up as high as you can, pretending that you’re superman.
This is precisely how you perform this exercise. Begin by laying down with your chest facing the ground. You can use a yoga mat or anything else you find comfortable. Then, you want to look upwards and simultaneously raise both your arms and your legs. Your limbs should be about shoulder-width apart and they should be elevated from the ground for as much as your flexibility allows for.
As you start to fatigue, your arms and legs will start coming down but you can’t let them touch the ground! You want to hold them above ground for at least 30 seconds.
As simple as it may sound, walking is one of the most underrated exercises we know of. Back in the day people would only walk and consider it to be more than enough physical activity. Why? Because it is! Simple as that. If you do it for long periods of time, however.
People often forget that walking activates your whole body and if done regularly it can be an amazing form of exercise. It’s good for your health, metabolism, posture, circulation, muscle recovery, and so much more. Moreover, it can be done casually with your dog, friend, or kids. Therefore, try to go for walks more often and the longer they are the better.