Basic Weight Lifting Exercises
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Basic Weight Lifting Exercises

The following Six exercises comprises a core of basic weight lifting exercises.

These, alone done regularly could be great set of exercises for a full body workout. But they will work best if combined with the Interesting Exercises found elsewhere in this website.

Before beginning with these basic weight lifting exercises, you should be comfortable doing the core exercises, and should even use them as a warm-up to your weight lifting session

1.    The bench press is the best single exercise for fast chest development.  Specifically, it builds up the pectoral muscles, frontal deltoids, and triceps.

2.    The regular press develops the arms (triceps) and shoulders.

3.    Squats  are   the   best-known   leg   developers—a   popular exercise in paratrooper training units. Squats are excellent for building up the thighs, lungs and rib cage.

4.    The rowing motion builds a strong back by developing the
latissimus dorsi muscles, trapezius, and rear deltoids.

5.    Curls are the famous biceps-builders, essential for strong

6.    The rowing motion develops the upper and middle parts of
the back and sides; dead lifts take care of the all-important lower
back muscle, or spinal erector.

How to Do the Six Basic Weight Lifting Exercises
1. BENCH PRESS. Sometimes also called the back press, this requires the use of a low, sturdy bench and two bar supports. The bar supports are used to support the barbells while you take up your position on the bench. (If you're working with a partner, the bar supports are not absolutely necessary. He can hand the barbell to you when you're comfortably situated on the bench.)

Adjust the equipment so that you can first sit on the end of the bench with your knees bent comfortably, feet touching the floor. Then lie back on the bench so that your shoulders are under the barbell. Now you are in position to bring your hands back to your shoulders and grasp the barbell.

(Work with a light weight for the first two weeks: 30 or 40 pounds will be sufficient. Gradually work up to 50 pounds by adding 10 pounds per week; thereafter, continue to increase the weight slowly as you develop.)
Remove the barbell from the bar supports, or take it from your partner. Starting from chest level, push the barbell up to arms' length, and return to chest level. Breathe deeply as you push upwards. Do 12 repetitions.

2. REGULAR PRESS. One of the three official Olympic lifts, this is also called the Two-Hands Military Press. In this press, the weight is lifted with both hands straight from the floor to shoulder level in one continuous movement; then, after a two-second pause, the weight is pushed straight up to arms' length overhead. It is this latter movement that is properly called a press.
The regular press is executed by pushing the barbell up from shoulder level, and returning it to shoulder level. The movement should be smooth and clean. Try to avoid jerky, uneven motions.
All the work is done by the arms and shoulders. The head and body are kept in a vertical position, and the legs are straight and stationary. It is important to avoid the natural tendency to arch the back. Do 12 repetitions, using a 30- or 40-pound weight.

3. SQUATS. In calisthenics, these are called Deep Knee Bends. In weight-lifting, and in the various Armed Forces, they're usually known as squats. A wonderful exercise, squats will develop powerful legs, and an enormous chest and lung capacity.
But quantity is as important here as quality: you must work up to a good number of repetitions, and they must be done right.
Place the bar of the barbell against the back of your neck and squat down, making sure to keep your head up and your back perfectly straight; then return to standing position. Use 40 or 50 pounds of weight.
Try 12 repetitions for the first two weeks, then increase slowly to 15 or 20.
After the first month, when your legs have begun to build up, do as many free squats daily as you can. The free squat is a regular calisthenic, performed without using any weight at all, but with hands placed on hips.
Free squats are used to build powerful legs in paratrooper training units. Even in Army basic training, a soldier must be able to do 75 free squats in order to achieve a grade of 100% in this exercise during the physical training tests. This is not to say, unfortunately, that every soldier can do it; but every body-builder should eventually work up to 100 squats.
When you first begin, you'll find your thighs beginning to feel it after 20 or 25 free squats. Of course you should never push yourself to the point of exhaustion; take it easy in the beginning. After the first week or two, you won't have to worry about "straining" your thighs. They're the biggest, strongest muscles in your body, and they can take it.

4. ROWING MOTION. If you're looking for that V-shaped upper body, this is the exercise for you. The rowing motion develops not only the rear deltoids and the strong trapezius muscle in the center of the upper back, but also the latissimus dorsi or "wing" muscles—the ones that flare up from the sides of the rib cage right to the shoulders.
Bend at the waist so that upper body is parallel to the ground. Keep your legs and back straight. Pull the weight straight up to the neck, using your arms and shoulders to do all the work. Elbows are kept out wide, away from the body. Then lower barbell to straight-arm position. Do 12 repetitions, using 30 or 40 pounds to start.

5. CURLS. Whatever else you may be looking for, it's a sure bet you're in the market for a strong and powerful pair of arms. The biceps are the universal symbol of strength. Trainees in most of the Armed Forces are required to do eight or ten pull-ups on the chinning bar before every meal. Yet, when they start basic training, many men can't get beyond the first two or three—and some can't chin themselves once. A great many boys neglect their arms because they seldom have to use them in civilian life. It's a vicious circle: the boy who feels that his arms are weak may be afraid to play baseball and football—the very sports that could develop his arms.
You need solid arm power for throwing, lifting, pushing, pulling, climbing, hanging, carrying—and, in an emergency, for self-defense fighting. The weight-lifter's curl is the best and fastest way to develop the all-important biceps muscle.
A regular overhand grip was used in all the previous exercises. In the normal curl, an underhand grip is used to develop the biceps. An overhand grip is used (reverse curl) to build up the forearm muscles as well as the biceps.
Either a barbell or dumbbells may be used. Start with 15 or 20 pounds, and work up to 30 or more. Stand erect, holding weight at arms' length. Bring the weight in a semi-circular path up to shoulder level, keeping elbows at sides. The back is kept straight; don't allow yourself to bend backwards or move your elbows back. Do 12 repetitions.

6. DEAD-LIFT. TWO grips are possible: a regular overhand grip, or a combination grip—one hand over, one under. Use whichever you prefer. Some body-builders like to use the combination grip when the barbell is straddled.
In the starting position, the weight is on the floor. It may either be straddled, or approached from one side. Grasp the bar, keeping arms straight, and simply straighten the legs and body. Lifting is done with the lower back muscles, not with the arms or shoulders. Do 10 repetitions.
In the beginning, use a light weight—not more than 60 pounds. Slowly work up to 75 and 100.

A note of caution here: No matter how powerful your arms and shoulders may be, never try to lift a heavy weight from the ground unless you've been doing dead-lifts in your weight-training program. The lower back muscle, or spinal erector, is an important foundation muscle, enabling you to walk upright. With regular attention and development, it will become a powerful muscle, capable of supporting tremendous amounts of weight. It can be strained, however, if you attempt a heavy dead-lift without previous training.
Therefore, start your program with a weight you can handle easily, and you'll never have any trouble. The rule for safety is this: In the dead-lift, never use a weight that you cannot lift without straining for at least five repetitions.

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The information found in and throughout The 7 Habits of Weight loss ( is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.
Information found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.