It’s easy to get bored with your workouts. Easy to get lost in all the information (and misinformation) about what exercises to do or not do. We thought we’d make it simple by putting together a compendium of exercises in alphabetical order. Scroll through, note what you might find useful or not — and, who knows, you might end up with a whole new routine.
Note that we’ve included a range of exercises that work a wide assortment of muscles and a variety of skill levels. So if you’re feeling good on arm day, but wondering what else you can do on leg day, we’ve got you covered. Or if you’re seeking something more (or less) challenging, you’ll find what you’re looking for, too.
This move challenges the core by forcing the abs to resist arching the lower back. Rollouts give you immediate feedback on proper technique because if you do it wrong, you’ll feel tension in your lower back right away.
The move: Take a plank position with your forearms resting on a foam roller (you can also use a stability ball), then extend your arms and roll the foam roller away from you as you hold your hips up (avoid straining on your lower back), then pull it back and repeat.
A hybrid squat-pushup that’s as challenging as it is good for you because you’re working nearly every muscle in your body, using a move that’s been around since its namesake invented it back in the 1930s.
The move: Start in a squat. Put your palms on the floor. Shift quickly into a pushup position. Do a pushup (optional). Jump back into squatting position. Do an explosive jump, hands in the air, and land in a standing position. Repeat.
It’s like a regular curtsy, but harder and with optional weights — and it works the glutes. Big time.
The move: Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell. Shift your weight to one side as you move the foot from your other side behind you, sweeping it out to the opposite side, while kneeling with your front leg. Get your front leg into a 90-degree bend, then push off your front heel into a standing position, while moving your back leg out. Repeat with the same legs for 10 reps, then switch legs and do 10 more. (Kettlebell optional, we should add.)
This move builds strength in your hamstrings, glutes, lats, core — essentially, a deadlift is a total-body workout. That said: Be careful with this one. If your form is off, you can seriously hurt yourself. Work with a trainer or start very slowly.
The move: Stand over a barbell, feet at hip width. Bend at the knees, keeping your back straight and your weight back. Using an overhand grip, grab the barbell with your hands just outside your knees. Push up from the hips, lifting the weight to hip height. Repeat.
It’s a regular pushup, done with plyometrics and builds the chest a little more powerfully than your standard pushup.
The move: Assume the basic pushup position, but instead of just pushing yourself back up, you’ll push forcefully so your hands come off the ground. Repeat as you would with non-explosive pushups.
This move works the upper-body muscles, especially the chest.
The move: For a chest fly, lie flat on a weight bench. Take two dumbbells, and hold them with your arms back and bent at the elbows. Lift them together above your chest, keeping your elbows bent at a slight angle, and being careful not to clank the dumbbells together at the top of your lift. All variations use roughly this same movement, but you’ll start from a different position.
It’s basically a regular squat, but you’ll be holding some weight to amplify your workout. It improves posture and hip mobility.
The move: Start from a standing position with your feet wide and pointed out, holding the head of the dumbbell or a kettlebell with both hands at chest level. Keep your back straight and push down with your butt until your hips are below your knees. Extend your hips and knees and return to the standing position.
This is a movement-based core exercise, leveraging weight such as a kettlebell or a medicine ball.
The move: From a standing position, move one foot slightly forward, then position the weight in front of the back leg’s hip. Keeping your arms straight, lift the weight to your opposite shoulder, twisting through the chest and shoulder. Return to the starting position, then repeat. Complete reps, then switch sides.
The combination of movements works your core, biceps, forearms, shoulders and pecs. Keeping your torso straight also helps with balance.
The move: Start from a standing position, then put your hands to the floor, being careful not to bend your legs. From there, “walk” forward using your hands until you are fully stretched out. Then, walk using your feet until you’re back into the starting position. (Now you understand how it got its name.)
Boost the intensity of standard bodyweight exercises like squats by turning them into plyometric or explosive exercises.
The move: Stand tall. Push your hips back and bend at the knees to lower into a squat. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, push through your feet to explode upward, driving your arms overhead. Land softly and repeat.
These raise your heart rate and also work just about everything else: shoulders, chest, abs, upper legs and hips. No mountain required.
The move: Assume a pushup or plank position. Step forward with one foot, pulling your knee toward your chest. Alternate legs. Do a desired number of reps or do AMRAP for a desired amount of time. Keep your back straight to maximize effectiveness and avoid injury.
Also known as an eccentric exercise. The eccentric (or negative) part of weightlifting breaks down the muscles in different ways by focusing on the lowering part of the movement.
The move: Perform a standard exercise (like a bicep curl or deadlift) to the raised position, but then lower the weight slowly.
This shoulder capsule mobility drill increases the function of your shoulders, scapulas and arms in an overhead position.
The move: Begin with your feet hip-width apart and your arms locked out overhead. Pull your shoulders down into your shoulder capsule (the opposite of shrugging your shoulders up). Then begin making small circles with your arms, trying to keep a soft bend in your knees while your rib cage and belly button stay on a tight, compressed line. Make sure to circle in both directions.
A great workout for your upper body from your chest, biceps and traps to your abs and lower back. Maybe best of all, it requires no equipment and is a move almost everybody knows how to do.
The move: With hands slightly wider than your shoulders, lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then push up.
Exactly what it sounds like … Look, Q was hard, so we’re cheating a pinch here. But still: A quick run is a useful way to exercise.
The move: We’ll define this two ways: 1. Your classic interval training, where you alternate all-out running for, say, one lap, with a more paced jog. Or 2. Another term for a sprint.
A great basic move that works your entire body and especially your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and core.
The move: Begin with your feet about hip-width apart. Step back into a reverse lunge with your front foot staying flat under your bent front knee and your back foot supported by your toes. Then return your back foot to the normal lunge position
While it’s best known as a glute exercise, it also builds leg strength and your core.
The move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body, keeping your upper body up and bending at the hips and the knees, until you’re in a squat, with your knees over your ankles and your thighs parallel to the floor. Raise yourself up, pushing through your heels.
A way to tone your shoulders and triceps.
The move: Sit in a chair or something sturdy (like a box) and put your hands beside you, roughly shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward. Then, slide your body forward, off of the support. Steady yourself, using your arms for support. Dip down, bending your arms, touching your bottom to the ground, then raise yourself back up again. It’s sort of like a seated pushup.
A somewhat controversial lift move, these are great for building shoulders, but can also be great for harming your shoulders. Use in moderation.
The move: Start with the barbell at waist height. Use an overhand grip, slightly less than shoulder width. Keep your back straight and lift the bar to your chin, keeping the bar as close to your body as possible. Keep your elbows above your forearms the entire time. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower the bell. Repeat as desired. (Note: This can also be done with a cable or dumbbells.)
This crunch alternative will have you forming, yep, a V on the floor, with your body to target your abs.
The move: Sit on the floor, bending your knees and keeping your arms straight ahead for balance. Then, relax your body until it’s almost flat, but keep your head, shoulders and feet a few inches off the floor. Then raise yourself back up into that V position. Repeat until you hit your goal for reps or duration. (Some people do a variation where they start in the lie-down position, with hands above their head, then fold into the V/crunch. Try both ways and see what suits you better.)
Walking + lunge = a walking lunge. It’s just math, really. It’s also a great move for your quads, and, as with a lunge, helps improve core strength.
The move: Take your standard lunge, where you put one foot in front, one foot behind, and dip your body while holding your back straight up, perpendicular to the ground. When you come back set, pull your back foot forward until it’s even with the front foot. Then lunge with your opposite foot forward.
Another crunch alternative, this move gives your hips a good workout, too, generating improved balance and stability..
The move: Lie on the ground, with your arms pointing straight up, and with your feet a few inches off the ground. Then, raising your chin and shoulders slightly, bring your legs toward your shoulders while lowering your arms toward your hips. Hold, lower, repeat.
A weighted raise, this will have you covering the first move in the famous “YMCA” dance.
The move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your feet flat, and using your arms only (don’t cheat and swing your whole body into it), raise each arm until you’re making a “Y” with your body. Slowly lower and repeat as desired.
A fairly old-school workout that will have you zigging and zagging through roughly five cones (or whatever marker you choose).
The move: Set those cones roughly 5-feet apart (enough for two strides), then run in a zigzag pattern until you reach the end. Then run backward, straight (no zigzag) until you’re at the start. Run through the cones the opposite way, then straight back again. That’s one rep. Repeat as desired. It works the calves, and improves the ankles’ overall mobility. It’s a simple exercise runners — or anyone who plays a speed-based, stop-start sport like tennis or basketball — will appreciate.