Exercise Database

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Below is a listing of my favourite exercises, listed by bodypart used & ranked on a 0-10 scale.

Universally important

Excellent

Great

Good

Fair

Pectoralis (chest muscles)

The thorax or chest is a part of the anatomy located between the neck and the abdomen. Pectoral muscles are the muscles that connect the front of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder. This region contains four muscles that provide movements to the upper limbs or ribs.

  1. Pectoralis major is a thick, fan-shaped convergent muscle, which makes up the bulk of the chest muscle. It lies under the breast. It serves to flex, extend, and rotate the humerus, the long bone of the upper arm.
  2. Pectoralis minor is a thin muscle beneath the pectoralis major. It attaches to the ribs, and serves to stabilize the scapula, the large bone of the shoulder.
  3. Along with the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, the subclavius muscle forms the axilla (armpit). The subclavius moves the shoulder downward and forward.
  4. Serratus anterior is a muscle on the front of the chest. It moves the scapula forward around the torso.
Pectoralis major
Pectoralis major
Pectoralis minor
Pectoralis minor
subclavius muscle 
subclavius muscle
Serratus anterior
Serratus anterior

Between the ribs are various groups of intercostal muscles, which help with breathing.

12 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 3-6 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 4 exercises. Generally speaking these 4 exercises will comprise of 1) dumbbell flyes; 2) incline dumbbell bench press; 3) decline dumbell press & 4) one other from the remaining 9 options.

Excellent

Dumbbell Flyes – I regard the dumbbell fly as the single most useful all around chest exercise. This is because apart from minor activation of the delts and it works the chest almost exclusively. Additionally it also improves shoulder mobility.

Dumbbell Flyes

Great

Decline Dumbbell Flyes

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Incline dumbbell bench press

Decline dumbbell bench press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Pushups (including holds, weighted & assisted)

Decline Push-Up

Incline Push-Up

Chest dips

Good

Neutral-grip dumbbell bench press

Flat Barbell Bench Press

Triceps

The triceps, or triceps brachii (Latin for “three-headed muscle of the arm”), is a large muscle on the back of the upper limb. It consists of 3 parts: the medial, lateral, and long head. It is the muscle responsible for extension of the elbow joint (straightening of the arm).

triceps
triceps (lateral, long & medial heads)

10 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 2-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 3 exercises. Generally speaking these 3 exercises will comprise of 1) tricep dips; 2) close grip bench press (with a tricep bar) & 3) one other from the remaining 8 options.

Excellent

Triceps dips (including weighted &/ assisted)

Triceps dip

Close Grip Bench Press

Great

Skullcrusher

Cable V-bar push-down

Good

Dumbbell floor press

Single-arm cable triceps extension

Kneeling cable triceps extension

Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment

Seated triceps press

Lying cable triceps extension

Shoulders

15 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 4-6 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 5 exercises. Generally speaking these 5 exercises will comprise of 1) Incline dumbbell reverse fly; 2) seated dumbbell press; 3) side lateral raise; 4) dumbbell external shoulder rotation & one other from the remaining 11 options.

Excellent

Incline dumbbell reverse fly

Dumbbell external shoulder rotation

Great

Seated Dumbbell Press

Face pull

Military press

Bradford press

Standing palms-in shoulder press

Band Pull Apart

Side Lateral Raise

Good

Alternating dumbbell front raise

Front Plate Raise

Single-arm cable front raise

Arnold press

Barbell upright row

Incline face-down bar front raise

Latissimus Dorsi & Rhomboids (Back)

latissimus dorsi
Latissimus Dorsi
Rhomboid Major
Rhomboid Major
Rhomboid Minor
Rhomboid Minor

10 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 4-6 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 5 exercises. Generally speaking these 5 exercises will comprise of 1) pullups; 2) lat pull-down (narrow grip); 3) lat pull-down (wide grip); 4) one-arm dumbbell row & 5) one other from the remaining 6 options.

Excellent

Pullups (including weighted and/or assisted)

Pullups

Great

Lat pull-down (narrow grip)

Lat pull-down (wide grip)

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Back extension

Seated Cable Rows

Good

T-Bar Row with Handle

One-Arm Long Bar Row

Rack pull

Shotgun row

Biceps

7 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 2-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 3 exercises. Generally speaking these 3 exercises will comprise of 1) EZ-bar curl; 2) hammer curls (with tricep bar); 3) one other from the remaining 5 options.

Excellent

EZ-Bar Curl

EZ-Bar Curl

Concentration curl

Great

Barbell Curl

Hammer Curls

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Good

Preacher Curl

Zottman Curl

Abs or Core

8 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 3-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 4 exercises. Generally speaking these 4 exercises will comprise of 1) crunches; 2) elbow plank 3) bottoms up; 4) one other from the remaining 5 options.

Excellent

Crunches (including bodyweight & weighted)

Crunches

Great

Elbow plank

Bottoms Up

Suspended ab fall-out

Decline reverse crunch

Good

Landmine twist

Oblique bodyweight seated twists

Oblique bodyweight seated crunches

Forearms

4 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 3-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 3 exercises. Generally speaking these 3 exercises will comprise of 1) palms-down wrist curl over bench; 2) palms-up wrist curl over bench & 3) one other from the remaining 3 options.

Great

Palms-down wrist curl over bench

Palms-down wrist curl over bench

Palms-up wrist curl over bench

Neutral grip dumbbell wrist curl

Wrist roller

Powerball

Quadriceps

10 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 4-6 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 5 exercises. Generally speaking these 5 exercises will comprise of 1) teardrop squat; 2) barbell full squat 3) dumbbell lunges; 4) dumbbell goblet squat & 5) one other from the remaining 6 options.

Excellent

Teardrop Squat

Great

Barbell Full Squat

Barbell Full Squat

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

Dumbbell Lunges

Barbell front squat

Narrow-stance squat

Zercher squat

Barbell side split squat

Good

Bodyweight squat

Forward lunge

Glutes

5 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 2-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 3 exercises. Generally speaking these 3 exercises will comprise of 1) bulgarian split squat; 2) barbell hip thrust & 3) one other from the remaining 3 options.

Excellent

Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

Barbell Hip Thrust

Great

Dumbbell sumo squat

Good

Glute bridge

Side-lying leg lift

Calves

4 exercises in my rotation of which I’ll use 2-4 in any one session with most sessions utilizing around 3 exercises. Generally speaking these 3 exercises will comprise of 1) elevated seated calf raise; 2) elevated single-leg standing dumbbell calf raise & 3) one other from the remaining 2 options.

Excellent

Elevated Seated Calf Raise

Great

Elevated Single-leg standing dumbbell calf raise

Elevated Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

Good

Elevated Standing Calf Raise

Hamstrings

Excellent

Romanian Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift

Trapezius

The trapezius is a muscle that starts at the base of your neck, goes across your shoulders and extends to the middle of your back. The trapezius (traps muscle) helps you move your head, neck, arms, shoulders and torso. It also stabilizes your spine and helps with posture. Muscle strains can affect the traps and cause pain and decreased mobility.

Great

Standing dumbbell shrug

Standing dumbbell shrug

Barbell shrug

Barbell behind-the-back shrug

Good

Cable shrug

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