My 5 Favorite Gym Exercises for a Full Body Workout


I recently did an article on the 3 best bodyweight workouts that you can do anywhere. Today I’m going to talk about my personal favorite exercises you can do at the gym. They work great for me, a 26-year-old male, but will be good for anyone. If you are still skeptical about the MANY benefits of exercise, you can read about that by clicking the link.


  1. Chest Press


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The chest press is like the machine version of the bench press, where you can easily adjust the weight and you are sitting down instead of lying on your back. I prefer it over the bench press because I don’t need a spotter, so I can push myself hard without worrying. The chest press, just like the bench press, primarily works your pectorals, AKA chest muscles. (big surprise, right?) It also works your shoulders and triceps, so it is great for overall strength. Guys love this workout because we can get a stronger, bigger chest, but it is very beneficial for women too. Working your chest muscles will lift your breasts, improve their shape, and make them look slightly bigger, according to


  1. Seated Row


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After working my chest, I like to get a full back workout with the seated row. The seated row works all your back muscles, both upper and lower, and shoulders. It secondarily works your biceps and triceps. There is also the seated cable row, which is more like a rowing simulation and can be very fun cardio as well. I have seen machines that track how many miles or kilometers you have ‘rowed’, so it’s fun to see how fast or far you can go. These exercises help with your posture as well.


  1. Leg Press

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Don’t skip leg day! Working your leg muscles is very important if you want overall strength. The leg press works your quadriceps and hamstrings, the muscles on the front and back of your thighs. It also works your gluteus maximus, AKA booty, which is why it is especially popular with women, as it can make your butt bigger and more toned. This exercise secondarily works your hip adductors and calves. I have found this is the best machine for overall lower body strength.


  1. Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press



The biceps are the ‘showman’s muscle’, because they are always noticed and associated with strength. The bicep is a relatively small muscle compared to some of the others on this list but is still important to work. This is a great exercise for toning and/or building your arm muscles. You can stop there, but I like to transition the bicep curl to a shoulder press. This way you can kill two birds with one stone. This exercise can only be done with free weights, but you can do the bicep curl and shoulder press individually with machines at the gym. You simply do a bicep curl with the free weights, then when the weights are up to your shoulders you lift them straight up until your arm is almost fully extended. This exercise primarily builds your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.


  1. Tricep Press


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The last workout I usually do is the tricep press. The tricep is the long muscle on the back of your arm. It is the bigger counterpart to your bicep, so it is very important to arm strength. This is known as an ‘isolation’ exercise, meaning it just works one muscle group and movement happens at one joint. You should always work both your biceps and triceps for an effective arm workout.


Those are the 5 main exercises I do at the gym, they work well for me and you should try them if you want a great, full-body workout. I should also mention that I always do cardio before hitting the weights. I usually run on the treadmill or do box jumps, which is another great exercise you can do anywhere. You can read more about how exercise built confidence and changed my life.


What are your favorite workouts at the gym? Do you prefer free weights or machines? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading!

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