What is basic about the three basic exercises?

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For the “3 basic exercises,” it has always been understood as bench press, deadlift, and squat. 

The three exercises typical of powerlifting competitions and that, like the drive and the reverse, can be considered the basic movements of tennis, these three basic movements could also be considered if your sport is powerlifting. 

Now, what happens if your sport is not powerlifting or you do not plan to compete in the press bench? The answer is that then they have little of basic, necessary, intelligent or even effective comparatively speaking with other alternatives. We start one by one.

1. BENCH PRESS

 bench press dumbbell

One of the functions of the pectoralis major is the lateral adduction of the arm, which does not stop being a movement of embrace in biomechanical terms.

 If we analyze the bench press, we will observe how, on rare occasions, the arm exceeds 50% of its maximum range of motion in this concrete gesture, so the pectoralis major would not be obtaining the level of stress and activation that we could bring to it throughout its range, affecting the results. 

In addition, this exercise takes place in a situation of relative stability in hands when normally we will not have this stability when we must push a resistance in real life or in most sports which would affect their transfer. 

To make matters worse, it is developed on a bench, a detail that provides a stability to the column that we will never have as a general rule. 

It is of little use to be able to push 100Kg in bench press if later our column is only able to stand upright at a maximum force of 50Kg. As much as we are able to push the limit will always put the weakest link and in this case, the bench press leaves many without working.

ALTERNATIVE: Standing press with pulleys without any support except the ground.

2. – SQUAT:

gym motivation Squat

On rare occasions, unless we are or train a kangaroo, we will find a situation in which the double knee and hip extension are performed simultaneously by both legs. 

In sports, we can hardly find the rowing and little else. As a general rule, the impulse and damping in the race, as well as the different changes of direction and rhythm, are carried out with one leg or alternating them. 

For this same reason, it is vital to work the stabilizing muscles of the knee and hip so that they are able to maintain joint alignment every time a single leg has to cushion our own weight and reinforce it. This does not happen with exercises like the squat where you start from a situation of artificial stability that is not usually present outside the training rooms. 

Further, In case your goal is to gain muscle mass, muscle activation should matter. In this case, the bilateral deficit is more than demonstrated as we already explained in these articles.

ALTERNATIVE: Rear foot elevated split squat or lunge with the leg raised behind.

3. – DEAD WEIGHT :

gym exercises for back

Possibly the three most justified because this exercise does not stop simulating the mechanics of a jump where there is usually more hip flex than the knee. 

Vertical jumps can be performed on two legs, such as in the case of jumping while standing in sports such as volleyball, or one usual leg when going in the race.

 That is why, although it could be more important than the rest, it would be more convenient to do it with a bar that allows a more functional distribution of loads, such as a bar behind or hexagonal, and not with a straight bar, and combine it with a variant to a single leg.

ALTERNATIVE: Deadweight with hex bar and one-leg variant.

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