October 2016

5 Exercises You Should Be Doing But You’re Not

Our expert shares moves to key areas that you are overlooking.

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Sometimes, in our constant rush to get leaner, faster, and stronger, we forget areas of training that are beneficial to our overall progression. We forget about concepts like stability and symmetry, and forget to work certain muscles that help prevent injury. To combat this, we asked Gold’s Institute Fitness Expert Jay Cardiello to give us five moves that focus on areas you might not think about training but definitely should.

“These exercises are what I call pre-hab, so you avoid rehab,” he says. “They are made for application, not aesthetics. But the funny thing is that when you work these exercises, you achieve better aesthetics because your body is more sound to move big weights in other movements.” By performing these new exercises that focus on overlooked muscle groups, you’ll reduce your chance of injury and increase your quality of life.

Single legged squats

1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week

Begin by standing with your feet together and your hands at your side. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and brace your core. Raise your right foot off the floor, then slowly descend your hips to the floor as low as possible. Return to the original position, then repeat. Perform as many as possible in 30 seconds, then switch to the opposite leg.

What muscle group it works: Hips and legs
Why you should be doing it: Performing single leg squats lowers the risk of injury caused by asymmetrical hips. By working each leg separately, you ensure that you build muscle evenly and efficiently rather than letting the stronger side of your body dominate, which can happen when performing traditional squats.

Dead Bugs

1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week

Lie flat on your back on the floor. Extend your arms up in front of your body, while raising your legs and bending at the knees until they form a 90-degree angle. Brace your core, then extend your right arm back beyond your head while extending your left leg. Keep your left heel off of the floor. Return to the original position. Do as many as you can in a 30-second period, then switch to the opposite arm and leg. Dead Bugs also improve shoulder and hip mobility and range of motion. They also strengthen both important joints, reducing the potential for injury.

What muscle group it works: Shoulders, abdominals and hips
Why you should be doing it: Dead bugs reduce the potential for injury in your shoulders and hips. Dead bugs are a low impact workout, which is ideal for people with lower back pain, and a great way to strengthen your entire core.


1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend slightly forward at the hips. Extend your arms in front of your body as if you were hitting a golf ball. Brace your core and contract your shoulder blades together. At the same time, raise your arms slowly overhead as far as possible. Return to starting position and repeat for 30 seconds.

What muscle group it works: Rhomboids (upper-back muscles) and shoulders
Why you should be doing it: It strengthens the shoulder joint at every angle. This helps increase range of motion in your arms and shoulders, which in turn limits the potential for injury. Improved range of motion in major joints is a frequently overlooked factor to successful workouts.

Wall Press-offs

1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week

Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your back against the wall. Rest your elbows against the wall at shoulder height with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and your hands extended in front of your body. While keeping your upper back against wall, walk your feet forward until they are 6-8 inches from the wall. Brace your core while pressing your elbows into wall as you move your upper back away from wall. Your elbows should never leave the wall. Press until you are as far away from the wall as possible. Then, slowly return your upperback to the wall. Repeat for 30 seconds.

What muscle group it works: Shoulders and upper back
Why you should be doing it: Wall Press-offs improve posture and range of motion in the shoulder joints. These outcomes have many benefits, including an ability to workout for longer with heavier weights, limiting spine stress, and a decrease in abnormal joint wear.

Farmer’s Carry

5-7 full reps, 2-3 times per week

Grab a dumbbell (start with 10 pounds, then increase) in your right hand. Walk 25 paces. Turn around while switching the dumbbell to your other hand and walk back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your chin parallel to the ground. Walk slowly with your normal stride, and don’t rush. “This move improves balance, symmetry and coordination in the hips and throughout the entire core region,” Cardiello says. The Farmer’s Carry helps you keep your body aligned correctly during your daily life and when you’re lifting heavier weights.

What muscle group it works: Core
Why you should be doing it: The Farmer's Carry improves body symmetry, an essential factor in limiting injuries. Strengthening both sides of the body separately builds muscle evenly, tightening your core and keeping your spine aligned correctly.