I have been meaning to write on this subject for a while. When I first began working out and designing my own program I would do the essential exercises. Bench Press, Bicep curls, shoulder press, triceps pull down, Lat machine different leg extension, leg curl, leg press. I knew I was getting stronger but was it making me a better athlete? As time went on I started to do more reading and studying and learn to improve my workouts. Instead of developing a plan to work specific muscles I should pick exercises that will help me with movements of the body. Now what are movements of the body Pushing, Pulling, Squatting, Hinging, and Loaded Carry. Dan John World Renowned Strength Coach is where I got those five movements from.( Suggest you check his books especially Never Let Go) Now Coach Mike Boyle another world famous strength coach expanded on those movements in more detail. Horizontal Push, Horizontal Pull, Vertical Push(over head), Vertical Pull(pull ups) , Knee dominate leg exercise(squats) Hip dominate exercise(dead lift) Pillar Strength( planks) Full body( Olympics lifts if there are in your program.) Now if your program has one exercise in each area then you are covering your entire body without problem. If not then you will have to switch some exercises around to make sure you cover all the major movements of the body. The goal is to make sure your body is balance. This way you don’t just hit the same mirror muscles all the time and cause misalignment with your body.
These are examples of Exercises in each category to give yourself an idea.
Bench Press, Push up, Dumbbell Bench press,
Barbell Bent over rows, Inverted rows, Bat Wings, T-bar rows
Military press, Shoulder press, Push press
Pull- up, Chins-ups Lat pull down , Rope climbing,
Knee Dominate legs
Squats(Front, Back), REFSS, Bulgarian, Lunges, Pistol Squats
Hip Dominate Legs
Dead lift( all variations Single leg, Straight leg, Good mornings, Sumo traditional)
Planks, Farmer walks, Landmines, Med ball tosses