When it came to selecting the best exercises for men there was a lot to consider: strength, testosterone increase, endurance, functionality, etc. Though there are many options, here are the exercises we feel every man should be doing regularly to survive the beating of everyday life.
First off, these aren't just the best exercises for men. In fact, these are great exercises for anyone.
However; as a guy and a dad with three kids I've had to alter my training over the years to match the physical demands of life. The following exercises have been crucial in helping me adapt to those demands.
I recognize that everyone's training goals are different and my list of the best exercises for men may not match what is best for you.
The following "best exercises for men" is what I believe to be best for the average 9 to 5 guy with kids, a job, and little time to train. Not the guy running marathons every week or the guy interested training for MMA (though they would be great for both of them too).
Here Are My 4 Best Exercises For Men
#1: Unilateral Carries
Number one on my list of the best exercises for men has to be unilateral carries. Dads and guys everywhere are constantly being asked to carry heavy car seats, kids, landscape materials and suitcases with one arm for long distances, while attempting to balance their body out with their arm.
Unilateral carries not only engage the core and train it to stabilize the spine under heavy load, they also challenge the grip, shoulders, arms, and back muscle.
Unilateral carries help to prevent injury and also look manly as hell when you're doing them.
The easiest way to train unilateral carries is simply to grab the heaviest kettlebell or dumbbell you can lift and walk with it for 50 yards.
#2: Turkish Get Ups (TGU)
Number 2 on my list of best exercises for men is the Turkish Get Up. The benefits of this single exercise are astounding. The Turkish Getup is truly one of the best exercises ever.
It builds strength, mobility, stability; flexibility and overall ability. I like to suggest that you do this exercise once a week or at the very least a few times a month.
The Turkish Get Up is a great way to train getting up off the floor under load. I don't know how many dads and moms I've talked to who have been injured simply by getting up off the ground after changing a baby or picking up a toddler.
The TGU simulates and trains that movement pattern so that you can prevent injury. It is also an incredible overall strength builder, which is reason alone for including it on the list of best exercises for men.
Deadlifts are on just about every list I've ever read related to the best exercises for men and for good reason. Deadlifts simulate the most common day to day activity, which is picking things up off the ground.
Whether it's kids, furniture, landscape boulders, suitcases, etc., learning to hinge properly and having strength through this movement pattern is critical for overall health and integrity of the spine.
Deadlifts stimulate nearly every muscle in the body making them an incredibly time efficient exercise for anyone with little time to train.
#4: Overhead Presses
Lots of guys spend too much time bench pressing and not enough time doing overhead pressing movements, which is way more practical in the real world.
I'm not a complete hater of the bench, I just don't see how it applies to too many activities in everyday life, which is why it is not on my list of best exercises for men.
The exception to this feeling being when you have to push the couch across the room, but even that is mostly your legs, so I digress.
Anyway, overhead presses are incredible for building overall strength and are critical for developing the ability to press objects overhead safely; especially when off balance, standing on a ladder, etc.
Overhead presses in my opinion should be trained multiple times a week and in varying positions, including: seated on the floor (Savickas-press), standing (barbell overhead press), off balance (single arm dumbbell press), and under heavy instability (kettlebell bottoms up press).
Again, my list of the best exercises for men may not necessarily be the most important exercises for you. However, I am confident that the exercises listed above will help you prepare for most activities in life like few exercises can.
Plus, no matter what your goals are these exercises are incredibly functional and will provide anyone with robust health benefits if trained regularly.