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The Underrated Exercises

Written on May 24, 2007 at 12:09 pm, by Eric Cressey

What are the three most underrated and underused exercises? Does it differ across gender?

Well, I’m not sure that the basics – squats, deadlifts, various presses, pull-ups, and rows – can ever be considered overrated or overappreciated in both a male and female population.

Still, I think that single-leg exercises are tremendously beneficial, but are ignored by far too many trainers and lifters. Variations of lunges, step-ups, split squats, and single-leg RDLs play key roles in injury prevention and development of a great lower body.

Specific to females, we know that we need a ton of posterior chain work and correctly performed single-leg work to counteract several biomechanical and physiological differences. Namely, we’re talking about quad dominance/posterior chain weakness and an increased Q-angle. Increasing glute and hamstrings strength and optimizing frontal plane stability is crucial for resisting knock-knee tendencies and preventing ACL tears. If more women could do glute-ham raises, the world would be a much better place!

Eric Cressey

2 Responses to “The Underrated Exercises”

  1. Christine Petty Says:

    I’m a female lifter, and I’m big on single leg RDLs, and other single limb lifts in general. I do my best to stay balanced.

    Oh, just read your deadlift article on t-nation, awesome awesome stuff!

  2. Brett Jones Says:

    Great stuff in the blog – too many people out there looking for the end run around hard work instead of hitting the basics (squat, bench, DL) + Mobility + skill work.
    Lift heavier and Jump higher – Love it.

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