Everything our bodies can do is made up of six basic movements: squat, bend, push, pull, twist, and lunge. Our bodies are built to work as a unit, performing all of these fundamental moves together—not in isolation.
So forget single muscle-group exercises, and instead focus on working with—not against—your body. Do these six exercises and you’ll be getting the workout your body needs—hitting every muscle, burning fat, and transforming your physique.
Squat: Body-Weight Squat
Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.
Bend: Barbell Straight-Leg Deadlift
Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm’s length in front of your hips. Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position.
Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause at the bottom, and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible.
Pull: Barbell Row
Grab the barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm’s length. Bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Pull the bar to your upper abs. Pause, then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Twist: Kneeling Rotational Cop
Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Kneel down next to the handle so that your left side faces the weight stack. Rotate your body to grip the rope with both hands. Your torso should be turned toward the sable machine. Keep your torso upright for the entire movement. In one movement, pull the rope down and past your right hip as you simultaneously rotate your torso. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat on the right side.
Lunge: Dumbbell Lunge
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then push yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Repeat on the other side.