Best Gym Exercises + Free 4 Day Workout Schedule

Best Gym Exercises

You’ve taken steps to get a membership to a gym – you have your list of things to bring with you

So, what’s your workout?

It can be overwhelming the first few times you go to a gym. I’ve mentioned this before, but I put way too much thought into what I should be doing, what I wanted to do, what to bring, if people were staring, etc. 

Spoiler Alert: no one cares what you are doing; trust me.

That being said, below I have 5 of the Best Gym Exercises to add to your gym workout. Plus, you can download my FREE 4 Day Gym Workout Schedule

Best Gym Exercises

5 of the Best Gym Exercises


Deadlifts are probably the ONE exercise you should add, if nothing else. Deadlifts are a FULL BODY WORKOUT but can target specific muscle groups. 

These are great for:

  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Back
  • Hamstrings
  • Shoulders
  • Core

There are several different variations, so find one that you are comfortable with. But don’t overdo it! And make sure your form is right. It’s easier to start with just the bar until you get your form right. After that, slowly increase the weight.

Side note: I have done barbell deadlifts but recommend starting with a full bar or the smith machine first.


My second favorite: squats.

Squats are great for building your legs. I do squats at almost every workout, even on Upper Body days as a way to keep my heart rate up between sets. With different variations, you can target specific muscle groups: hamstrings, glutes, quads. 

Once you start adding weight these are also good for core, stability, and your upper body as well.

If you’re starting back up at the gym or new to squats, start with just body weight, and slowly add dumbbells. Your goal is to work your way towards the smith machine, or standard bar. More weight = burns more fat + builds more muscle.

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While these are not one of my favorites, this is one of the best full body exercises to add to your routine. Planks help with core and stability.

It also engages your back, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, and arms… Pretty much, your WHOLE body.

If you aren’t shaking within the first 10 seconds, you aren’t doing it right!

Start with 30 second low planks after your workouts. Slowly increase the time by 5-10 seconds until you are doing 2-min planks at every workout. 

No, they don’t get easier. You get better.

Hip Thrusts

Hip Thrusts are another FAVORITE exercise.

Primarily used as a glute exercise, I love doing Hip Thrusts (or glute bridge) to stretch my hips. A lot of women (me included) use these to build their glutes, but you can use low or no weight to strengthen your glutes, core, and hamstrings. 

If you are looking build ya booty, start first with no weight. You want to make sure you are targeting the right muscle group, and your form is correct before adding weight. 

Pull Up

Yes, you can do a pull-up!

Most gyms have an assisted pull-up machine. This is one of the most amazing machines invented!

You can adjust the weight for how much assistance you’d like. Start HIGH! If you go too light, it’ll be difficult at first. Slowly work your way down in weight each week until you can do a pull-up without assistance.

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There you have it! Five of the BEST exercises to add to your workout. All of these workouts are included in my 4-Day Workout Schedule, too! 

If you’ve tried these, or do them regularly, what is your favorite? If you haven’t, are you going to try!?

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5 thoughts on “Best Gym Exercises + Free 4 Day Workout Schedule

  1. Kim

    I love doing planks! I’ve never tried a deadlift or a bar weighted squat though, but I have added some hand weights into my routine recently.

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