1. The Squat is the king of all exercises
Squats hit most muscle groups in the body, with emphasis on the core and large lower body muscles such as quads, hams and 'dem glutes’.
The more muscle mass and motor units recruited during an exercise, the better the exercise is for getting stronger and burning fat...and the squat is the best of them all.
2. Bench press!
My favourite exercise.
Bench is in my opinion the best exercise you can do for your chest. All the squeezing exercises for the chest are supplementary to this essential lift.
Targeting your mid chest on flat bench, upper on an incline and lower on decline; bench press is always in my programme, not just because I enjoy it, but because it continuously gives me gains in both strength and size. It also gives the triceps a good workout as well as your front delts.
3. Military press.
Also called a shoulder press, the military press targets the deltoids and is generally done in a standing position - that way it forces you to stabilize your core, instead of being able to use the bench for support (as you would in a seated military press).
Alternatively I enjoy doing these in a seated position but with no back rest - again to engage my core.
4. Reverse bent over row.
The underhand grip makes you as much as one-third stronger due to increased activation of the biceps.
I usually always train biceps with back as they get such a good pump regardless.
However bent over rows have always been a personal favourite. They're great for building a strong thick back.
Reverse grip rows also build a powerful core, as you need to brace the abs and hold position while pulling the bar to your torso.
5. After reverse bent over rows - pull-ups are the most complete exercise for back development
Especially for the latissimus dorsi - and you hit every part of your back, from the wide part of your trapezius and latissimus dorsi, tapering down to your waist and lower back, just by using a combination of pull-up variations.
An Honorary mention: Deadlift.
This exercise is very important, as the lower back is usually a very weak area on most, which in turn creates instability, injuries, and other issues.
Otherwise, there are several hand positions you can use - both hands pronated (i.e. overhand), an alternate grip with one hand pronated and the other supinated (i.e. underhand).
Deadlifts are usually always in my routines as they release the most growth hormone around the body.
However depending on my training split, I tend not to do them so close to legs as they target similar areas. Therefore at times it leaves me with the decision of deadlifts or squats.
And as I previously mentioned, Squats are king!