List Of Weightlifting Exercises

List Of Weightlifting Exercises

Whether you are training for one specific sport or simply want to stay in shape, weightlifting is an excellent activity to build strength and increase fitness. See a list of weightlifting exercises below.

List of Chest Exercises

Bench Press

Bench pressing is an excellent way to build upper body strength in the chest and surrounding muscle groups. You have probably seen a bench press at a gym; it is the flat bench with a bar resting horizontally on top of a rack over the bench. There are different variations of bench pressing that will strengthen different muscles.

Close Grip Bench

A simple variation off of the traditional bench press, a close grip bench is the same movement only with a closer grip. On a close grip bench press, the thumbs should almost be touching each other before being wrapped around the bar, and the elbows should be kept tight to the body. Close grip benching is a good exercise for the triceps as well as the chest.

Wide Grip Bench

The opposite of close grip is the wide grip. For a wide grip bench press, widen the hands out further than a traditional bench press, about another finger or so, and perform the same movement as a traditional bench press. This gives a larger range of motion which improves overall muscle development and hits different muscle groups such as the front deltoids and the upper chest. 

Incline Bench Press

By inclining the bench so that the back part is angled upward at about 15-30 degrees, the incline bench press is a great exercise for the upper chest and shoulders. The incline bench press is the same motion and grip as the traditional bench press only at an incline.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Benching with dumbbells is an excellent way to strengthen stabilizing muscles and better for athletes who are not looking to lift too heavily. The dumbbell bench is a safer alternative to the traditional bench press as there is no risk of dropping the barbell, but the amount of weight used is limited. The dumbbell bench press can also be inclined as well.


Chest flys are a great way to isolate the chest muscle. They are typically done using lighter weight dumbbells or by using a machine. The chest fly not only isolates the chest, but strengthens the shoulders and triceps as well.

List of Tricep Exercises

While triceps are a small muscle group that are strengthened when doing chest and or shoulder exercises, they can also be isolated as well. Refer to the following list for isolated tricep exercises.

Tricep Pushdown

This exercise is an extension of the tricep muscle using a machine. Most gyms usually have a few different grips that can be used to perform this exercise. Different grips will give different variations of muscle growth. It is key to keep the elbows tight to the body for this exercise in order to isolate the triceps.

Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are another tricep extension exercise that is performed with a light cambered barbell being lifted away from the forehead. While laying flat on a bench and keeping the elbows close together, extend the barbell out away from the forehead, bring it back in and repeat. Weight selection is very important for this exercise. While it is a great exercise for the triceps, using too much weight and dropping the bar is how this exercise got its name.

Dumbbell Kickbacks

A nice, lighter weight exercise for isolating the triceps. Using a light weight dumbbell, kneel on a bench and keep a flat back, then simply extend the arm holding the dumbbell back until the arm is straight, bring it back to the hip so the arm is in a bent position and repeat. Using lower weight and higher reps is more effective for this exercise.

List of Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder exercises are great for building muscle mass and overall body strength. Here are a few exercises for strengthening the shoulders.

Shoulder Press

There are different variations of the shoulder press. The shoulder press can be done with a barbell, dumbbells or machine. When using a barbell, it is often called a behind the neck press as the bar is being raised and lowered above the head and behind the neck. It is important to keep the wrists in line with the elbows when doing a shoulder press to avoid injury.

Lateral Dumbbell Raise

The lateral dumbbell raise is an effective way to strengthen the deltoid muscle. Because such a specific muscle group is being isolated in this exercise, it is best to use a lighter weight, higher rep method of exercise to avoid injury. Simply take a dumbbell and raise it out to the side so that the arm is straight and then bring it back in.

Push Press

Like a shoulder press, this can also be done using dumbbells, a barbell or a machine. The main difference with the push press opposed to the shoulder press is that the weight is in front of the body this time. This exercise generates a lot of power by getting the legs involved to push the weight over the head.


Shrugs can be used with a barbell or with dumbbells and are great for building mass. Shrugs are performed by lifting the shoulders to the ears, simulating a shrugging motion. Shrugs are good for grip strength as well, with the hands holding without any support from the other muscle groups. Let the arms hang and only shrug the shoulders to isolate the trap muscles.

List of Back Exercises

Similar to shoulder exercises, back exercises are an excellent way to pack on muscle mass and increase overall strength. However, many back exercises fall into the “pull” category of exercises opposed to the “push” or extension category which we have talked about thus far.


Rows are great back exercises that can be done in a plethora of ways. These can be completed with a barbell, dumbbells and on machines such as seated or wide grip.

Dumbbell Row

These are typically done with one arm, with the other arm providing support against a bench while the legs are slightly bent in an athletic position. This movement is similar to starting a lawnmower. It is important not to jerk the weight but to control the movement.

Wide Grip Row

This exercise is done on a machine. The bar is longer and the exercise isolates the outer portion of the latissimus dorsi muscle and the upper trapezius. This is great for building muscle mass.

Seated Row

While the wide grip row works the outer portion of the latissimus dorsi, the seated row works the inner portion. The hands are also closer together and gripping a different bar on a different machine than the wide grip. The movement is similar to actually rowing a boat.

Bent Over Row

This is done using a barbell while bent over. Keep the back flat; this emphasizes good posture and an effective way to avoid injury.

List of Bicep Exercises

A highly popular muscle group to exercise, biceps are worked in most “pull” exercises but can easily be isolated by performing the curl exercise.


Curls are the most common bicep exercise. They are versatile and can be performed in many different ways, such as with a barbell, dumbbells and a machine. Different types of curls work the bicep muscle in different ways. Make sure the bicep is the only muscle curling the weight.