5 Best Exercises Overall

If you could only do 5 exercises, these would give you the most bang for your buck:

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I’ll be honest, listing the 5 Best Exercises for everything is next to impossible. It’s because the list of best exercises will change depending on your goals. I’m going to make an attempt here, but I strongly recommend checking out the navigation bar above to see the 5 best exercises for a lot of goals.¬†Also, keep in mind that just doing a few exercises is not enough to reach most goals. The exercises should be part of a comprehensive exercise program. I have compiled a list of the Best Exercise Programs. And, you can also see a List of Exercises if you want to see more.


I selected squats because they are very functional (needed for everyday activities) and because they use a large amount of muscle (burns more calories, increases metabolism, etc.). Also, they can be performed so many ways (body weight, added weight (barbells and dumbbells), assisted, etc).

TRX Push Ups
Push ups are simply the most effective upper body exercise for your pushing muscles (chest, front shoulder, triceps). Like squats, they use a lot of muscle and can be done anywhere. The best form of push ups is with the TRX system. this way uses even more muscle than traditional push ups.

Hamstring Curls

I’m sure this seems like a strange choice, and admittedly, I almost didn’t add this exercise to the list. But, it’s very effective for the muscles of the back side of the legs as well as the glutes (butt muscles) and lower back. It also uses the hamstrings in a natural way. If you don’t have a ball, you can replace this with a hamstring press.


This list needed an exercise for the back, and this one is better than the pull-down. It uses the lat muscles of the pull down and additionally incorporates the rear of the shoulder. It also uses the lower back to stabilize you during the exercise. My preference would be standing cable rows, but other rows would do.


The list needed a cardio exercise. While walking may be too easy for some exercisers, it’s probably the most universal of all cardio exercises. It can be accomplished anywhere and is proven to be effective.

What, No Core Exercises?

As I said, narrowing down to only five exercises is tough. But, I feel pretty good about this because push-ups uses core strength just like a plank exercise (which is my favorite core exercise). Also, the row uses the low back muscles of the core. So, we’re good with the core.

Again, I’m sure this list is highly debatable. Narrowing down the list of possible exercises is tough. Feel free to leave a comment. Check out my list of exercises.