There are a ton of different exercises you could use in your training routine and this exercise list includes the best exercises ones out here.

The most common way of categorizing exercises is by the muscle groups they stimulate when performing the movement. That is exactly how you will see the exercises sorted in this list at first.

Another way of classifying exercises is by their movement patterns (e.g. push, pull), thus all exercises below are also categorized by these patterns. Note, that it’s important to perform an equal amount of exercise with opposing movement patterns, to avoid any imbalances.

You probably heard that exercises are also divided into compound and isolation exercises. Where compound exercises engage muscle group at the same time, while isolation exercises work primarily one muscle group. So, you will also see the best compound and isolation exercises for each muscle group on this list.

How to use this list:

  • Find the muscle group for which you want to pick an exercise
  • Consider the movement pattern for which you want to choose an exercise
  • Figure out whether you need a compound or an isolation exercise
  • See if you have the right equipment to perform an exercise
  • Pick an exercise that suits your all your previous criteria

Lower Body Push Compound Exercises:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Body Weight Squat
  • Barbell Box Squat
  • Barbell Jump Squat
  • Barbell Front Squat
  • Dumbbell Goblet Squat
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Bulgarian Split-Squat
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Body Weight Walking Lunge
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Body Weight Standing Lunge
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Body Weight Step Up
  • Machine Leg Press
  • Machine Single-Leg Press
  • Seated Machine Leg Press
  • Laying Machine Leg Press
  • Machine Hack Squat
  • Body Weight Pistol Squat
Human Quadriceps Muscle Model

Hip Hinge Compound Movements:

  • Barbell Deadlift
  • Barbell Sumo Deadlift
  • Barbell Deadlifts from Deficit
  • Barbell Deadlifts from Blocks
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Hip Thrust
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Glute Bridge

Glute/Hamstring Isolation Exercises:

  • Machine Seated Leg Curl
  • Machine Standing Leg Curl
  • Machine Laying Leg Curl
  • Machine Reverse Hyperextension
  • Machine/Body Weight Glute-Ham Raise
  • One-Legged Cable Kickback
  • Cable Pull Through
Human Hamstring Glute Muscle Model

Horizontal Push Compound Movements:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Decline Bench Press
  • Leverage Machine Chest Press
  • Leverage Machine Incline Chest Press
  • Leverage Machine Decline Chest Press
  • Smith Machine Bench Press
  • Incline Smith Machine Bench Press
  • Decline Smith Machine Chest Press
  • Seated Cable Chest Press
  • Standing Cable Chest Press
  • Incline Bench Cable Press
  • Body Weight/Weighted Push-Up
  • Body Weight/Weighted Incline Push-Up
  • Body Weight/Weighted Decline Push-Up
  • Weighted/Body Weight/Machine Assisted Dip (Chest Variation)

Chest Isolation Exercises:

  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Fly
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Fly
  • Dumbbell Decline Bench Fly
  • Machine Butterfly
  • Cable Crossover
  • Low Cable Crossover
  • High Cable Crossover
  • Incline Bench Cable Fly
  • Flat Bench Cable Fly
Human Chest Muscle Model

Horizontal Pull Compound Movements:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell Bent Over Row
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Incline Row
  • Dumbbell One-Arm Row
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Reverse Grip Bent Over
  • Barbell Pendlay Row
  • T-Bar Row
  • One-Arm Long Bar Row
  • Smith Machine Bent
    Over Row
  • Laying T-Bar Row
  • Chest Supported Machine Row
  • Seated Cable Row
  • Seated One-Arm Cable
  • Body Weight Inverted Row

Vertical Pull Compound Movements:

  • Leverage Machine Iso Row
  • Weighted/Body Weight/Machine Assisted Pull-Up
  • Wide-Grip Cable Lat Pull-Down
  • Narrow-Grip Cable Lat Pull-Down
  • Reverse-Grip Cable Lat Pull-Down
  • V-Bar Cable Lat Pull-Down
  • Straight Arm Cable Lat Pull-Down
  • One Arm Cable Lat Pull-Down

Back Isolation Exercises:

  • Machine/Body Weight Back Extension
  • Straight-Arm Cable Pull-Down
Human Back Muscle Model

Vertical Push Compound Movements:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press
  • Barbell Push Press
  • Standing Dumbbell One-Arm Press
  • Barbell One-Arm Linear Jammer
  • Dumbbell Arnold Press
  • Smith Machine Shoulder Press
  • Leverage Machine Shoulder Press
  • Standing Cable Shoulder Press
  • Seated Cable Shoulder Press
  • Body Weight Pike Push-Up
  • Body Weight Handstand Push-Up

Shoulder Isolation Exercises:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell Front Raise
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Dumbbell Reverse Fly
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise
  • Reverse Machine Fly
  • Machine Lateral Raise
  • Cable Front Raise
  • Cable Lateral Raise
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly
  • Cable Face Pull
Human Shoulder Muscle Model

Elbow Extension Movements:

  • Barbell/Dumbbell Close-Grip Bench Press
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Flat Bench Triceps Extension
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Incline Bench Triceps Extension
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Decline Bench Triceps Extension
  • Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
  • One Arm Dumbbell/Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
  • Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Triceps Extension
  • Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press
  • Weighted/Body Weight/Machine Assisted Dips (Triceps Variation)
  • Machine Triceps Extension
  • V-Bar Cable Triceps Push-Down
  • Rope-Cable Triceps Push-Down
  • Reverse-Grip Cable Triceps Push-Down
  • Weighted/Body Weight Bench Dip
Human Triceps Muscle Model

Elbow Flexion Movements:

  • Regular-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl
  • Wide-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl
  • Close-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Preacher Biceps Curl
  • Dumbbell/Cable Biceps Curl Laying Against An Incline
  • Reverse-Grip Barbell/Dumbbell/Cable Biceps Curl
  • Barbell/Dumbbell Concentration Biceps Curl
  • Dumbbell Hammer Biceps Curl
  • Dumbbell Alternate Biceps Curl
  • Machine Preacher Biceps Curl
  • Machine Biceps Curl
  • Overhead Cable Curl
  • Rope-Cable Biceps Curl
  • One Arm Dumbbell/Cable Biceps Curl
  • Weighted/Body Weight/Machine Assisted Chin-Up
Human Biceps Muscle Model

Abdominal Area/Core Dominant Exercises:

  • All Crunch Variations
  • All Twist Variations
  • All Leg Raise Variations
  • All Plank Variations

Calf Dominant Exercises:

  • All Calf Raise Variations
  • All Calf Extension Variations

Trap Dominant Exercises:

  • All Shrug Variations
  • All Upright Row Variations

Neck Dominant Exercises:

  • All Neck Curl Variations
  • All Neck Extension Variations

Forearm Dominant Exercises:

  • All Wrist Curl Variations
Human Smaller Muscle Model