A dynamic exercise is essentially any challenging movement that involves one or more joints, and works one or more muscles or muscle groups.
These include exercises that produce concentric and eccentric movements – for example, in a dumbbell bicep curl exercise, lifting the weight and contracting or shortening the muscles is a concentric movement, while lowering back to the starting position (and lengthening the muscles) is an eccentric movement. Other examples of dynamic exercises are bicep curls, triceps dips, squats, and lunges.
When you effectively employ dynamic lifting and work against gravity, your muscles tear at a microscopic level, which your body then repairs to become stronger (after rest and proper nutrition, of course).
These types of exercises allow you to move through a full range of motion which ensures that larger parts of the muscles are worked.
Makes sense? Sure it does, let's move on, we think these are the best dynamic exercises for strength training:
We’re a fan of Goblet Squats – it’s a simple exercise, but it really works your core and glutes! We talked about them in Weightlifting For Beginners (check that out too!).
It’s a body squat, but you hold a weight against your chest like a dumbbell or a kettlebell while you perform the squat. This dynamic movement not only tests your core stability, but your ankle, knee, and hip mobility too.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, feet slightly angled outward
- Grasp the weight against your chest using both hands, and keep your elbows close to your body
- Take a deep breath, engage your core, and squeeze your glutes
- Bend knees and drop your butt down into a squat
- Keep your chest up and head straight
- Push your knees out, with your weight supported by your heels
- Keep muscles engage until you’re parallel, then go back to the starting position
We recommend 8 to 12 reps and 3 to 5 sets for maximal benefits.
Kettlebell Clean and Press
The Kettlebell Clean and Press combines two exercises – the Kettlebell Clean and the Overhead Press. It’s a dynamic movement that’s great for your body’s structural integrity since it works you from head-to-toe. It’s also a great cardiovascular exercise that will probably leave you gasping for air (especially if you’re new to it).
- Start in a squat position, with a kettlebell between your feet
- With one hand, grasp the kettlebell (with your other arm reaching back)
- Keep your back flat and your chest out
- In one fluid movement, lift kettlebell into the rack position at shoulder-level
- From there, press the kettlebell above your head
- Control the kettlebell back down to the shoulder position, then lower it to the ground
Note: It’s important to hold the kettlebell securely, but don’t squeeze the handle too tightly to where it strains your wrists when in it’s in the rack position. You want to hold it with your fingers in a more “hooked” position.
Start with a light weight so you can perfect your form, before moving on to heavier weights. And once you’ve mastered that, you can try a two-handed Kettlebell Clean and Press.
Pull-Ups are one of the best exercises you can do, and fundamental to building a strong, wide back. Pull-Ups are pretty self explanatory, but we'll go over some quick tips to perfect your form.
- Try to use a wide grip- the wider your grip, the more you're activating your lat muscles.
- Use a high bar- you don't want your feet to touch the ground at the bottom of your rep.
- Get your chin over the bar- you want a full range of motion, so make sure to bring your chin over the bar, and lock your elbows out at the bottom.
- Go slow- It's not a race, and going quickly will lead to sloppy form.
If you're unable to do 5 pullups, you can use a few alternatives to build strength. Some gyms have dedicated assisted pullup machines, where you kneel on a platform that's counterbalanced, and then perform a pullup.
If you don't have access to one of these, a simple exercise band will work just as well. Wrap it around the bar, and then step through with one foot. This will effectively reduce the amount of weight you're lifting.