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What Are The Most Underrated Exercises For Getting Into Optimal Shape?

What Are The Most Underrated Exercises For Getting Into Optimal Shape?

Email Question: Coach what do you think are some of the most underrated exercises for getting into optimal shape?

My response to the reader was a bit more brief, but I decided to elaborate on my answer here with today’s post.

This is an excellent question. Even though the answer is going to involve some rather simple movements the fact remains most people don’t apply these in their pursuit of fitness.

Most Underrated Exercises For Getting Into Shape 

Man holding a big red kettlebell in the racked position with his right arm.

To learn more about some underrated exercises that are truly hard hitting jump on my 120 day program. Click the image here to order!

Kettlebell Swings

If you want to get into optimal shape you’ve got to include movements that stimulate your nervous system. You do this by raising your level of physical exertion. Kettlebell swings do just that. This movement will activate several large muscle groups while elevating your heart rate for a hell of a cardio conditioning session.

Kettlebell swings can easily be done as a single workout. If you want to torch 1000 calories in about a 35 minute workout then crank out 200-300 swings. It doesn’t take a real heavy kettlebell either as you can accomplish this with a moderately heavy kettlebell. The key is to make sure that you’re proficient with your technique so that you’re properly activating the firing pattern and the proper muscles to get it done.


Sprinting is an integral part of human function. There are 7 foundational human movements that you’re capable of performing. These movements consist of pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, twisting, bending, and gait. Sprints are part of your gait.

If you’re training for optimal fitness you must be functional in all 7 of these foundational movements. If you’re not functional in these then you’re dysfunctional. Sprints tend to be a big part of this dysfunction for most people.

You see most people hang up sprinting the moment they give up high school sports and it usually shows…if you know what I mean. Don’t let this happen to you.

Sprints are a cheap, easy, and time efficient way to train. You can also build a hell of a HIIT workout session around sprints.


This is one great exercise that’s very well known. However the push-up is often ignored by your run of the mill gym goer.

There’s a very good reason push-ups can be found in nearly every military, fight, and box gym across the globe. Despite this push-ups are still very much neglected by a large part of the population.

When executed properly push-ups will build core stability, shoulder strength, and arm strength. This movement will provide you with a solid foundation. In my world it’s a great way for paving a path for you to earn the right to lift. This is especially valuable should you happen to be a beginner.

Black and white image of a man performing farmer's carries with a pair of heavy dumbbells.

Learn about some underrated exercises that will completely transform your fitness here. So just click the image to order my 120 day program now!

Farmer’s carries

If there is one movement you need to add to your strength program to improve your fitness it is farmers carries. One of the biggest physical traits you can enhance to improve your overall fitness and strength is your grip strength.

You see your grip strength influences your shoulder stability, core stability, and can directly enhance nearly every single lift you can perform in a given workout. Your grip strength plays a huge role in nearly everything you do so if you improve it you are giving your physical fitness a significant upgrade while even minimizing your incidence of injury.

Did I just say improving your grip could reduce the incidence of injury? Yes, I did. In fact if you like the idea having healthy strong shoulders then improve your grip.

A stronger grip will help you to better activate your arm muscles and can even help you to pack your shoulders which involves placing your shoulder girdle into a stronger stable position.

Turkish get ups (TGU)

The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is one hell of a movement because it involves you having to move through 3 of the 7 foundational human movements I mentioned earlier. The 3 foundational movements that the TGU includes is pushing, bending, and the lunge.

The TGU involves a bit more technical know how in order to pull it off. It involves you having to lie on the ground with the kettlbell (or dumbbell) pressed with your arm in a perpendicular position to the ground.

From here your goal is to move through a series of steps in order to end up in a standing position with the weight above your head. I’ve covered more about the benefits of the TGU in detail here.

Jump roping

If you are looking to give your cardiovascular conditioning a serious upgrade you’ve got to include jump roping into your training equation. I’m a huge proponent of the jump rope.

The fact is that jump roping is a method that will enhance your physical fitness in a number of different ways.

For starters, once you start incorporating jump roping into your conditioning program you’ll not only improve your cardiovascular conditioning, but you’ll also improve your coordination, footwork, and reaction time.

Jump roping can be scaled by you to produce both endurance, as well as speed and power. So I prefer leveraging the jump rope for some skipping alternating my feet back and forth with small movements enabling me to perform the jump rope exercise in multiple rounds for 2 to 3 minutes at a time.

Jump roping will help you burn a ton of calories and will give you an aesthetically lean physique while significantly improving your fitness.

Underrated Exercises: The Takeaway

The beauty of these exercises is that you can apply these to your training with very little equipment and you’ll get a huge return on your investment.

So are you currently using all of these in your strength and conditioning program? 

Which one of these are you neglecting? 

Post up and share here in the comments here below. 

So if you’re interested in stepping up your training and elevating your core strength development make sure you get started on my…

30 Introductory Bodyweight Exercises here below.

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Brandon performing dive bomber push-up for a unique core stabilizing exercises

Also if you want to learn how to tie these together then make sure you check out my brand new 120 Day Functional Fitness Training Program right here below! I guarantee it’ll get you into the best shape of your life, or I’ll give you your money back no questions asked.


It’s changing lives everyday!

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5 Simple Ways To Measure Your Functional Fitness

3 Functional Strength Drills For Fitness And Performance

4 Guaranteed Ways To Get A Functionally Strong Body

4 Ways To Keep Crushing Strength Gains Beyond Your 30’s

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If you’re looking to enhance your fitness for MMA and martial arts then make sure to check out my

90 Day MMA Strength And Conditioning Program Here.

Thai Fighter Jeff Perry delivering a knee strike












I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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