The Big 5

Why it’s Important to Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, and Hip Thrust

The term “Big 5” refers to whole body workouts that make up the base of anyone’s power and strength whether they are a professional athlete or a casual gymgoer. If you are a regular at the gym, then you may be already familiar with the Big 5 that includes squats, bench press, deadlifts, overhead press, and hip thrust. 

The Big 5

But do you know why they are so important?

Well, for starters, these exercises use multiple muscle groups and joints at once for a variety of benefits. Apart from the obvious burning calories, increasing heart rate to offer some degree of cardiovascular benefits, etc. they also help improve the coordination and balance of your body. Read on to learn what makes each of these compound movements important.


Squats are one of the most effective workouts that you can do as they work a lot of different muscles of your body simultaneously. If done properly, a good squat can work your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip abductors, calves, abdominals, and more. Not only that, it’s a movement we do regularly in our everyday lives, so adding squats to your workout routine will add some functionality to your training. This compound exercise is also a very good diagnostic tool to identify flexibility and mobility limitations that can cause physical issues later in life.

The Big 5

Bench Press

Bench press is the king of compound exercises when it comes to increasing the mass and strength of chest and triceps. To move the heavy weight off your chest, you must have the strength to transmit force from the ground through your entire body and into the bar positioned in your hands. It is an ability that would certainly enhance your athletic performance. Not to mention bench press also allows you to stabilize your shoulders into a good position, which is very important since they are one of the most mobile joints in the body and hence, they are more prone to injury.

The Big 5


Deadlifts are the most functional of all the functional movement patterns. In our everyday lives, it’s not uncommon for us to crouch to pick something up. We do it many times, probably more than we realize. Every time you bend down to pick up a cat, child, bag, box, or anything else, you are doing a deadlift. Or, at least you should be.

Many people use the wrong way to lift items from the ground, pulling with solely their back muscles instead of using their core and legs. Practicing deadlifts in the gym can teach you to pick things up the right way and with good form: keeping your back flat and core tight, hinging at the hips, and workingyour leg muscles. This significantly reduces risk of injury doing basic everyday activities.

The Big 5
Bodybuilder exercising with barbells in the gym

Overhead Press

While bench press is more popular when it comes to lifting workouts, the overhead press is the best option when you want to focus your efforts to upper body exercise. Not only does it build bulging biceps, massive shoulders, and overallupper body strength, it is also one of the most functional patterns you can perform.

Just like deadlifts, we perform the overhead pressing movement in our everyday lives more than we realize. Every time you reach up high to get something down or put something away, you are overhead pressing. Not only does this movement translates significantly to your daily life, but it also strengthens the key muscles of your shoulders, offering protection to the fragile joints underneath.

The Big 5

Hip Thrust

Strong glutes are crucial in everyday life, from helping you getting in and out of your chair to climbing the stairs, they support your body every day. While many recommend traditional squats to strengthen the muscles below the belt, it’s the hip thrust that really activates your glutes.

Designed to improve strength, much like the rest of the The Big 5, and speed while improving your other lifts like deadlifts and squats, hip thrusts are the perfect addition to any leg day routine. And it’s not just your glutes that will benefit from hip thrusts, your hamstrings will also be strengthened to act as the assisting muscle in the movement.

The Big 5

The Bottom Line

The Big 5 are the compound movements that utilize all the major muscle groups and joints in the body. By adding them to your workout routine, you can improve your core strength, upper body, and lower body to help you improve your overall strength and fitness. However, keep in mind that variety is key when it comes to exercising. So, be sure to exercise different muscles instead of focusing on one particular part at all times. Also, don’t forget to warm up before performing any of these exercises and have your diet in check as well. Till next time!-The Black Sheep

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