What’s the best single exercise? [Opinions]

19 Apr

While I was reading the article on the dangers of a seated lifestyle in the NYT, another tantelising article popped up at the bottom of the page teasing the question above: what is the best single exercise?

Thoroughly intruiged I clicked through and was treated to a pleasant surprise. Although ‘brisk walking’ did make an appearance, so did squats (woo!) and even burpees (yay!). Although the following quote did rather sum up my feelings on the matter:

[On the burpee] “It builds muscles. It builds endurance.” He paused. “But it’s hard to imagine most people enjoying” an all-burpees program, “or sticking with it for long.”

Amen to that…

The comments section makes for entertaining reading too. The yoga and Zumba lobbies are out in force. Also fun is playing ‘spot the CrossFitter’ (hint: they are ones suggesting burpee pull-ups…)

And so a question: what do you think is the single best exercise?

My vote goes to Dumbell burpee squat clean thrusters…

14 thoughts on “What’s the best single exercise? [Opinions]

  1. Plain old Thrusters.

    Pretty sure everything is recruited. At least that’s what my poor, broken body was telling me on Saturday afternoon.

  2. I like back bridges as you get a mixture of strength and flexibility, plenty of variations to work as well.

  3. Cycling, road or mountain. Love, love, love.

    In terms of strength press ups still rule my world.

  4. Running. Simple, cheap, effective. It’s the fitness and conditioning foundation for so many athletes.

    The individual crossfitty exercises are great but I think only really effective because your combining with so many other different exercises and in different ways.

  5. Sprints are awesome and so much more fun and worthwhile than running slow over long distances!

    Single best exercise? Hmm…i’d have to go with squat clean and jerk…you got a powerful deadlift to an open hip extension to drive under the bar followed by a front squat into an overhead jerk…hits everything!

    Burpees and Manmakers have to go in to the pot of “most horrible exercises”…

  6. to play devil’s advocate, best single exercise for what? for destroying me during WODs, much as i hate to say it, it’s the humble burpee. for all-around foundation training that you can take with you anywhere, i vote running. for flexibility, postural improvement plus lessening my tube rage, it’s yoga. It really depends on what you want to get out of it..

  7. Alex and Edd, I’m surprised you guys didn’t choose rubber stable mat deadlifts/drags 🙂

  8. Personally I’m a fan of the ‘carrying scaffolding through Hackney’ movement, with added comedy moments trying to cross a zebra crossing and ignoring the weird looks from drivers 🙂

  9. Yeah the mats are a great exercise tool great all round strength builder and good for grip. I am in partnership with reebok to develop ‘power mats’ tm. I imagine we’ll have a competition too.

  10. “Bicep curls” lol. Yeah, definitely before hitting Wetherspoons on a Friday night in a little white vest for da laydies.

  11. Also known as ‘wife-beater vests’.
    Coming soon to add to the Crossfit London fashion repetoire. No, really…

  12. I remember reading somewhere that for the best exercises you can do anywhere with no equipment to get an overall body workout, the two exercises to do were pushups and pistols.
    Although I would have to say that thrusters feel like the most bang for the buck for me.

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