21 Exercises That Start With R

21 Exercises That Start With R

Are you looking to spice up your fitness routine with some new challenges?

Perhaps you’re curious about exercises that not only strengthen your body but also bring an alphabetical twist to your workout plan.

Finding the right mix of activities can be a bit like solving a puzzle—with each piece contributing to the bigger picture of health and vitality.

Interestingly, a unique way to diversify your exercise regimen is by exploring movements that all start with the same letter.

In this article, we’ve unearthed 21 dynamic exercises beginning with ‘R’—each designed to target different muscle groups while keeping workouts fresh and exciting.

1. Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian deadlift helps build rock-solid strength in your lower back, hips, and legs. It’s a standout move for targeting your posterior chain, which includes muscles like the glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae.

How To Do

  • Grab a barbell or dumbbells using an overhand grip.
  • Stand feet hip-width apart with knees slightly bent.
  • Remember to hinge at the hips, letting the weight glide down your legs with a proud, straight back and a tight core.
  • Lower the weight just until it’s below your knees or you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Now for the grand finale: squeeze those glutes and hamstrings to bring the weight back up like you mean it!

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Erector Spinae
  • Traps and Lats

2. Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a powerhouse move that targets your lower body. It strengthens and tones with each step backward you take.

How To Do

  • Begin standing with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips or holding weights by your sides for added resistance.
  • Step back with one foot, lowering the back knee towards the ground in a controlled motion while keeping the front shin vertical.
  • Make sure your front knee stays directly over your ankle and doesn’t push forward past your toes to protect the joints.
  • Push through the heel of your front foot to return to starting position, engaging the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Alternate legs, performing equal reps on each side to maintain balance and muscle symmetry.

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Core

3. Rotational Jacks

Rotational Jacks offer a dynamic twist on traditional jumping jacks. With each movement, you engage multiple muscle groups and ramp up the intensity of your exercise routine.

How To Do

  • Start by standing with feet shoulder – width apart and arms at your sides.
  • Jump up while twisting your lower body to the right, raising your arms above your head in a smooth motion.
  • Land softly with knees slightly bent, returning to the starting position momentarily before launching into the next jump with a twist to the left.
  • Continue this alternating pattern, ensuring you complete an equal number of twists to both sides for balance.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Abs
  • Obliques
  • Shoulders

Aside from lighting up those muscles, Rotational Jacks are no joke when it comes to heart-pumping action. This move cranks up your cardiovascular exercise, which is ace for endurance.

4. Rolling Push Ups

Rolling push ups might just be the fun twist you’re looking for! They’re not just your average push up; they add an element of rotation and balance, challenging more than just your pecs.

How To Do

  • Start in a plank position with your hands planted firmly under your shoulders.
  • Keep your body in a straight line, squeeze your glutes, and brace your core.
  • Lower your chest towards the floor, then push back up to plank position.
  • Smoothly roll onto your right side and extend your left arm towards the sky.
  • With control, return to the plank position to prepare for the next rep.
  • After your next push up, roll onto your left side and raise your right arm up.
  • Alternate rolling sides after each push up, maintaining a rhythm.

Muscle Worked

  • Chest (pectoralis major)
  • Triceps (triceps brachii)
  • Shoulders (deltoids)
  • Core (including your abs and lower back)
  • Back (specifically, the upper and middle back muscles)

5. Reverse Curls

Reverse curls aren’t just another arm exercise; they’re a powerful move to enhance your biceps and forearms.

With their emphasis on the brachialis and brachioradialis, these curls add a twist to your usual arm routine.

How To Do

  • Begin by grabbing an EZ curl bar with palms facing down (pronated grip) slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your core engaged for stability.
  • Keep your upper arms stationary as you exhale and curl the bar towards your shoulders, focusing on contracting the biceps.
  • Inhale as you slowly lower the bar back to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement.

Muscle Worked

  • Biceps
  • Brachialis
  • Brachioradialis
  • Forearms

6. Rack Pull

Rack pulls are a powerhouse move for those looking to build strength in the posterior chain. This exercise allows you to lift heavier weights while focusing on the glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae, and back muscles.

How To Do

  • Begin by setting up your power rack or squat stand to just below knee height.
  • Load a barbell with the desired weight, ensuring it’s appropriate for your strength level without compromising form.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent; approach the bar so it is close to your shins.
  • Hinge at the hips and grip the barbell using an overhand grip; hands should be just outside of your legs.
  • Engage your core, keep your chest up and shoulders back as if bracing against a wall behind you.
  • Drive through your heels and use your legs and hips to lift the bar; extend through the hips fully at the top of the movement.
  • Keep the barbell close to your body throughout the lift to minimize stress on your lower back.
  • Slowly lower the bar back down after a brief pause at the top, maintaining control throughout.

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower Back
  • Traps
  • Lats

7. Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is a powerful move to strengthen your core, hitting those tough-to-reach lower abs. It’s all about the downward motion, as you focus on trunk and spine flexion.

How To Do

  • Start by lying flat on your back on a mat, with your arms at your sides and palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees and lift your legs so that your thighs are vertical, and calves are parallel to the floor.
  • Pressing down firmly into the ground with your arms, use your abs to curl your hips off the floor and toward your chest.
  • Slowly lower them back down without letting your feet touch the floor for added tension.

Muscles Worked

  • Lower Abs
  • Hip flexors

8. Reverse Hyperextension

Reverse hyperextensions are a powerful exercise for reinforcing your posterior chain. Engaging in this move can significantly enhance the strength and stability of your lower back.

How To Do

  • Begin by adjusting the reverse hyperextension machine to fit your body size, or if at home, set up a stable platform.
  • Lie face down on the machine or platform with your legs hanging off the edge and secure your hips with the provided padding or a cushion.
  • Initiate the movement by lifting your legs upwards using your gluteal muscles and hamstrings while keeping them straight; avoid bending at the knees.
  • Your lumbar region will be activated as you work to lift against gravity, bringing attention to this key area that contributes to overall back health.
  • Once your legs are aligned with your body, pause briefly before slowly lowering them back to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Core

9. Russian Twist

Russian Twist

The Russian twist sculpts your midsection and enhances your core stability. It’s a dynamic move that also boosts your rotational strength, important for both fitness enthusiasts and athletes.

How To Do

  • Begin by sitting on the floor with knees bent, feet flat, and leaning slightly backward at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Clasp your hands in front of you or hold a weight if you’re ready to up the challenge.
  • Twist your torso to the right, bringing your clasped hands or weight beside you.
  • Engage those abs and smoothly rotate to the left side in a controlled manner.
  • Keep alternating sides for the desired number of reps, maintaining a steady pace.

Muscles Worked

  • Abs
  • Obliques
  • Lower Back
  • Hip Flexors

10. Rear Delt Cable Crossover

The Rear Delt Cable Crossover is a fantastic exercise for honing in on those stubborn rear deltoids, which are crucial for well-rounded shoulders and posture.

How To Do

  • Start by setting up two cable machines with handles at shoulder height on opposite sides.
  • Stand in the middle of both machines, grabbing the left handle with your right hand and vice versa.
  • Your arms should be crossed in front of you at the start.
  • Begin by stepping slightly forward while keeping your feet shoulder – width apart for stability.
  • With a slight bend in the elbows, pull your arms out to your sides, uncrossing them as you go.
  • Focus on using your rear delts to power the movement; imagine you’re trying to squeeze a pencil between those muscles at the back of your shoulders.
  • Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining control – no jerky movements!
  • Aim for 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps with appropriate weight.

Muscles Worked

  • Rear Deltoids
  • Traps and Rhomboids
  • Rotator Cuffs

11. Reverse Pec Dec

The Reverse Pec Dec machine fine-tunes your rear deltoids and strengthens upper back muscles. It’s a specialized isolation exercise that zeroes in on the often-overlooked posterior deltoids.

How To Do

  • To start, adjust the seat and handles so that when you sit, the handles are at shoulder level.
  • Sit facing the pad, grasp the handles with your arms outstretched, and position your feet flat on the floor for stability.
  • Begin by gently pulling your arms back, keeping a slight bend in your elbows to avoid strain.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you reach the peak of the movement to maximize engagement of the rear delts.
  • Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining control—avoid letting the weights slam down.
  • If you’re using dumbbells for reverse flyes instead, hinge forward at your waist and lift both arms to the sides, keeping a bend in your elbows.

Muscles Worked

  • Rear deltoids
  • Traps, rhomboids, and rotator cuffs

12. Resistance Band Rear Delt Rows

Let’s shift focus from the chest-focused reverse pec dec to a move that targets your upper back: resistance band rear delt rows.

This versatile exercise can be a game-changer for your shoulder and back development.

How To Do

  • Start by securing a resistance band at waist level on a sturdy object.
  • Face the anchor point, grab the ends of the band with both hands, and step back until there’s tension in the band.
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and maintain a straight spine.
  • Extend your arms toward the anchor point; this is your starting position.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the bands towards you, keeping elbows up and out to the sides.
  • Your hands should travel towards your lower chest area in a smooth motion.

Muscles Worked

  • Rear deltoid
  • Biceps
  • Trapezius

13. Reverse Grip Pushdown

The reverse grip tricep pushdown targets your triceps like a laser, making it a power-player in arm workouts.

This variation offers unique advantages for muscle development and can freshen up your routine. This move’s a hit if you’re aiming to sculpt those triceps

How To Do

  • Stand in front of a cable machine, select the appropriate weight.
  • Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up), hands shoulder – width apart.
  • Keep elbows pinned to your sides – they should not flare out.
  • Push down until your arms are fully extended, then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for reps, maintaining strict form to maximize triceps engagement.

Muscles Worked

  • Triceps brachii
  • Wrist extensors
  • Front deltoids

14. Reverse Grip Bench Press

The reverse grip bench press is an effective twist on a classic exercise that focuses on the upper body’s pushing powerhouses.

This variant puts a spin on the classic exercise and might just be the fresh angle your routine needs. Intrigued.

How To Do

  • Begin by lying flat on a bench, with your eyes under the barbell and feet planted firmly on the ground.
  • Grip the barbell with your palms facing towards you, slightly wider than shoulder – width apart to ensure proper elbow tucking during the lift.
  • Unrack the bar with straight arms, and lower it slowly to the bottom of your chest, focusing on keeping your wrists straight.
  • Push up powerfully, exhaling as you extend your arms fully without locking the elbows at the top of the movement.

Muscles Worked

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Anterior Deltoids

15. Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

Building on the focus of enhancing your upper body strength with varied grip techniques, the reverse grip lat pulldown emerges as an effective workout for honing back muscle and biceps development.

It’s not just a change in hand position; this exercise transforms the traditional pulldown into a powerful activator for key upper body muscles.

Before you start, find a cable machine with a high pulley and attach your choice of a straight or angled bar.

How To Do

  • Sit down on the cable machine bench, planting your feet firmly on the ground. Slide your knees under the pads for stability.
  • Underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean back just a tad, lift that chest, and maintain a slight arch in your back
  • Inhale, and as you exhale, pull the bar smoothly down to your upper chest. Imagine drawing your elbows down and back, keeping those wrists straight.
  • Let the bar ascend with control, fully extending your arms whilst maintaining that subtle body lean.

Muscles Worked

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Posterior deltoid
  • Biceps

16. Rear Delt Flyes

This exercise is a solid pick when you’re looking to isolate and strengthen your rear deltoids.

Rear delt flyes hone in on the muscles at the back of your shoulders. They enhance your posture and fortify your upper back.

How To Do

  • Equipment You’ll Need: A pair of dumbbells or A cable machine with two low pulleys and a D-handle attached to each
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • If using dumbbells, hold one in each hand. For the cable machine, grab a handle with each hand, crossing your arms in front of your thighs.
  • Lean forward from your hips, back flat, chest up.
  • Raise arms to the sides with elbows a bit bent, palms facing the floor. Ah, feel that squeeze?
  • Engage your rear deltoids and upper back at the top.
  • With control, bring your arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Muscles Worked

  • Rear deltoids
  • Traps, rhomboids, rotator cuffs

17. Rocket Jumps

Rocket jumps are a dynamic bodyweight exercise that targets your lower body. They combine strength training and explosive power to enhance athletic performance.

How To Do

  • To perform a rocket jump, start in a squat position with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Propel yourself upwards by jumping as high as you can, reaching for the sky with hands extended.
  • Upon landing, immediately sink back into the squat position for one fluid movement and repeat.

Muscle Worked

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings and Calves
  • Core

This plyometric exercise helps build muscle strength and increase leg power. Rocket jumps are beneficial for anyone looking to improve their vertical leap or sprint speed.

Incorporating these jumps into high-intensity interval training can boost cardiovascular endurance.

18. Reverse Dips

Reverse dips turn the spotlight on your triceps, inviting your shoulders and chest to the party for a truly effective upper body workout. If you’re targeting that elusive arm definition, this exercise will become your go-to.

How To Do

  • Find a sturdy bench, chair, or step and cozy up to it.
  • Perch on the edge like it’s your throne and plant your hands firmly on either side of your hips.
  • Now, lift those hips up and off, extending your legs out in a proud display of strength.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body, keeping that upper arm action sleek until parallel with the floor.

Muscles Worked

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Core

19. Renegade Row

Renegade rows are a dynamic exercise that challenge multiple muscle groups at once. They combine strength and stability training, making them a popular choice for a comprehensive workout.

How To Do

  • Place two dumbbells on the ground parallel to each other, just narrower than shoulder – width apart.
  • Get into a plank position with your hands gripping the dumbbell handles and feet spread wide for balance.
  • Brace your core as if you’re about to get punched in the stomach – this tightness is essential.
  • Pull one dumbbell up towards your hip while keeping your elbow close to your body; avoid rotating your torso.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position in a controlled manner before performing the row on the opposite side.
  • Alternate between left and right arms for each rep, ensuring you maintain full control throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked

  • Lats (latissimus dorsi)
  • Traps (trapezius)
  • Rhomboids
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Core

20. Rowing Machine

Let’s glide into the powerful world of rowing. The rowing machine offers an efficient and effective full-body workout.

How To Do

  • Start by adjusting the foot straps on the machine to fit snugly around your feet.
  • Sit down on the seat and grasp the handle with both hands, maintaining a natural grip.
  • Push off through your feet and extend your legs while keeping your back straight and leaning slightly back at the hips.
  • Pull the handle towards your lower chest, drawing your shoulder blades together as you do so.
  • Release the handle by extending your arms, and then bend your knees to slide forward to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Shoulders
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Core
  • Hamstrings

21. Reverse Wrist Curls

Shifting from the rowing machine to a smaller, yet significant muscle group, let’s focus on reverse wrist curls and their benefits.

This exercise might seem simple, but it holds the key to stronger forearms and improved lifting techniques.

How To Do

  • Sit on a bench with your feet flat on the floor, and grab a barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip.
  • Rest your forearms on your thighs or a bench, with your wrists hanging over the edge.
  • Without moving your arms, slowly lower the weight toward the floor by extending your hands at the wrists.
  • Lift the weight back up by curling your wrists upwards.
  • Ensure smooth movements for better muscle engagement and reduce the risk of injury.

Muscles Worked

  • Forearm flexors
  • Brachioradialis


Ready to add variety to your fitness routine? Dive into these 21 dynamic “R” exercises, and watch as they redefine your workout experience.

Each move promises to ramp up strength, enhance flexibility, and boost cardiovascular health.

Remember, revamping your regimen with fresh movements can reignite motivation and propel you towards a healthier body.

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