18 Exercises That Start With S

Exercises That Start With S

Looking to spice up your workout routine with some fun and effective exercises?

Look no further than these 18 exercises that all start with the letter ‘S’.

These exercises are a great way to target your entire body, build muscle, and raise your strength training game.

Why settle for a monotonous gym routine when exercises like these can add a skip to your step and serve up health benefits?

Engaging multiple muscle groups, boosting your metabolism, and enhancing your overall fitness, these exercises can be seamlessly integrated into your regular workouts.

Let’s embark on this fitness adventure together – your stronger, healthier self awaits!

1. Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is a powerhouse move for building upper body strength. You’ll see gains in your deltoid muscles, triceps, and even your upper chest with this exercise.

How To Do

  • Stand or sit with your spine straight and grab a pair of dumbbells or position yourself under a barbell.
  • With palms facing forward, lift the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked; this full elbow extension involves your triceps.
  • Lower the weights slowly back to shoulder level ensuring control throughout the movement, engaging those deltoid muscles.
  • Aim for three sets of eight to twelve repetitions; this consistent volume contributes to muscle gain and upper body fortification.

Adding the shoulder press to your routine enhances shoulder flexibility as you work through the range of motion.

This move isn’t just for aesthetics — it improves athletic ability by developing crucial push-motion strength used in many sports.

2. Squats


Squats are a powerful exercise that targets multiple muscle groups to build strength and stability. They’re essential for boosting your lower body power and improving your core.

How To Do

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder – width apart and toes slightly pointed out.
  • Keeping your back straight, begin to lower your body as if you’re sitting back into a chair.
  • Aim to get your hips below parallel, while ensuring your knees stay in line with your toes.
  • Push through your heels to rise back up to the starting position, engaging your glutes and quadriceps.

Perform squats regularly to activate the muscles in the legs like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

This exercise promotes a strong core by targeting abdominal muscles and lower back during the movement.

Squatting can increase glute development for added power in each step you take or run you go on.

The balance required during squats trains stability, which can help prevent falls and injuries outside of the gym environment.

If you want more intensity, add weights like dumbbells or a barbell across the shoulders to challenge yourself further.

3. Step-Ups

Step-ups strengthen your lower body and enhance muscle balance. Performing this exercise correctly can lead to impressive gains in leg strength.

How To Do

  • Stand in front of your bench or box. Ensure it’s stable and at a height where your knee is at a 90-degree angle when your foot is on top.
  • Place your right foot firmly on the bench.
  • Press through your heel and lift your body up until your right leg is straight.
  • Bring your left foot up to meet your right, standing tall on the bench.
  • Lower back down with the same leg, controlling the movement.
  • Alternate legs or complete all reps on one side before switching.

Muscles Worked

  • Primary focus on the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
  • Your calves also get in on the action.
  • It’s a great core stabilizer

4. Supermans

The superman exercise strengthens your core and improves posture. It’s simple to perform, offering benefits like enhanced lower back strength and better stability.

How To Do

  • Lie face down on a mat with arms extended in front of you and legs straight.
  • Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor as if you’re flying like Superman.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position, looking down at the mat to avoid neck strain.
  • Hold this elevated position for a few seconds before slowly lowering back down.

Incorporating this move into workouts can enrich a comprehensive core routine.

Target spinal erectors instrumental in maintaining good posture under various physical stresses.

By activating rectus abdominis muscles, it supports waist movement control.

5. Sit-Ups


Sit-ups engage multiple muscle groups with a focus on strengthening your core. This traditional exercise enhances overall fitness and supports proper posture.

How To Do

  • Lie flat on your back on a mat, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest.
  • Tighten your core muscles and lift your upper body towards your knees, keeping the neck neutral.
  • Slowly lower back down to the starting position to complete one rep.

Target muscle groups include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors.

Building strength in these areas contributes to improved posture and better balance.

Alongside core benefits, sit-ups help condition the chest, neck, and lower-back muscles for a more comprehensive workout.

6. Seated Leg Curls

Moving on from the core-focused sit-ups, let’s shift our attention to the seated leg curls, an exercise that zeroes in on your hamstrings.

It’s a powerful move for anyone looking to enhance their lower body strength and muscle definition.

How To Do

  • First adjust the machine to fit your height. Your knees should be aligned with the machine’s pivot point, and the leg pad should rest comfortably against your lower legs.
  • Begin with sitting upright with your legs extended in front of you. Grip the side handles for stability throughout the exercise.
  • Bend your knees and smoothly pull your heels towards your buttocks. Ensure you move only your lower legs while keeping your thighs firmly on the seat.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement where your hamstrings are fully contracted before slowly extending back to the starting position.

This compound exercise primarily targets hamstring muscles at the back of your thighs, crucial for leg strength and flexibility.

Secondary muscle groups like calves and thigh muscles receive attention during seated leg curls too, providing a comprehensive workout.

Engaging in this workout consistently contributes to muscle building in these areas and can help elevate overall leg performance.

7. Side Planks

Ever tried to balance a book on your hand? Well, side planks are a bit like that, but for your body.

This exercise is a full package, enhancing core strength while also improving shoulder and hip stability.

How To Do

  • To start, lie on your side with your legs extended and stack your feet one on top of the other.
  • Prop yourself up on your forearm, making sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder.
  • Now, lift your hips off the ground, forming a diagonal line from head to toe. Keep your hips squared and your core tight.
  • Aim to hold this position for around 20-30 seconds to begin with, and work up as your strength improves.

Muscles Worked

  • Obliques
  • Transverse Abdominis
  • Glutes

8. Sumo Deadlift

Have you ever tried sumo deadlifts? They’re a fantastic way to strengthen your lower body and work on your grip, while also giving your hips a bit more attention.

Here’s how to get into this engaging lift, using either a barbell or a kettlebell, and reap all the muscle-building, posture-enhancing benefits.

How To Do

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out.
  • Bend at your hips and knees, lowering your body to grip the bar with hands inside your legs.
  • Keep your back straight and chest up as you pull the barbell up by straightening your legs.
  • Lock your hips and knees at the top of the movement, then return to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Primary: Glutes, quads, hamstrings
  • Secondary: Lower back, core, upper back

9. Side Leg Raises

Have you ever tried side leg raises? They’re a fantastic way to target those tricky spots on your legs and glutes, and the best part is that you don’t need any equipment.

Let’s break down how to perform this exercise, the muscles you’ll be working, and the benefits you can expect.

How To Do

  • Start by choosing a comfortable flat surface, position yourself lying on one side with legs extended, and rest your head on your lower arm.
  • Lift your upper leg slowly while keeping it straight, raising it as high as possible without straining, then gently lower it back down.
  • Maintain firm core engagement throughout the movement to support your spine and increase core strength.
  • Repeat this motion for several repetitions before switching sides to ensure balanced muscle development.

Muscles Worked

During a side leg raise, you’re working your glutes, especially the gluteus medius, abductors, and even your core including the obliques.

By incorporating side leg raises into your workouts, you’re not just sculpting stronger legs and glutes; you’re also working on your core and improving your stability.

10. Single-Leg Deadlifts

Single-leg deadlifts enhance your lower body strength and challenge your balance. They effectively target your posterior chain muscles for improved athletic performance and daily activities.

How To Do

  • Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee, holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand of the working leg.
  • Keep your back straight as you hinge at the hips, lowering the weight toward the ground while extending your free leg behind you for balance.
  • Engage your core to maintain stability and focus on moving slowly and with control, keeping your pelvis level throughout the movement.
  • Slowly return to an upright position, squeezing your glutes as you rise, to complete one rep.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps on each leg, ensuring proper form to prevent injury and maximize muscle engagement.

This exercise works primary muscles such as hamstrings and both gluteus maximus and medius which are key components of lower body strength.

Your core muscles also benefit from this movement as they work hard to stabilize your body during each rep.

11. Ski Jump

Ever considered turning your workout up a notch with some explosive exercises?

Let me tell you about the ski jump, a dynamic move that’ll put some real spring in your step while working your whole body.

How To Do

  • Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Swiftly jump side-to-side over an imaginary line or small object on the floor.
  • Land softly on your feet each time to protect your joints and maintain balance.
  • Engage your core throughout the movement for stability and to work your abs.
  • Push off with power from your glutes, hamstrings, and quads during each leap.
  • Keep a steady pace to turn this into a solid cardio workout that burns calories.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Core muscles

When engaging in ski jumps, you’re essentially giving yourself a full-body workout. Expect to boost not only your leg power but also your balance and core strength.

Plus, ski jumps are kind to your cardio health, getting your heart pumping and cranking up your metabolism.

12. Scissor Kicks

Scissor kicks are an effective exercise for targeting the core and toning your abs. They engage multiple muscle groups, including the transverse abdominis and hip flexors.

How To Do

  • Begin by lying flat on your back with your hands underneath your glutes for support.
  • Raise both legs off the ground slightly, keeping them straight.
  • Engage your core muscles to ensure your lower back presses down on the floor.
  • Kick one leg up higher while lowering the other leg without letting it touch the floor.
  • Swiftly alternate each leg in a ‘scissor’ motion, moving smoothly from one to another.
  • Focus on keeping movements controlled rather than rushing through repetitions.

Muscles Worked

Scissor kicks are brilliant for hitting a nice range of muscle groups, especially the lower abs, hip flexors, and inner thighs.

The fluttering move means serious business for your core stability and pelvic muscles, making them work overtime to keep you balanced and in form.

13. Side Lunges

Side lunges are a fantastic way to spice up your leg day! Ready to give your legs and glutes a challenge?

How To Do

  • Stand upright with feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step to the side with your right foot, planting it firmly.
  • Keep your left leg straight as you bend your right knee and push your hips back.
  • Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor, ensuring the right knee doesn’t go past your toes.
  • Push through your right heel to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Muscles Worked

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductors (inner thigh muscles)

14. Sprint Intervals

Sprint intervals might just be your ticket to an exhilarating cardio boost! This exercise is a powerhouse for enhancing overall fitness.

How To Do

  • Begin your sprint interval workout by warming up with light jogging or dynamic stretches to get your muscles ready for action.
  • Start with short sprints of 30 seconds at maximum effort, followed by one to two minutes of walking or slow jogging to recover.
  • Aim to include 6 to 10 sprint intervals in each session to challenge your body and improve endurance.

Muscles Worked

Sprint intervals recruit your lower body powerhouse — the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves — along with your core for stability.

15. Single-Leg Lunges

Single-leg lunges challenge your lower body and core stability significantly. They require no equipment, making them easy to include in any workout.

How To Do

  • Begin by standing with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips for balance.
  • Step forward with one leg, bending the knee to drop your hips.
  • Lower yourself until the back knee nearly touches the ground, keeping the front thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle and not pushed out too far.
  • Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position.
  • Alternate legs and repeat for an even number of repetitions on each side.

Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Core

16. Standing Calf Raises

Standing calf raises effectively build strength in the gastrocnemius muscle. This exercise also enhances stability around the ankle joint.

How To Do

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart, standing straight on an elevated surface like a step, with heels hanging off the edge.
  • Press through the balls of your feet and raise your heel until you are standing on your toes.
  • Hold the raised position for a moment, then slowly lower back down to create resistance and stretch in the calf muscles.

Muscles worked

The primary muscle worked is the gastrocnemius, which helps propel you forward when running or walking.

The secondary muscle engaged is the soleus muscle, located beneath the gastrocnemius, contributing to ankle stability and movement.

17. Skullcrusher

Ever felt like your arm workout could use a bit more… oomph?

Skullcrushers might be just what you need! Not only do they sound incredibly hardcore, but they’re a fantastic way to build those triceps and add some power to your upper body.

How To Do

  • Let’s grab a barbell or a pair of dumbbells and get to work:
  • Lie flat on a bench, and hold your weight of choice above your chest with arms fully extended.
  • Keep those elbows tucked in and lower the weight slowly towards your forehead.
  • Once you’ve reached a comfortable stretch, powerfully extend your arms back to the starting position. That’s one rep!

Muscles Worked

  • Triceps Brachii
  • Anterior Deltoids
  • Pectoralis Major

18. Seated Cable Row

Seated cable rows are an essential exercise for developing back strength and muscle. They engage several key muscles for a comprehensive upper body workout.

How To Do

  • Begin by adjusting the weight on the rowing machine to a challenging but manageable level.
  • Sit down on the bench with knees slightly bent, grasp the cable handles, and position your feet securely on the footrests.
  • Keep your back straight, chest out, and shoulders pulled down and back before starting the movement.
  • Pull the handles towards your waistline while keeping your elbows close to your body; squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of the motion.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, extending your arms fully while maintaining control of the weight.
  • Focus on using your back muscles throughout the exercise rather than relying on arm strength to pull the weight.

Muscles Worked

  • Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)
  • Rhomboids
  • Traps
  • Biceps and Forearms


We’ve navigated through a variety of exercises starting with ‘S’, showcasing their versatility and impact on different muscle groups.

From squats that enhance your lower body strength to shoulder presses that build upper body power, each exercise provides unique benefits.

Incorporating these exercises can spice up your regular routine and might even challenge you in new ways.

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