As a gym addict, I know how important it is to mix up my workouts to avoid boredom and plateaus.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 11 exercises that start with N, each with its own set of unique benefits and challenges.
From the narrow push-up to the Nordic hamstring curl, we’ll cover a range of exercises that target different muscle groups and offer various levels of difficulty.
So, let’s dive in and explore these exercises that start with N!
Narrow push-up (also known as the close-grip push-up) is an excellent way to target your triceps.
How To Do
- Start in a high plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and your feet together.
- Move your hands closer together until they are directly underneath your chest.
- Engage your core and glutes to keep your body in a straight line.
- Lower your body by bending your elbows and keeping them close to your body.
- Lower until your chest is a couple of inches above the ground.
- Push back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
Neck curls are an isolation exercise that can help strengthen the neck muscles.
These muscles are often overlooked in traditional strength training programs but are important for maintaining good posture and preventing injuries.
How To Do
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat or bench with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Keep your arms at your sides and your palms facing down.
- Slowly raise your head off the ground, curling your neck and chin towards your chest.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your head back down to the ground.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
- Neck flexors
For this exercise, you’ll need a pull-up bar or a machine that allows you to do pull-ups. The neutral grip is when your palms are facing each other.
How To Do
- Stand underneath the pull-up bar and grab it with your palms facing each other.
- Pull yourself up towards the bar until your chin is above it.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position with control.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps.
- Latissimus dorsi (lats)
- Shoulders (deltoids)
Nordic Hamstring Curls
Nordic Hamstring Curls, also known as bodyweight hamstring curls or natural glute-ham raises, are a highly effective exercise for strengthening the hamstring muscles.
They’re especially useful for athletes involved in sports that require quick acceleration and deceleration, such as soccer, football, basketball, and track and field.
How To Do
- Kneel on a soft surface or a mat and have someone hold your ankles or place them under a sturdy object.
- Slowly lower your torso towards the ground, keeping your back straight and your hips extended. Use your hamstrings to control the descent.
- Once you can no longer hold yourself up, use your arms to catch yourself before hitting the ground.
- Use your arms to push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
- Lower back muscles
- Core muscles
Narrow Grip Bench Press
The narrow grip bench press is similar to the traditional bench press, but you use a narrow grip, which places more emphasis on the triceps and shoulders.
How To Do
- Lie flat on a bench with your feet firmly on the floor.
- Reach up and grab the bar with a narrow grip, just a few inches apart.
- Lower the bar down towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
- Pause for a second and then press the bar back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for desired reps.
Narrow Stance Squat
The narrow stance squat places more emphasis on the quads and glutes than regular squats.
It involves standing with your feet closer together than hip-width apart and performing a squatting motion, keeping your knees in line with your feet.
How To Do
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward.
- Bring your feet closer together so they are directly under your hips.
- Place your hands on your hips or hold onto a barbell across your upper back.
- Keeping your chest up and your core engaged, begin to lower your body down by bending your knees.
- Go as low as you can while maintaining good form.
- Push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position.
Negative chin-ups are ideal for those who don’t have the strength to do full chin-ups.
How To Do
- Start by standing on a chair or bench, so that you can easily reach the top of the pull-up bar.
- Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing towards you) and pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar.
- Slowly lower your body down to the starting position, taking about 5-10 seconds to complete the movement.
- Once you reach the bottom, step back up onto the chair and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Latissimus dorsi
- Upper back muscles
Nerve flossing is a technique used to mobilize and stretch nerves to relieve tension, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
It involves moving a nerve back and forth through its surrounding tissues, much like flossing your teeth.
This technique can be beneficial for anyone experiencing nerve-related discomfort, including those with carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, or chronic pain.
How To Do
(While there are various nerve flossing techniques, the one below is a simple movement to get started!)
- Begin in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.
- Straighten your arms and raise them above your head.
- Reach forward with your arms and bend your upper body forward.
- Move your arms down towards your feet while keeping your head and neck in a neutral position.
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Nerve flossing primarily works to mobilize and stretch nerves rather than targeting specific muscles.
Ninja Jump is a great plyometric exercise that targets multiple muscle groups and helps improve explosive power, agility, and balance. It’s a full-body exercise that works the legs, glutes, core, and arms.
How To Do
- Kneel on a yoga mat so that your upper body is upright.
- Jump up and forward, swinging your arms powerfully overhead as you do.
- Land softly on the balls of your feet.
- Repeat for a desired number of reps.
Nordic Walking is a low-impact exercise that originated in Finland in the 1930s as a form of off-season training for cross-country skiers.
It involves walking with specially designed poles that engage the upper body, providing a full-body workout.
Nordic Walking can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels and has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.
How To Do
- Stand up straight with your head up and shoulders relaxed.
- Begin by walking at a comfortable pace, swinging your arms naturally at your sides.
- As you walk, plant the poles diagonally behind you and push off with your arms as you step forward with your opposite foot.
- Nordic Walking should feel like a natural extension of walking, so try to maintain a steady pace and rhythm.
- Upper body
- Lower body
Neck extension is an exercise that targets the muscles in the back of your neck. It’s a simple yet effective exercise that you can do almost anywhere.
How To Do It
- Start by sitting or standing with your spine straight.
- Slowly tilt your head back, keeping your eyes focused on the ceiling or sky.
- Stop when you feel a stretch in the back of your neck.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- Slowly bring your head back to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
Neck extension primarily works the muscles in the back of your neck, including the splenius capitis and semispinalis cervicis muscles.
It can also help improve your posture and relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.
Whether it’s a neutral grip, narrow, or negative variation of an exercise, there are plenty of awesome exercises that start with N to choose from.
My favorites on this list are narrow push-ups, Ninja jumps, and Nordic leg curls.
But what are yours? Please share them in the comments below!
Hope this helped!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.