The Best Muscle Building Exercises

For anyone looking to pack on some serious muscle mass, one of the top priorities will be to determine what the best bodybuilding exercises are to use. There is a wide range of different workouts available, so choosing the one that will suit your needs best is important.

I have broken down each body part and given my top 5 exercises per body part which you can tailor to your own training program

5 Most Effective Chest Building Exercises

  • Bench Press. The most popular exercise in the world with its own unique day, bench press Monday. I always find it interesting when non-gym goers talk about the gym and the first thing they say is oh how much do you bench. 
  • Incline Bench Press. The first choice of many top pro bodybuilders and one that I will use regularly myself along with incline dumbbell press. 
  • Dips. Dips are a great compliment to any bench press movement. 
  • Dumbbell Bench Press. You will really be able to feel the chest with this pressing variation.
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press. As mentioned above an exercise I use often. I also turn the dumbbells facing inwards for the inner part of the chest 

5 Most Effective Back Building Exercises

  • Deadlifts. Nothing builds a thick back like deadlifts. If you have never done deadlifts before make sure you don’t go heavy and get proper guidance on the correct movement or else you can end up with a nasty injury. 
  • Pull Ups. A far superior choice to lat pulldowns. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 try adding some weight to really build those lats and get that V shape. 
  • Barbell Row. No back building workout should be without a heavy row, and barbell rows are at the top of the list. Switch between over and underhand grips to hit different muscle parts in your back. 
  • Dumbbell Row. An excellent second choice to barbell rows, especially if you have a weak lower back.
  • Rack Pull. The rack pull allows you to perform just the top half of a deadlift, so the most difficult portion of the movement is skipped in order to allow progression to be made by using heavier weights than you can usually deadlift just within the lock-out phase of the exercise.

5 Most Effective Shoulder Building Exercises

  • Military Press. This exercise has been a staple of great workouts for decades on end.
  • Push Press. Very similar to the military press, but by utilizing the explosive power you can lift heavier than the military press. 
  • Dips. Yes, you read that correctly. If you lean forward on your dip you will really feel the burn on your front delts. 
  • Seated Barbell Press. Old school way of doing this is behind the neck however I find it puts to much pressure on my elbows so I prefer just doing them in front. 
  • Seated Dumbbell Press. A little easier on the shoulders for many because the dumbbells can be placed in a more natural position. Another variation is the arnold press. What shoulder exercise would be complete without doing some Arnold presses? 

5 Most Effective Leg Building Exercises

  • Squats. Some call this the king of all muscle building lifts but I think it is a close tie with deadlifts. Definitely not the most popular exercise around that is for sure. 
  • Front Squats. Another top choice of bodybuilders. Front squats can be tricky to learn, but you will be rewarded with big wheels and strong core as you utilize it more during the front squat. 
  • Straight Leg Deadlifts. Beef up your hamstrings!
  • Leg Press. If you don’t have access to a squat rack this is your next best bet, alternate between close and wide stance to hit different variants of the muscles. 
  • Walking Lunges. Lunges are another quality leg-building and whether you do them with a barbell on your shoulders or dumbbells held in your hands they are a great workout. 

5 Most Effective Arm Building Exercises

  • Chin Ups. A shocker, but chin ups are a beastly bicep builder, perhaps even better than straight bar curls and especially when done with weight strapped to your body. 
  • Close Grip Bench Press. This exercise allows for a heavy amount of weight to be placed on the triceps.
  • Dips. Weighted dips pack on the most muscle in the triceps for me and I will follow these up with high rep isolation exercises. 
  • Barbell Curls. A classic but just don’t go heavy with shitty form, especially in the squat rack. 
  • 45 Degree Incline Dumbbell Curls. A great exercise to isolate the bicep and feel the burn with every rep.

5 of the Best Abdominal Exercises.

  • Weighted Sit Ups. Why do volume when you can add weight and also build thickness.
  • Cable Crunches. Forget floor crunches – add some weight and thicken your six-pack!
  • Windscreen Wipers. Not many people can do these but they are an absolute killer and not for the beginner or even intermediate gym goer. 
  • Hanging Leg Raises.  Great exercise to really hit the lower abs and bring out that V shape in the abs.
  • Ab Wheel. If you are looking to get a deep core workout this is it and not only will it hit your abs but also your shoulders, traps and arms.



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