So what are the best 5 exercises for building muscle? some people will find some exercises more effective than others. The below list contains those that I have personally found to be the most effective.
The list is also influenced by my research in the weight lifting and body building community, these exercises are also widely considered to be the best muscle and strength building exercises.
The bench press works the pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders) and triceps, it’s one of the best exercises for developing the upper body. The bench press should be a foundation exercise which should always be a priority exercise when looking to build muscle in the upper body. The bench press has many variations which can be used to target and develop every inch of your chest.
If you want big legs, you shouldn’t neglect this exercise, it’s the single best exercise for building muscle in your legs, specifically your quadriceps (thighs) it’s also a great exercise for your glutes (buttocks) hamstrings and lower back. Squats is a fantastic exercise for developing leg and lower back strength and power.
Deadlifts is the best exercise you can perform for strengthening your core, developing core strength should be a priority for anybody wanting to develop muscle and strength. Having a strong core will allow you to lift heavier, get stronger and ultimately get bigger, the deadlift is the ultimate foundation exercise. The deadlift targets the middle and lower back, also the glutes (buttocks) thighs (quadriceps) and hamstrings.
Pull ups target your latissimus dorsi (upper back) deltoids (shoulders) and biceps, pull ups may be an old school exercise but it’s still one of the best exercises that there is. If your own body weight is not enough you can add more weight using a specially designed weighted belt. Different hand placements can be used to shift the focus on the muscles that are being targeted. If you can’t yet manage to perform pull ups with your body weight, some gyms have pull up assist machines, also the lat pull down machines offer a similar benefit to performing pull ups.
The shoulder press or sometimes known as the military press specifically builds muscle and strength in the shoulders, the secondary focus is on the triceps. If you want that broad look with well rounded shoulders then there is no better exercise. My personal favourite way to perform this exercise is seated with dumbbells, it feels better on my shoulders, however others prefer using a barbell. It’s good to try out different techniques and variations to see which works best for you.
Other exercises that you might want to consider
- Lat rows/T-bar rows – Upper back.
- Stiff/Straight leg deadlifts – Lower back, Hamstrings.
- Leg press – Glutes, Thighs, Hamstrings.