Building muscle takes a great deal of hard work, in and out of the gym. It is important to include the right types of muscle building exercises into your program. These typically include compound exercises. Meaning, an exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at one time. This article will look at a few such exercises that ultimately will help pack on lean muscle mass. When you train with compound exercises, you target multiple muscle groups within a given set as opposed to just one, when you perform isolation type exercises, like a leg extension. Research has also backed this up, showing training with compound exercises is superior (for building muscle) over isolation-type exercises.
When it comes to the legs, one of the best muscle building exercises is the squat. Additional exercises on that list include: lunges, leg press, hip thrust and Bulgarian split squat to name a few. The squat, however, is the king of them all.
Compound back exercises that can help pack on the muscle are single-arm and bilateral bent-over rows, T-Bar row, chin-ups, lat pulldown and pull-ups. One of the best exercises though is the barbell deadlift. It targets your legs, hips and of course your back including your trapezius and grip.
Chest: Bench Press
There are many hardcore weightlifters who perform the squat, deadlift and the next exercise, bench press, as their three main lifts. All three exercises can really pack on the muscle, as long as the adequate sleep and healthy nutrition boxes are both checked off daily. The bench press is one of the best upper body compound exercises you can do. This is because it recruits the chest, shoulders and arm muscles. Cycling through the different chest exercise variations in your programs: flat, incline and decline bench press, is always a good idea.
As we previously mentioned, the three exercises we looked at today can activate many different muscle groups collectively. One can never go wrong adding the “big three” exercises into any strength training program, no matter if you’re just starting out or a seasoned gym veteran.
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