10 Best Muscle-Building Exercises

Before you hit the gym, it’s always best to know and learn the best-muscle building exercises that you can be doing. This will be a great time saver and will help you point in the right direction towards obtaining a great body.

Most of them dive into their workout program lacking knowledge on any proper training techniques and the right workouts they should be doing. They just never get to see the dream body that they have always dreamed of having. One can spend hours in the gym and still gain no results as compared to one who could just be spending a couple of hours doing the right selection of exercises in his or her workout program plans.

A higher testosterone release in the body is needed to amplify the muscle-building rates post-workout. This can only be achieved by doing the best exercises that can help develop lean muscle mass. If you already have your own workout plans currently, then its best to incorporate at least a few of this following exercise in your regime. These are by far one of the best 10 exercises that are good for muscle building.



These kinds of workouts are the powerhouses of lower body movements and muscle building. In fact there are many variations. The main muscle groups being targeted here are the quads, hamstrings, glutes, spinal column muscles and your core.

Basically you can do it with or without any barbells. The main movement is to let your hip go down just below your knees and then return back to standing position. If you are doing this for the first time, then its best that you start with a lower weight to avoid any possible injuries.

You have to keep your torso upright and always keeping your heels on the ground while executing it. As for now, we’ll just stick with the basic squat. You can start with your feet at shoulder length. Locking your back, go down as low as you can. Do a nice clean squat.

Try not to move too forward towards your toe or backwards towards your heel making sure your weight is pretty even on your feet. Do three reps of 10 squats and when you are done, you will feel the pressure on your lower body entirely.



This is another standard leg movement exercise. It primarily focuses your thighs. To add more challenge to it, you can add a set of dumbbells or a barbell across your back. Let’s just stick to the basics.

You are going to start off with one leg in front, the other leg behind. Make sure you have enough space in between your legs, so that one leg is not on top of the other. This will ensure enough stability as you lunge down and up.

First you lunge straight down, keeping your shoulders rolled back and your chest up and abs tight. You are going to keep the weight in that front heel and lunge straight down, dropping that back knee to the floor, and almost touching it. Then stand right back up and repeat by alternating on both legs.

The front leg would feel that glut-hamstring area and the leg that’s behind as you come down would feel in the quad area.



This is basically a build size and strength in one workout. It is the fearless king of compound movements. They are especially great for strengthening the lower back muscles, hamstrings and also a great way to boost your glute muscle strength and build a better butt as well!

You probably would need a partner for this workout if you are a beginner since it’s prone to injuries very easily especially your back. There are varying techniques and proper methodologies to follow strictly especially when you are lifting heavier weights. I could just probably write an entire topic on this workout.

Then again, let’s just stick to the basics first. First place your feet slightly wider that you hip width. Your feet can point straight ahead or slightly outwards depending on your comfort level or preference. With your hands just outside the legs, grab the barbell with your best grip.

Make sure your shoulder blades are directly over the bar and the bar itself located directly over your mid foot. As you lift, keep your chest high and your hips out your back erect with a slight arch and the bar rolling up your hands and staying in line with your legs throughout the entire movement.

As you start to reach the midway point of the lift, start to push the hips forward. When you reach the top position of the dead-lift, hold for two seconds and then begin lowering the bar to the ground pushing the hips back while slightly bending the knees. The whole process is done in slow controlled movement.


Man doing step-ups on a bench
Man doing step-ups on a bench

The main anatomy of this workout targets the main muscle groups of the lower body especially the thighs. It’s also a good exercise to test your balance and agility.

To start with you are going to need a stable strong box or a crate or even a staircase will do. You are going to start off with one foot up onto your box or stairs and then you tap the other foot on where you are standing. Then you are just going to step right back down.

This exercise is a really great cardio toning exercise. You would really want to focus on your speed here, to really get that cardio effect. You can do the step-ups on one side or choose to do as alternate. The faster you do the faster your heart rate will go and also help tone those thighs.

You can choose to do ten to twelve on one side and repeat it on the other. The more effective way is to do about 30 seconds to a minute on one side and then the same on the other. The other parts that benefit from this workout are the quads, the back of the legs as well as the hamstrings and the gluts.

Bench Press:

Bench Press
Bench Press

This is always a must-have in any gym. Truly one of the kings of upper body strengthener exercise targeting primarily your chest, shoulders, triceps and even your biceps to a small degree.

Always make sure that you have a nice firm base for you to sit and your feet planted firmly on the ground. When you lie on the bench, there should be only 3 points of contact. They are your butt, shoulders and your head.

You will need to have a nice tight lower back and that’s where you are going to control the power to execute the entire bench press movement. The grip on the bench press is a little bit wider than shoulder width apart. As you take the weight off you want to make sure you have full control of it as you bring it down in a one – two count and then you explode up in a one count.

So the entire movement is a one – two and controlled as you bring down and one explode upwards and repeat. You always want to make sure you are using the chest muscles to move the weight. As you bring the weight down, its important you bring it just slightly under your chest muscles touching your breast bone, to make sure the muscle is doing the work.

Shoulder Press:

Shoulder Press
Shoulder Press

As the name of this workout speaks for itself it’s a fantastic movement for strengthening the primary shoulder joints and keeping your upper body strong. All you are going to need is a bench, or some seat and a pair of dumbbells.

Always start off with lower weights if you have not done this workout before. Raise the support pad to a sitting position slightly leaning back with your back against it. Keep your body straight up and erect. With the dumbbells in your hands raised up to your shoulder level, press towards the ceiling in a nice and controlled movement.

Nice and slow to the top and slow and controlled all the way down to the bottom. You are going to stop the bottom of your ram in about 90 degrees. If you bring it down any lower, it will give unnecessary tension on your shoulder caps that is if you are starting off with a heavier weight.

Try to aim for 12 reps nice and slow upwards and downwards. Now you have to be careful where the weight is in space. If your hands are too close in then you’re putting too much pressure on your tricep. If your hands are too far you’re putting too much pressure on your shoulder caps. So this weight needs to be somewhere close to your elbow.

Bent-Over Rows:


The primary target of this workout is the back muscles. It involves the squeezing of your shoulder blades together to see maximum strength gains in the muscles you are aiming to target. The muscle groups targeted are the lats, rhomboids, traps, posterior delts, teres major and minor and infraspinatus.

This exercise can be done with both barbells and dumbbells. It’s the barbells that have been most commonly used. So we’ll stick with the barbells here.

First stand on your feet with shoulder width apart. Then grab the bar with your palms facing inwards and just outside your shoulder blades. Bent over and keep about 45 to 65 degrees on your knee. You are going to keep this posture fixed throughout the workout. That is to lock your spine.

Then bring up the barbell towards your chest and slowly back to the starting position. Make sure you are only moving your arms bringing the weight up and down at all times. You need to neutralize the rest of the muscles and try not to jerk while lifting the weight.



Definitely one of the most common exercises which involves your lat muscles, rear delts, the biceps, lower back as well as the core which always acts to stabilize the body. That’s nothing more effective than developing your back muscles than a pull-up.

Look for a raised bar which requires you to jump up a little bit. This is to ensure that your feet don’t touch the ground while in mid-air. There are different variations as to grabbing the bar. The wider the more challenging. This is going to be called a wide-grip pull-up. It works at your lat muscles a little and the close-grip works more on your biceps and upper back. You can choose to do both on the same day or one at a time.

Lift your body weight all the way up in controlled fashion and all the way down slowly. Pause, go up, and slow on the way back down. Make sure your body is not swinging and if it does, you are not in control. It defeats the whole purpose of this workout.



This is one of the favorites among the muscle-building exercises. Reason is quite simple. You don’t need any tools or need to hit the gym to do this at all. All you need is your very own arms and some space in your very own home.

Push-ups are one of the greatest chest strengthening exercises you can do. It involves a lot of work to your triceps and biceps at the same time. They also have many variations to it. Yes, the wider the harder it becomes. If your hand placement is wider, you will build more chest muscle. The closer they are the more challenging it is for your shoulders and triceps. For now let’s just stick to the basics.

Your starting position would be to have your hands outside of your shoulders. In order to bulk up your chest, you need your elbows to go out to the side. Then you start going down slowly with your chest slightly touching the floor and slowly return back to the starting position.

There are a few things you need to pay attention to your body placement. While executing the movement, never let your lower body sink down. This will put too much pressure on your lower spine. You should not also want your body up in the air. This workout would be far too easy.

You need to keep your body as straight as a ruler. This will challenge your core, your chest and shoulders at the same time.

Split Squats:


This exercise primarily targets your glute and is a fantastic workout to keep your balance and targeting your core.

Start by bringing one of your legs to the front and the other to the back. Make sure you have some space in between your legs so that you can have some balance. If you place your feet along the same line, you will lose your balance.

Let your shoulders roll back and keeping your chest up and abs tight. When you start to lunge forward, you need to bend both your knees coming straight down and back up again. Just make sure your knee touches the ground slightly. Do not rest your knees on the floor.

Much of the pressure will be in your front heels. The more the pressure you apply, the more you will feel on your butt. You can concentrate doing on one side first or do an alternate one. My preference would be to do 10 to 12 reps on one side and then switch to the other side.

The Bottom Line:

These are by far the best muscle building exercises anyone can do and you should be doing. Try not to do all the ten exercises mentioned here back-to-back. The best way to do is to alternate them. You can perhaps choose to do two or three of them each week.

Let’s say you choose to do lunges and squats for this week then start doing each of the workouts for about thirty minutes. Meaning, you do lunges for 30 whole minutes and then the squats for another whole 30 minutes. You can probably squeeze a third workout along the line too. This will keep your body guessing as to what’s coming next and will continue to see the results you are looking for from that particular exercise.

If you keep doing the same workouts over time, your body will start adapting to it and would become stagnant. So for best overall results for your body, keep alternating these workouts over time. It’s best to draw out a plan for the month as to which exercises you want to do and in that way you can keep things organised in your muscle-building programmes and would be able to monitor the results much faster that way.

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