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Possibly one of the most frequently asked question in relation to bodybuilding and muscle growth is what the best exercises are to perform in the gym to build muscle mass. There is no definitive answer but there are a range of basic exercises you can perform that target multiple muscles and that will get you developing the muscle gains in no time. Always remember to use a foam roller as a warm up. This article will describe a number of great exercises to perform if you are looking to build significant muscle mass.

Something you should give strong thought to as you begin really putting your body through the paces is your overall health. Building muscle is great but if your health is suffering in other areas it can rally set you back. The priority should be of course eating healthy, and lots of sleep, but having adequate medical coverage in case you get sick is very important. Take a look at some Medicare Advantage plans for 2021.

Top exercises for building muscles

The Bench Press

One of the most basic and staple exercises that everyone knows. The bench press is a simple exercise that will direct tension to the chest in order to build muscle, and is not too difficult to execute. The most surprising thing about this exercise is that, although it is simplistic, the majority of people do it wrong and are too busy moving around on the bench and letting the bar drop to their chest, which all limit the possible muscle gains that this exercise provides. There is actually a level of weight on a bench press which you will be able to push through with ease, and you should stick to that weight to get maximum muscle growth.

When you begin, take the bar of the support and lower it gently to the chest. Do not let it drop! After it has touched your chest, slowly push the weight up towards your head so it is directly in front of your chin. Rinse and repeat. Also, it is important to understand that you should be lifting slowly and focusing on the chest muscles, not the arms. Create a mind-muscle connection and really try to burn it out. If you are bodybuilding and aiming for muscle growth, try to do a high-rep count of 8-12 for at least 4 sets.

Military Press

This is an excellent exercise that will target your shoulders and build a substantial amount of muscle. This exercise, again, is another bread and butter movement and one that is considered to be basic when you’re after muscle mass. The military press is going to give you a nice thick looking upper body and will keep those shoulders looking defined and cut. It should be noted that before performing this movement you should do a few reps without any weight in order to get used to the movement. After that, you are free to add the weights and begin to body build.

This exercise can be performed either from the back or from the chest. It is up to you to decide which technique you prefer. I prefer to go from my back, so I will describe the method that way (the movement is very similar from the front also). Firstly, remove the weight from the support and place it behind your neck, resting on your shoulders. Make sure your elbows are back throughout the entire movement. Make sure that your forearms are perpendicular to the bar and then raise it up, keeping your grip to the width of what you would with a standard bench press. If you are performing this from a seated position, keep your body pressed against the seat at all times.


Dead-lifts are another go-to exercise that everyone should be doing, and they’re great if you want to work on your back. This movement builds overall strength and adds muscle gain to the lower back and abdominal area. You can throw these in at time in your workout, but I would recommend performing this movement near the end. Dead-lifts also involve your legs, so if you have been working out beforehand, and have a pump, you can put more emphasis on your back and not your legs, resulting in fantastic muscle growth.

You can start this exercise by keeping your legs a little narrow, and by putting your arms outside of your knees. Dip down pushing you bum out, bending your knees and keeping your arms straight down. Raise back up keeping a steady form with your arms straight. Rinse and repeat.


If you are serious at bodybuilding and developing significant muscle growth, then you should definitely be performing squats for your legs. This exercise is a must and is one that will develop great muscle mass if done correctly. The technique is very important with a squat, so be sure to practice without any weight when you first start off.

Firstly, take the weight off the support and put it behind your neck, resting it on your shoulders. You then want to crouch down like a sumo-wrestler (almost like you are sitting down) making sure that your back is arched as soon as you pick the weight up. In addition, make sure you have your head facing forward throughout the exercise. Stick your chest out and keep your feet shoulder width apart. This exercise should be focused on the quads and in order to get maximum muscle growth, you should try and get you quads to be parallel when you crouch down.

There are a range of exercises you can do to produce muscle growth, but these 4 exercises are the bread and butter and will get you on your way to building massive muscle mass. The bench press focuses on the chest, and also has benefits when building the triceps as well, resulting in a lot of muscle gain. The military press focuses on the shoulders, the dead-lift focuses on the back and squats promote muscle growth in the legs. Mixing these exercises into your workout is a must and is a great way to build muscle and strength.

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June 2024

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