I’m happy to answer this question, as the best five exercises are fundamental, and work most of the muscles in your body, that it will be hard not to use them in your training sessions. The best strength and muscular results come from proper exercise techniques, form and of course, tempo. These elements all coincide to create the best muscle building environment for you. Please don’t forget about diet as well.
The best five muscle-building exercises of all time
- Squats: Despite what people may say, full-range squats are most definitely the way to go in terms of superior growth and strength in the legs. This is how you build strength in both the quads and the hamstrings. If you pursue a lot of sprinting and jumping, this squatting technique will most definitely increase your power. Try the squat variation by using the one and a quarter variety, very similar to a pulse at the bottom, but a very controlled one. This will burn, but I guarantee it will give you fantastic conditioning!
- Deadlifts. The motion of picking up heavyweight from the floor and putting it back down is an essential exercise, for the young and old. There are so many variations of deadlifts, and you should aim different ones in each of your leg and back days. Try the full deadlift, try sumo deadlift, how about hex bad deadlift? Each one of these alterations hit different muscle fibres and provide the best form of strength and muscular growth.
- Bench press. Incredible strength and power exercise, and is prevalent in the gym! When starting, opt for the flat bench, using an eccentric 4-second motion, and a 1 second concentric. You want to make sure you use the best range of motion and giving the muscles enough time under tension. A way to alter your movement is by opting for full or close grip – even try different grip, to smash your triceps as well. Proceed with caution if you have a shoulder injury. Dumbbells may be the best option for you, rather than a barbell.
- Split squats: I love these, especially for targeting the vastus medaialis oblique (VMO) which is that gorgeous teardrop muscle in the quads. Enhancing the formation of that muscle in particular, not only provides beautiful aesthetics but preventing knee pain and tears in the tissue. This is good news for runners or anyone with weak knees. The more advanced folks can elevate their back heel, forcing the leg in front to do all the work. A slight alteration would be to turn that front toe outwards, about 10 degrees. If you have knee issues, please proceed carefully, possibly without weights to start.
- Pull-ups: Pull-ups and chin-ups, not only work the upper back and arms, but also the abdominals. This move is quite challenging for many people. Therefore I recommend that you start with negative variations. This is by jumping up towards the chin-up position, instead of using your body weight to pull yourself up, and lowering yourself very slowly, counting till 4. When you get down, jump back up and repeat. Slow and steady is critical in this movement. Soon enough, you will be able to complete a chin-up with your body weight.
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