Build Muscle Fast With These 6 Powerhouse Exercises!
Squats are an absolute must for building muscle
It would be safe to assume that every person who exercises wants to build muscle, mostly men, but for women it’s more about building muscle tone.
Whether you run, play golf or tennis, shoot hoops or train as a weekend warrior in the gym, building muscle should be one of your goals.
If you progress and gain a measure of strength, it should carry over to muscle growth because a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle.
In terms of function, you should be able to perform better. In terms of aesthetics, having developed muscles makes you look fit and healthy
Increasing the ratio of muscle decreases the health risks associated with having high levels of body fat.
Thus, building muscle is a win-win situation: not only will you look good but you will feel good and be healthy, as well!
Progressive resistance applied to muscle should produce growth because the fibres have to adapt to handle heavier load over time.
But not all exercises produce muscle growth at the same rate. There are exercises that result in greater gains in a shorter period of time.
These exercises are movements that utilise the largest muscles of the body.
The more muscle fibres you use the more weight you can lift and consequently, the larger the muscles become.
The 6 Best Exercises For Building Muscle
Many have referred to squats as the “King of All Exercises” because it supposedly generates the greatest amount of overall muscle growth.
Although the squat is primarily used to target the lower body: thighs, hamstrings and calves, it has a secondary effect on the lower back and shoulders.
Of course balancing a barbell behind your back requires great core stability. Thus, the squat helps develop your abdominals as well.
There are also studies that show the squats done in the 6 to 10 rep range can increase testosterone production.
2. Bench Press
What the squat is to your lower body, the bench press is to your upper body.
The bench press is arguably the most popular exercise in the gym.
Many people naturally gravitate to the bench press as if it were the ultimate show of strength. How often have you been asked, “How much do you bench?”
The bench press is known as a chest exercise with secondary effects on the shoulders and triceps.
But a properly executed bench press can work the back, legs and hips as well!
While it is much loved, the bench press is also much maligned by its detractors who say it is responsible for the majority of rotator cuff injuries.
What they don’t know is that by simply pulling your shoulder blades together and bringing the weight toward your back effectively removes shearing forces on the rotator cuff!
If there was an exercise that best exemplified “beauty in simplicity” it would be the deadlift.
Despite its threatening sounding name, the deadlift is a very basic lift.
All you need to do is pick up the weight from the floor. Sounds simple right? Yes, until you get to the heavier weight.
Then you will realise how important technique is in the deadlift.
The deadlift uses just about every muscle in your body.
You start the pull with your hips, past your thighs to your lower back before locking out at the top with your shoulders and upper back.
In between you will feel your abs, forearms, biceps and chest straining to keep the weight moving.
The deadlift is the ultimate show of strength simply because you are lifting a dead weight.
Unlike the squat and the bench press where you initiate a kinetic chain by controlling the weight on the descent, with the deadlift you are initiating the lift with ZERO forces on the bar!
4. Overhead Press
When you think about strong men you imagine well muscled, powerfully built figures lifting heavy objects over their head.
The completed position of two fully outstretched arms seems to proclaim “Victory!”
The overhead press is the best way to build shoulders. There are many variations of the overhead press but the safest is the standing barbell press from the front.
If you have rotator cuff problems, it is perfectly fine to initiate the press with your legs.
After all, the shoulders come into play when the bar is at chin level.
The overhead press also develops the triceps, upper back, lower back and abdominals.
It is advisable to use a lifting belt when doing the overhead press because it exerts extreme compression forces on the lower back.
Dips are an old school bodyweight favorite is effective in building muscle across your chest, front shoulders and triceps.
It requires balance, coordination and focus which could also help you become a better athlete.
By simply changing angles and foot positions, you can shift the focus of the exercise.
If you want more chest development, angle your body forward. Too easy?
Try dips with both legs straightened out in front of your body!
If you want more triceps development, keep a more upright position.
Dipping is an exercise where you should focus more on form than number of repetitions.
6. Power Cleans
If you want an exercise that will build power, strength and conditioning, then you should include power cleans in your program.
This is an exercise that requires more technique and attention to form than any other movement because proper execution demands correct transition from one body part to the next.
The power clean involves the hips, legs, lower back, upper back, arms, abdominals and shoulders.
The objective of the power clean is to lift the weight as fast as possible. It is an explosive movement that builds thick fast twitch fibres all over your body.
Because the focus is on technique and speed, you do not need to lift heavy weight when doing power cleans.
Can anybody regardless of age, gender or level of fitness do these exercises?
Yes because these are all basic and functional movements. These movements follow a path that mirrors natural bodily functions such as squatting, pushing and pulling.
If you do not have training experience, please do not hesitate to hire the services of a certified Personal Trainer.
Finally, be patient. Rome wasn’t built in one day. It even took God seven days to create the world!
As long as you are consistent with your training, remain disciplined with your eating and give your body enough rest, the gains should come.