The Best Muscle Building Exercises for Each Bodypart

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What are the best muscle building exercises?

If you could only choose one exercise per bodypart to perform for the rest of your life what would you choose? Assistance exercises are critical but the key to raising strength levels and adding muscle mass lie mostly with the barbell.

Related: Build a Machine: 12 Week Mass Without Fat Plan

Barbell and dumbbell movements have been shown to be the most effective forms of weight resistance training known to mankind. But what are the most essential and effective exercises for each bodypart?

Squats

The Best Muscle Building Exercises for Each Body Part

Chest – Bench Press

Not surprisingly the bench press has been the staple in each and every bodybuilder routine for decades. Simple, yet effective the bench press will progressively overload the pectoral muscles while simultaneously activating the front deltoids and triceps as secondary muscles. While most skip leg day, few if any skip chest day.

Lower Back – Conventional Deadlifts

Deadlifts are the single most important compound barbell movement that included in your workout arsenal. Not only does the deadlift activate all portions of the back from the spinal erectors, to the lats, to the traps while also engaging the core, and increasing arm strength. Many people say if they could only choose one single movement to perform for the rest of their lives it would be the deadlift. Remember form is more crucial than weight load.

Lats – Barbell Bent Over Rows

The barbell bent over row will give you wider lats while also increasing thickness. Other back muscles including the serratus and rhomboids are also activated. Make this a staple in all of your back workouts.

Anterior Deltoids – Overhead Press

The overhead press will strengthen your front deltoids and also improve core strength when performed properly. Starting each of your shoulder workouts with the overhead press will also aide in improving your bench press.

Lateral Deltoids – Lateral Raises

Whey ProteinIf you want to achieve that 3D sculpted shoulder look make sure lateral raises are included in each and every shoulder workout.

Posterior Deltoids – Rear Delt Dumbbell Flyes

One of the most aesthetically unpleasing looks is when someone has thick front deltoids, strong side deltoids, and absolutely no rear deltoids. If you want the full developed shoulder look make sure rear delt movements are incorporated into your shoulder routine.

Quadriceps – Back Squats

Squats are often seen as the granddaddy of all barbell movements. While the primary muscles activated are the quads and hammies, core muscle groups such as the abdominals, obliques, and multifidus are greatly strengthened as well. When you skip squats on leg day you are also missing out on core strength gains.

Hamstring – Straight Leg Deadlifts

Conventional deadlifts are great for back and leg development, but if you really want to focus on building thick shredded hamstrings look no further than straight leg deadlifts. By keeping the legs tight you are placing the full weight of the load on stretching and contracting the hamstrings.

Triceps – Close Grip Bench Press

Arm movements can be performed in a variety of different ways with assistance type work. However, if you had to choose to a single tricep exercise for life make sure it’s the close grip bench. By placing the weight of the load closer to your body you place almost all of the weight exclusively on the triceps. We all know how important tricep development is as they make up two-thirds of the arm muscle.

Biceps – Preacher Curl

The preacher curl exercise is superior to other bicep movements as it fully isolates the biceps. No shoulder stimulation, no assistance from the triceps, strictly 100% bicep activation. Perform some preacher curls and pray to the god of gains.

Traps – Behind the Back Shrugs

Most individuals perform shrugs with the bar facing in front of them. Not only does this put your junk at risk for injury, but it’s also a less effective exercise. But that bar behind your back and you will have a better range of motion for fully activating the lower, mid, and upper traps. You may even be saving the lives of your future children.

Calves – Standing Calf Raises

Compared to the seated calf raises the standing variety offers a fuller range of motion with simultaneous core activation. Everyone hates working calves but it’s a necessary evil to building any physique. As Ludacris once said, STAND UP!

Abs – Rope Crunches

The possibilities are endless for abdominal exercises but the one you can’t forget in your routine is rope crunches. As a weighted movement they provide more progressive muscle overload compared to other ab exercises.

Now Go and Build Muscle

Each and every muscle group in the body can be stimulated with a multitude of different exercises. However, when it comes to muscle and strength development these choices reign supreme.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ryanrodal and subscribe to MuscleMinds on YouTube for the best workout tips and nutrition advice!

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Name: Ryan Rodal

Bio: My short term fitness goals include reaching a 300lb bench, 405 lb squat and a 500 lb deadlift. Longterm I want to become more involved in the fitness industry and help others achieve their goals. The bodybuilding lifestyle is not about how much you can lift or even how you look, its simply about being the best version of yourself.