If your goal is to select the best muscle building exercises from the thousands of different weight training exercises that are popular these days, it can be a hard task to reduce the list down to a manageable number of only the most effective free weights movements. What you find with nearly all of the exercises that are making the rounds in the gyms these days, is that each and every movement is either a derivative of one of the basic body building exercises or a specific exercise designed to target a certain muscle group. If your goal is to build muscle mass fast, then it’s vital that you scratch down a short and manageable list of the free weights exercises that have been proven to help your muscles get stronger and grow.
Sure it’s true that any weight training exercise will induce muscle growth up to a certain point, there is one style of free weight training in particular that has stood the test of time, compound exercises. While certainly not too exciting compound exercises are the most basic free weight exercises around and are very effective at helping you increase your muscular strength and helping you pack on muscle mass fast.
The beauty of free weight compound movements lies in the fact that they allow you to train with heavy weights through a complete range of motion that typically stimulates multiple body parts and multiple joints. This allows you to induce muscle growth in more than one muscle group by performing only one exercise. If you incorporate these types of muscle building exercises you are all but guaranteed to get the most out of your time in the gym.
That said, there are a ton of compound exercises and variations of those exercises, so which ones are the most effective for inducing muscle growth? As with anything in the bodybuilding and fitness realm, the specific free weights exercises that you decide to slide into your workouts will be based completely upon your goals. What works well for you may not work at all for me, so take the time to choose the best muscle building exercises for you and get to work!
Here is my go-to list of the most effective bodybuilding exercises. These are the exercises that make up about 98% of all of my bodybuilding workouts. While basic, focusing on these free weights exercises most of the time allows me to continue to enjoy increases in my strength and muscle growth in a very reasonable amount of time.
The Best Muscle Building Exercises
- Barbell Squat
- Lying Triceps Press
- Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Lunges (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Weighted Step Ups
- Barbell Curls
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls
- Dead lift
- Stiff Legged Dead lift
- Barbell Rows
- Dumbbell Rows
- Seated DB Shoulder Press
- Barbell Shrugs
- Bench Press (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Incline Press (Barbell or Dumbbell)
- Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
You probably noticed that a few of these exercises are technically not compound movements. In order to target certain muscle groups (like your traps and shoulders), you will need to perform some isolation movements. Whenever I need to work any isolation exercises into my workouts, I always try to choose the ones that allow me to train with the heaviest possible weight. Any exercise that restricts my range of motion too much will not allow me to train heavy enough.
Stop piecing together your workouts with less effective isolation movements and start getting the most out of your time in the gym. If you incorporate these basic yet effective muscle building exercises into your training sessions and put some effort into training hard and heavy, you’ll begin to gain muscle mass and strength faster than you ever thought possible.