Top 5 Exercises to Help You Gain Muscle

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Gaining muscle requires specific exercises. While you can lose weight by increasing the number of calories you use up, gain flexibility by performing specific exercises, gaining muscle involves exercises where you lift weights. While there are many exercises that require you to lift weights, some are more effective in building muscle mass. To ensure that you build muscles evenly throughout your body, you need to perform a specific set of weight lifting exercises.

Squats: These exercises are aimed at building the leg muscles. They need to be performed with care to ensure the maximum benefits. The back needs to be arched throughout, the face facing forward and up, and the legs slightly more than shoulder width apart. To do the exercise, pretend to sit on a chair and get up with the weights held in your hands. Just make sure that you do it safely and carefully since squats can cause back issues if not done properly.

Dead Lifts: These exercises are meant to build and strengthen the back muscles. Try to do these exercises toward the end of your routine. Keep your legs shoulder width or less apart and your hands within your knees. You need to arch your back as you lift the weights to ensure that the lower back muscles get their workout.

Bench Press: This is a marvelous exercise to build your chest muscles. However, you need to ensure that your back is pressed close to the bench. Begin with the weight lightly touching your chest and move it up until it is above your chin or mouth.

Military Press: This is the exercise that builds shoulder muscles. Sit on the bench and keep your forearms perpendicular to the bar as you lift it above your head.

Straight Leg Dead Lifts: This variation works the hamstrings. It is similar to the dead lift but you need to focus on pushing your butt out and bend only at the hips not your back.

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Jeffrey Becker
Jeffrey Becker

I agree these movements, and their variations, should form the base foundation of any lifting program. The only thing I would add which I have found useful at times, are kettlebell swings and snatches.

Ferdinend
Ferdinend

Hi Benjamin,
Your post will be of great info and help for those who are trying to gain muscles and like to add besides engaging in regular workouts, eat big, eat in the middle of the night and increase your calories intake. Overload progressively, train heavy and keep a workout journal to measure your progress.

ChrisPBacon
ChrisPBacon

Benjamin,

You have two hinge movements on your list and no pulling movements.

Remember, there are six basic compound movements to be worked.

1. Vertical Press (overhead press variation)

2. Horizontal Press (bench press variation)

3. Vertical Pull (pullup, pulldown, etc.)

4. Horizontal Pull (bent over rows, seated rows, etc.)

5. Squat (squat variation)

6. Hinge (deadlift, kettlebell swing, etc.)

Of course, some movements are hybrids of several of these. Especially, the Olympic Lifts.

Testoman
Testoman

Pretty good list those are all big muscles which release testosterone in the bloodstream when training. I have recently done this workout program, it’s from the 40’s and works like a charm!

jonathanb
jonathanb

Can you get just as good ”results” with machines at the gym as opposed to free weights. I know this question has been out there and answered many times, but I’d like to get your take.

jger242
jger242

I believe that free weights are best for overall strength and muscle gains because they force us to use the stabilizer muscles. Multi joint movements (squats, bench press, dead-lift, etc) create the best overall strength and muscle mass gains. Machines help with isolation movements and are also good but if I had to pick one over the other I would stick to free weights. I use mostly free weights with limited assistance exercises on machines. The best advice is to: 1) have good consistent form 2) do not overtrain 3) consume protein within 30 minutes post training 4) be consistent… Read more »

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

Free weights are also the number one source of injury. I hardly use them. I focus on cable and other machines as I grow older. Luckily, I have not injured myself in 30 years. I see guys doing free weights during the first 6 months at the gym and injuring themselves. This gets them out of the game.

Free weights should be used by people who know what they are doing and are strict with their form. Not for beginners. My two cents.

Bama Boy
Bama Boy

You got that built with cables and machines only ? I know this is an old post But that’s impressive would like to know what your routine is ? Free weights are also the number one source of injury. I hardly use them. I focus on cable and other machines as I grow older. Luckily, I have not injured myself in 30 years. I see guys doing free weights during the first 6 months at the gym and injuring themselves. This gets them out of the game. Free weights should be used by people who know what they are doing… Read more »

White Menace
White Menace

Id Skip out Normal Deadlifts for Barbell Rows
Squats and rows will strengthen the lower back enough, to me, deadlift is more a Power and strength movement to help strengthen the core and lift alot.

I’m not a fan of the Military press, Got better results with Upright rows, but both are just as bad for shoulders as each other, in terms of risk.

GlennMarsh
GlennMarsh

Great read having much ideas to gain muscles easily,.,.
I love bench press and dead-lifts i thinks 5 sets of chest bench press is too much to gain chest size if you increases weight on every set,.

GlennMarsh
GlennMarsh

Great read having much ideas to gain muscles easily,.,.
I love bench press and dead-lifts i thinks 5 sets of chest bench press is too much to gain chest size if you increases weight on every set,.

What is your routine,.?

nufal
nufal

I am quite agree with your point of view. the exercises which you are mentioned no doubt those are all time best but you didn’t mention any diet plan as far as i think proper diet is equally important as workout

Squats
Dead Lifts
Bench Press
Military Press
Straight Leg Dead Lifts

Vince
Vince

I’m a big believer in squats, going low, using the hamstrings and no bounce.

halimiro01
halimiro01

The best advice is to:

1) have good consistent form
2) do not overtrain
3) consume protein within 30 minutes post training
4) be consistent in training and lifestyle(sleep, diet, etc)
5) enjoy training and its benefits

BuzzzardMarinePumper
BuzzzardMarinePumper

What thoughts do you have to older men using lighter weights and higher reps to prevent injury ? Additionally if you read many today dated reads on Nutrition you will read to ingest a mid level carb pre and post Work out ( small amounts of an apple , small bowl of pasta a small bowl of rice ) and the thoughts behind this is to give delayed but readily available source of card energy during training and a source for muscles to have slow release of energy to help repair muscles when sleeping and muscle rejuvenation ? Please by… Read more »

croaker24
croaker24

What thoughts do you have to older men using lighter weights and higher reps to prevent injury ? This. I want to get stronger, but I do not want to bulk up and look like a Hulk Hogan because I prefer to do sports such as golf which relies on flexibility and some strength. I do stretches and balancing exercises in the morning for about 25 minutes daily, intense 20 minute cardio sessions every day except one, using interval methods. Then 3 days a week I do fundamental stuff like push-ups, and rubber bands; the other 3 days some basic… Read more »

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

I have had back surgery, quad surgery and hand surgery (all unrelated to the gym). I use machines and cables and stay pretty pumped. As we get older, heavy weights can only increase injury and wear and tear.

Follow this thread and you will see my exercise videos in the second post:

Exercise videos: Click on the body part you want to exercise

hemantlatawa
hemantlatawa

Here are tips as well as exercises to help you gain muscle:

Chest Pump
Arm Pump
Over extension Kickback

Bench Dip
Supinating Dumbbell Curl
Ab Pump
Modified Bicycle Kick
Reverse Crunch
Roll-up

Warm Up
Work harder, but shorter
Work your whole body
Limit your cardio training
Get your rest
Lower your stress levels
Target your pecs with chest exercises
Target your triceps with arm exercises
Target your biceps with arm exercises
Work your quads and hamstrings with squats
Target your abdominal muscles with crunches and core exercises

Loki
Loki

For me it is all about timing of what I work… The order is critical to me… 6 Day per week program. Day 1- Chest (pre exhaust Triceps and Shoulders) Day 2- Biceps- Most say it is to small to work by itself but it has worked well for me Day 3- Shoulders- Lead off with a step incline (safer than overhead and hits chest) Day 4- Triceps- 2 Days of separation from chest Day 5- Legs- I hit all major lifts except DL Day 6- Back- Almost every exercise also pre exhaust my biceps hence the separation. Plus I… Read more »

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

I work out my entire body every other day and use moderate weight (mostly machines and cables) since back, guad and hand surgeries (unrelated to working out) in the past few years. I think I am the biggest I have been even with TRT+ HCG and moderate weight settings. My friends think I am lying. πŸ™‚

Loki
Loki

I work out my entire body every other day and use moderate weight (mostly machines and cables) since back, guad and hand surgeries (unrelated to working out) in the past few years. I think I am the biggest I have been even with TRT+ HCG and moderate weight settings. My friends think I am lying. πŸ™‚ Nelson you look jacked, you have great muscle separation!!!! Several different ways to success in fitness and all in life in general…. I have modified mine over 20 years and comfortable with what I do (never had a serious injury or surgery)…. A lot… Read more »

ERO
ERO

Nice! I wish that my body had the ability to recover from exercise well enough to do that. Even when I was 18 I could never train a body part more than once a week and hope for it to recover before the next workout. Now that I am on TRT and had hoped that my ability or speed at which I recover from a workout and get stronger would have improved, but I have found that it has not. And yes, I am getting plenty of protein, good macros, good sleep…its just not something my body seems to be… Read more »

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

Of course, I have been working out since I was 23 (I am 56 now). After wasting due to HIV and losing 25 pounds in 1992, I built 35 pounds with two cycles on nandrolone plus testosterone over 20 years ago and stayed on low dose nandrolone + TRT until 2004. Then just TRT for a few years until I brought in HCG. I stay lean but that also has a reason that most people do not know. One of the old HIV drugs actually kills your fat cells under the skin (this is called lipoatrophy). In fact, it does… Read more »

Loki
Loki

Of course, I have been working out since I was 23 (I am 56 now). After wasting due to HIV and losing 25 pounds in 1992, I built 35 pounds with two cycles on nandrolone plus testosterone over 20 years ago and stayed on low dose nandrolone + TRT until 2004. Then just TRT for a few years until I brought in HCG. I stay lean but that also has a reason that most people do not know. One of the old HIV drugs actually kills your fat cells under the skin (this is called lipoatrophy). In fact, it does… Read more »

BBaller
BBaller

Of course, I have been working out since I was 23 (I am 56 now). After wasting due to HIV and losing 25 pounds in 1992, I built 35 pounds with two cycles on nandrolone plus testosterone over 20 years ago and stayed on low dose nandrolone + TRT until 2004. Then just TRT for a few years until I brought in HCG. I stay lean but that also has a reason that most people do not know. One of the old HIV drugs actually kills your fat cells under the skin (this is called lipoatrophy). In fact, it does… Read more »

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

Nelson Shows His Cable Crossover Technique – YouTube

 ▶ 3:06

[INDENT=3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnHBchtdg8M

Nov 5, 2012 – Uploaded by Nelson Vergel
Cable cross over technique from Nelson Vergel. … NelsonShows His Cable Crossover Technique …

Nelson’s Exercise Tips – YouTube

 ▶ 10:07

[INDENT=3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eTzpKlex_w

Oct 10, 2012 – Uploaded by Nelson Vergel
In this time saving video, Nelson Vergel shares tips that he has gathered in his 25 years of exercising to …

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel

Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel