Resistance exercise is designed to stimulate the muscle for added growth. The damage caused by the resistance stimulates the muscle to repair and build back stronger and larger than before. The progressive overload principle adds to this formula by increasing he workload placed on the muscles each time it becomes easy. This means the muscle must continually adapt to new and heavier resistance.
Even though all strength-training exercises are designed to build muscle, there are some that are better suited for the purpose. Compound, multi-joint exercises allow much more weight to be used and hit many muscles at once. Isolation exercises focus the work on one muscle (or group) and usually require the use of less weight. The exercises listed below are best for building a muscular physique, with rock hard muscle all over.
Squat- Arguably, the king of exercises. The amounts of weight that can be lifted in this lift, along with the large number of muscles used to stabilize and lift the weight make this a great overall mass builder.
Top Muscle Building Exercises
Deadlift- The deadlift is another lift that uses the entire body to lift and stabilize the weight. It is also a lift that allows for large amounts of weight to be lifted. Even the static contractions in this lift become dynamic when you load the weight on.
Bench Press – The upper body king, the bench press works the major muscles of the shoulder girdle. The chest, lats, shoulders, and triceps all get hit hard with this exercise. Changing the angle of the lift can change the focus of the exercise to make up for weak areas.
Military Press – If big shoulders are the goal; this is the lift to use. The military press uses accessory muscles to help the shoulders lift the weight, allowing for heavier weights to be used. Safety is paramount, but these can be done with barbells or dumbbells with heavy weights.
Stiff-legged Deadlifts – These can help pack the mass on to the hamstrings, while also strengthening the lower back for other exercises. The assistance from the strong spinal erector muscles of the lower back and the hips allow for heavier weights to be used. View stiff legged deadlift instructions.
Squats – The bread and butter of leg exercises. If you are not doing these regularly, then you are leaving a lot on the table. This is a full body exercises, so do not be surprised if you put on mass in other areas besides legs doing these.
Pullups – Add mass to your arms and back by doing these. There are multiple variations you can use to target different muscle groups.
These exercises, when put together, work the entire body. Some, such as the squat and deadlift, work the entire body by themselves. The key is to lift in good form and increase the weight once the exercise can be done in good form for the entire set. These exercises will pack on the muscle and build strength, as well.