What is the best way to build muscle? Like all focused exercise, muscle building requires a solid plan that includes proper nutrition, sufficient rest and perfect form on the right exercises. Today, we’re going to focus on the best exercises to build muscle fast.
Muscle matters for much more than just looking good. Muscle mass improves your metabolism, making your weight much easier to control. Increased strength opens doors in everyday life, allowing you to participate in physical activities once thought impossible. Strong muscles provide support for your joints, helping to prevent injury (especially as you get older).
Our Top Muscle Building Workouts
A compound exercise is one that works muscle at more than one joint at a time. Including the squat, deadlift, row, press and chinup, these exercises trigger a big release of growth-promoting hormones. This makes compound exercises an efficient use of your precious workout time (and energy!), helping you gain in multiple areas at once.
This classic exercise is a fixture of every gym for one simple reason: it works. There are a couple of different bench press exercises you can try, depending on what you want to achieve. Barbell lifts let you generate the most power, and so lift more weight than dumbbells. Do this early in your chest workout, focusing on heavy sets with few reps to encourage muscle development.
A flat-bench dumbbell press has less stability, requiring each side of your body to work independently. This uses more of your stabiliser muscles, and allows more range of motion than the barbell press. Just like the barbell press, do this early on for a few reps of heavy weight. There’s little benefit in doing both barbell and dumbbell bench presses in the same workout, so pick your preference or alternate them session to session.
This one will hit your entire torso, but you’ll have to work hard for it. Lying flat on a bench, put your arms behind you and your hands gripping the bench’s edge. Keeping your body straight, lift up so that everything below your upper back is off the bench. Keep going until your body is pointed to the ceiling, hold for two seconds, then slowly bring back down until your buttocks are almost touching the bench, but don’t actually make contact.
Good overall body strength is required to pull off Dragon Flags without injury, so seek advice from a trainer you trust before trying it out. If you can perform it safely, the Dragon Flag will give you strong and defined abs as well as incredible core strength.
While the Leg Press may involve fewer muscles than the squat, it’s easier, safer and directly targets the quads. You still engage your full lower body to perform the Leg Press, but not having to engage stabiliser muscles means you can afford to load up the weights and go hard. Make sure not to bring your knees in too close to your chest, as this can lead to joint and back injuries.