1) Deadlift –
Not many weight training exercises work as well as many muscle groups and build muscles as fast as the deadlift. The neck, traps, upper, middle and lower back, buttocks, hamstrings, quadriceps, biceps, forearms and abdominals are all used in the deadlift. No other exercise is a better test of the overall power of the body. While uninformed people always ask “how much can you bench press,” the question they should really be asking is “how much can you lift off the ground? A deadlift is the most basic exercise you can do. Bending over and lifting a weight off the ground is the only weightlifting exercise that replicates real-life everyday situations. Most people will rarely find themselves on their back with the need to push a heavy weight off their chest, but everyone has to bend down and pick things up. If you could only do one exercise to build muscle, this would be the one to do.
2) Squat –
Squat has been known for years as the “king of all muscle building exercises” and for good reason. I’m not talking about half a sissy squat, but real squats below the parallel, full. If it does not break at least the parallel is not a squat. Like deadlifts, squats involve a huge amount of muscle mass and stimulate the release of anabolic hormones like testosterone. This is great for building muscle quickly. Squat is probably the most revered exercise among serious lifters and the power rack is considered our sacred ground. If you want to develop any kind of true lower body strength and build muscles quickly, you have no choice but to squat.
3) Chin up –
Not many exercises will build upper body muscles like chin up. Known as the “squat” of the upper body, the chin stimulates almost all the muscles from the traps to the abs. Any exercise that allows you to move your body through space, instead of moving a fixed weight or tool around you, has a much higher degree of neuromuscular activation, and therefore a much greater potential for gains in size and strength. Look at the development of male gymnasts and see for yourself what years of chin lifting and lowering exercises can do for the upper body. If you want to build muscle quickly, be sure to include chin lifting in your weight training program.
4) Parallel Bar Diving –
A second near the chin up as one of the best upper body exercises for building fast muscle and for all the same reasons. If you want big arms you’d better include diving in your training program. No other weight training exercise will add slabs of muscle to your triceps as effectively as wedges. A huge chest and a couple of huge front deltons are also a pleasant side effect that comes with the regular performance of this exceptional muscle building exercise.
5) Hang Clean & Push Press –
A total body muscle building exercise that affects the calves, tendons, buttocks, quadriceps, lower and upper back, traps, shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearms. Although it is, by definition, an Olympic elevator, it can be done more rigorously to really hit the traps, the upper back and shoulders. When done in this way, it is not only done with the intention of developing explosive speed, as is the case with most Olympic elevators. Doing the pressure clean and pushing in this way is a form of bodybuilding power and will really blow up the traps and shoulders. If you could choose just one weight training exercise to build muscle, this might be the one. It’s a shame you don’t see this in other bodybuilding programs.
6) Bench Press –
This is one of three powerlifting exercises and, together with the Military Presses, is the largest of all muscle building pressure movements in the upper body. When looking at the effectiveness of an exercise, the questions are: what will allow the lifter to use the most weight and which exercise involves the most muscle mass. Bench press meets both of these prerequisites and, in addition to being incredibly effective as a muscle building exercise, it is one of the best measures of upper body power.
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