17 Exercises You Should Know To Build Your Muscles

17 Exercises You Should Know To Build Your Muscles

There are real benefits to having strong muscles including preventing injuries, improving your balance and coordination, and burning more calories throughout the day.

Here’s a list of 17 exercises that’ll help you build muscle and get the most out of your time in the gym:

Strengthen Your Legs

One’s legs allow for mobility and many more. Mostly consisting of long muscles, the following are some of the must-try exercises for strengthening the muscles found in your legs.

1.    Lunges For Your Glutes

Like doing squats, lunges work your legs using your body weight. To do a lunge, stand with one leg in front of you and the other behind you so that your weighted leg is bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your chest up and move only from the heel of the foot on the front leg, pushing your body straight up as you come out of the lunge.

Doing lunges regularly may also help build the muscles in your thighs, hips, and buttocks.

  • Wrong form: Not going deep enough into the lunges hinders you from enjoying the exercise’s full benefits.
  • Good form: When you lunge, it’s crucial to step far enough forward that your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Doing so can strain muscles, cause injury, and minimize the effectiveness of the exercise. Make sure to go down until your back knee is almost touching the ground.
2.    Squats For Your Quadriceps

It’s said that squats are a great exercise for your quads because they work all of the muscles in your thigh including the front and back of your thighs, as well as your glutes. These are also fantastic for building lower body strength and size.

To do a squat, stand straight with your feet and shoulder-width apart. Then slowly bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, push up through your heels all the while not letting your knees go past your toes.

  • Wrong form: Permitting the knees to go too far forward past the toes can cause joint pain.
  • Good form: Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles tight. When you stand up out of a squat, it’s important to remember to push your weight into your heels and not into the balls of your feet. Doing so will help prevent injury and can help take the stress off of your knees.
3.    Leg Presses For Your Hamstrings

Since you’re not using weight while doing leg presses, it’s important to use good form. To do this, sit on the machine with your back pressed against the seat and your feet resting flat on the platform. Place your legs at a 90-degree angle and press downward until your knees are extended. Hold for a second, then slowly lower the platform as your revert to the position from the beginning.

  • Wrong form: Not using enough weight when doing this exercise or pressing with the feet instead of their heels, which reduces the effectiveness of the exercise
  • Good form: To get the best results from this exercise, make sure to use a weight that you can only lift eight to twelve times in a row.

 

Power Up Your Back

The muscles found in the back are said to support those located in the shoulders. Hence, toning one’s back muscles may result in more robust shoulders. Below are exercises fit for powering up one’s back muscles.

1.    Face Pulls For Your Upper Back

The muscles in your back are responsible for keeping you upright and helping you move your arms. To work these muscles, try out face pulls workout.

To do a face pull, attach a band to a sturdy post and stand facing it. Step back to give tension on the band, then pull the band towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your head. Keep your shoulders down and back while doing this, then repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not pulling the shoulder blades together behind, making the exercise less effective at working the back muscles.
  • Good form: If you need to adjust how far apart your feet are, do so. The closer your feet are together, the more challenging the exercise is.
2.    Lateral Pulldowns For Your Latissimus Dorsi

Lateral pulldowns are also a great way to work the back muscles. To do them, stand facing a lateral pulldown machine and grab the overhand grip of the bar, hands shoulder-width away from one another. Keeping your back straight, slowly pull the bar down to your chest. Steadily, push it back up and repeat until you’ve finished your reps.

  • Wrong form: Many people tend to bend their elbows as they pull down the bar, which takes tension off the muscles in the back and can potentially cause injury.
  • Good form: Keep your arms close to your body if you want to target the back muscles. Don’t forget to breathe properly. Inhale while lowering the bar and exhale as you push it back up.
3.    Back Extension Exercises For Your Lower Back

The back extension is said to be great at strengthening your lower back muscles. To do it, set up on your hands and knees with your arms extended out in front of you. Slowly raise one arm towards the ceiling, then slowly lower it back down to the starting position before raising your opposite leg towards the ceiling. Repeat this movement for reps, then repeat on the other side.

  • Wrong form: Not raising the arm and leg far enough off the floor.
  • Good form: Keep your head in line with your spine. Make sure to squeeze your glutes throughout this exercise. Avoid letting your hips sag.

 

Tighten Your Abs

Having chiseled abs is said to be one of the key reasons why many work out their bodies. Want to start your fitness journey in achieving well-toned abs? The following are a number of exercises you should try out.

  1. Opposite Arm & Leg Raises For Your Midsection

Opposite arm & leg raises are excellent exercises for sculpting all of the muscles in your midsection such as the obliques, transversus abdominis, and others.

To perform the exercise, set up on the ground in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders. Keeping your legs straight or extending them out behind you, raise one arm towards the ceiling, then lower it back slowly to the starting position before raising the opposite leg towards the ceiling. Repeat this movement for reps, then repeat on the other side.

  • Wrong form: Not keeping one’s legs straight throughout this exercise can lead to back strain.
  • Good form: Keep your neck in line with your spine throughout this exercise. Keep your abs tight and avoid letting your hips drop.
  1. Swiss Ball Crunches For Your Lower Abs

Crunches on a Swiss ball are another outstanding exercise for toning your lower abs. To do them, simply sit on top of the ball with your feet together and hands behind you for support. Keeping your back pressed firmly against the ball, crunch up towards your knees and hold for a second before lowering yourself back down slowly. Repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not keeping the back pressed firmly against the ball.
  • Good form: Keep your chin up, and your abs pulled in throughout this exercise. Don’t let your hips drop or your head fall forward.
  1. Hanging Leg Raises For Your Upper Abs

Hanging leg raises are said to be excellent for working your upper abs. To do them, simply hang from a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your legs together. Keep your legs straight, raise them towards the ceiling, and slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: not keeping legs straight throughout this exercise which may indicate working hip flexors instead of their abs.
  • Good form: Keep your chin up, and your abs pulled in throughout this exercise. Don’t let your hips drop or your head fall forward.

 

Buff Up Your Chest

For those looking to increase the power of their chest muscles, the list below discusses some exercises intended to deliver results. Read on to learn more.

  1. Bench Presses For Your Pectoral Muscles

Bench presses are said to be perfect for working your chest muscles. To do them, lie on your back on a bench press with a weight in each hand. Hold the weights above your chest level, with your elbows bent, then slowly lower them to your chest. Pause, then press them back up to the starting position and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not pausing at the bottom of the lift
  • Good form: You should be able to see your feet and the wall in front of you at all times as you lift. Your elbows should always be bent slightly for safety.
  1. Chest Dips (For Your Pectoralis Major)

Chest dips are another great chest exercise that most people don’t know about. To do them, set up two bars, and grab each one with your arms straight and hands shoulder-width away from each one. Slowly dip down until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back to the beginning point. Do this slowly and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not bending elbows enough as they lift, which means not getting the full benefits of the exercise.
  • Good form: Make sure you maintain a good posture throughout this exercise. Don’t allow yourself to lean forward or behind you as you lift. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees for maximum effectiveness.

 

Crank Up Your Shoulders

 

The examples detailed below are useful in increasing one’s shoulder strength and the like. Crank up your shoulders by practicing the following exercises.

  1. Upright Rows For Your Trapezius

Upright rows are excellent for working your trapezius muscles. To do them, stand with a weight in each hand and let them hang at arm’s length by your sides. Bend your elbows, raise the weights to shoulder height, and slowly lower them back down. Repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not letting the weights fully hang at arm’s length, which means not getting the full benefits of the exercise.
  • Good form: Make sure you maintain a good posture throughout this exercise. Don’t let yourself to lean forward as you lift. Keep your arms long throughout the lift to get maximum benefit.
  1. Front Delt Raises For Your Anterior Deltoid

Front delt raises are perfect for working your shoulders. To do them, stand with a weight in each hand and let them hang at arm’s length by your sides. Bend forward slightly, then raise the weights up to shoulder height until your elbows are straight. Slowly lower them back down and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not bending forward enough.
  • Good form: Make sure you maintain a good posture throughout this exercise. Don’t allow yourself to lean too far forward or back as you lift.
  1. Reverse Fly For Your Posterior Deltoid

The reverse fly is good for working your posterior delts or rear shoulders. To do this, stand with a weight in each hand and let them hang at arm’s length by your sides. Bend forward slightly, then raise both weights out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower them back down and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not bending forward enough.
  • Good form: Make sure you maintain a good posture throughout this exercise. Don’t allow yourself to lean too far back or forward as you lift.

 

Build Up Your Arms:

Used in a long list of essential daily activities, having reliable arm muscles is important. In building up your arms muscles, try these exercises.

  1. Dumbbell Curls For Your Biceps

Curls are great for toning and sculpting your biceps. To do curls, hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing forward. Then, bend your elbows slowly and curl the weights up towards your shoulders, then slowly lower them back to the first position and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not keeping wrists straight as they curl the weights.
  • Good form: Keep your arms close to your body throughout this exercise and don’t swing them. Inhale as you curl the weight up and exhale as you lower it back down.
  1. Triceps Dips For Your Triceps

To do triceps dips, set up two benches or chairs and place one foot on each. Slowly dip down until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Do this slowly and repeat until you’ve finished all reps.

  • Wrong form: Not bending elbows enough as they lift, which means they are not getting the full benefits of the exercise. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees for maximum effectiveness.
  • Good form: Make sure you maintain good posture throughout this exercise – don’t allow yourself to lean forward or behind you as you lift.
  1. Plate Pinch For Your Forearms

The plate pinch is said to be fantastic for working the muscles in your forearms. To do it, simply hold two plates in front of you about your shoulder-width, then pinch them together for a time.

  • Wrong form: Some people have difficulty holding onto the plates without dropping them, which means they may be straining their wrists instead of working the muscles in their forearms.
  • Good form: Keep your arms straight throughout this exercise, and avoid letting your shoulders shrug up at the top. Make sure to grip the plates tightly.

 

Takeaway

For building muscle, it’s necessary to do various exercises that work all the different muscles in your body. The examples mentioned above are 17 exercises and are a great starting point – be sure to add them to your routine.

Starting slowly and building up gradually is advisable as with any new exercise. If you have any questions about doing any of these exercises, be sure to ask a trainer or another fitness expert. Ultimately, have fun and enjoy your workout!