We all want to build muscle in a fast and efficient way.
Surprisingly, it’s very simple to do that.
Although there are many exercises available to us, after spending a lot of time building muscle naturally, I learned that there are only a few highly effective exercises that we can perform to get rapid results.
In this article, we narrow down to only seven of the most important exercises you need and should definitely have as a key part of your routine to build muscle more efficiently.
Top 7 Best Exercises to Build Muscle Fast
Here are the seven best exercises you should perform to speed up your progress.
1. Farmer’s Walk
Let’s start with a very important and versatile exercise, farmer walk or carry. This is an exercise everyone can get the benefits from it, especially skinny guys.
It’s a damn versatile exercise. You can do it with dumbbells, kettlebells, trap bars, and plates. So, you can do this exercise at home or the gym; there’s no restriction.
If you’re a skinny guy, it’s very helpful for you because this exercise helps you to put a lot more stress to your body to increase strength and build a muscular frame.
Which promotes you to perform other hard exercises in a very efficient way.
Posture benefit. Beginners, especially skinny guys, suffer from bad posture like shoulders are rolling in front. This masterpiece can help a lot to fix it.
Conditioning benefit. Doing long-distance running for conditioning isn’t good for skinny people who want to put on muscle mass.
So, instead of running, you can do this carry exercise with a little bit lighter weight for more distance and time to get the conditioning benefit.
The first thing you should make sure that you’re not positioning the dumbbells/weights in front of your body.
Because if you lift the weight in front of you, it can lead to rolling your shoulders infront, further contributing to posture problems and muscle imbalance.
So, you should position the dumbbells on your side, pick them and carry them from there.
The next thing, as you start walking, make sure you pull your shoulders back, keep your traps engaged and scapula pinched together.
Then, if you see yourself start to drift or feel unsteady with your cadence when you’re walking on this exercise, that’s not what we are looking for.
Here, we are looking for stability.
So, what we can do is, as you come up into position, you should squeeze — not just shoulder blades but also your glutes, at the same time.
Summary: As you start walking, keep your shoulder blades and glutes squeezed, and make sure your cadence and step length are steady and consistent while staying straight ahead in the right line without having drifting going on.
2. Barbell Row
The second picked move and a very important upper body compound exercise is the barbell row.
With this exercise, you’ll able to train the lats, which is the sides of your upper back, trapezius (upper back), rhomboids (muscles that connect shoulder blades), rear delt (back of your shoulders) and biceps.
The barbell row also uses the shoulders, glutes and legs to stabilise the body too.
This is one of the most important pulling movements other than the deadlift.
Because here you’re using multiple muscle groups for pulling, you’ll be able to lift a lot more weight with this compound exercise.
The barbell row strengthens your rhomboids and posterior deltoids, tightening the upper back to get and maintain an upright posture.
Another good thing about rows is that you can perform with both barbell and dumbbells as well. However, the barbell is going to more effective here.
The basic barbell row is done with a flat back and knees slightly bent, hinge at your hips to grab the bar with an overhand grip about a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
Pull your shoulder back and down while keeping your back flat at about a 60-degree angle.
And while keeping your hips high and chest up, pull the barbell in towards your stomach and aim for your belly button.
Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top, then extend your arms back to your starting position.
You can adjust your back to a 90-degree angle to target different parts (ex. lats) of your back.
3. Barbell Squat
If I choose only one exercise that gives you the most benefits for your lower body, I couldn’t think there’s any better replacement for squat.
With this single exercise, you’ll able to cover pretty much your whole lower body, including your quads, glutes as well as hamstring, calves and even your lower back. (1)
That’s not all.
Doing squats with heavyweight can increase testosterone levels, strengthen the central nervous system, and stimulate growth hormone production.
Also, it enhances muscle building rate and allows you to perform other exercises with heavier weights.
The squat is a simple movement that everyone can perform, but doing it in the right way is crucial to reap its benefits without any injury. So, let’s learn how to do it.
To do the squat correctly, place your feet shoulder-width apart and place both your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart on the bar.
Then rest the bar on your traps (upper part of your back) and keep your toes at a comfortable outward position.
Remember, don’t rest the bar on your neck.
With your chest up, hips out and straight back, start lowering your body at 90 degrees to target your quads. But if you want to target glutes, you want to pass the 90 degrees.
Then putting pressure through your heels (not toes), lead with your chest while pushing your hips forward, raise yourself. Repeat the up and down movement.
In the beginning, you can place a knee-height bench or platform behind your heels where you can sit down while lowering yourself to make the balance.
This will help you develop a proper squat form, and you can switch anytime when you feel that you’re ready to do this exercise without any platform.
The next exercise, we have the deadlift. Again, this is an exercise where involves so many muscles that allows you to go for a super heavyweight.
While the squat focuses on your quads and glutes muscle, deadlifts will help you target your hamstring a lot better.
However, deadlifts also work with your glutes, inner thighs, lower back, rhomboids, traps, and even quads.
Like squats, this exercise allows you to stimulate more testosterone and growth hormones production, promoting better muscle gains.
It also strengthens your central nervous system and helps you to improve your strength and power — transferring over benefits to almost all the other weight training exercises.
Start by standing in front of a heavy barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Make your butt out, chest up, bend your knees, go down and make an overhand grip to the barbell at a slightly wider than shoulder-width.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together, look up at the front, maintain a tight core, and then pull the barbell up by focusing on your hamstring (make sure you’re not using your lower back).
Squeeze glutes and keep a straight position at the top. Remember, don’t bend too far back.
Lower the bar down while keeping your head up, chest forward, and butt out. And tap the barbell on the floor, then come back up. Repeat your desired reps.
5. Bench Press
Okay, now let’s back to the upper body again, and this time its bench press. It helps to develop the interior or front part of your upper body.
The chest press is the exercise that targets mainly your chest, front delt (front part of your shoulders), and triceps.
Chest presses can be done in three different angles — flat, incline and decline.
If your weakness is the upper chest, you want to spend more time doing incline presses.
On the other hand, if your upper chest is fine but lacks lower chest development, you will prefer more time for flat or decline movements.
However, with flat bench presses, you’re going to get more engagement and a better pump to your whole chest than any other angle. So, our main focus should be doing flat movements.
The amount of development you’ll get for your chest, the front of your shoulders, and triceps from this one exercise is truly amazing as it’s the most powerful upper-body pushing movement.
To perform the bench press, lie under a barbell. Grab the bar with a slightly outside shoulder grip.
Keeping your hip firmly placed on the bench with a slight arch on your lower back and your feet flat on the ground, unrack the bar and bring it over your nipple line.
Keep your shoulder blades squeeze together as you lower the bar to your nippple line, then press back up to the starting position. Repeat.
Make sure your elbow and upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso. And try to move the bar as a straight line up and down as possible.
6. Shoulder Press
Next is the shoulder press. It’s a very effective exercise whether you’re using dumbbells or military presses with a barbell. However, using a barbell is more effective.
The shoulder press typically hits the front and lateral head of your shoulder. But it also engages your triceps, traps, rotator cuff, core, and lower back muscle.
Since shoulder press is an exercise primarily for the shoulders, it helps you get a “V” shape look in your upper body and makes your physical appearance more attractive.
When performing shoulder military presses, begin with standing in front of the barbell rack, placing your feet shoulder-width apart.
Grip the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, unrack the bar and bring it under your chin or closer to your upper chest (don’t lower the barbell behind your head).
Keep your elbow in the front, push the bar straight all the way up to the top, and lower the bar under your chin. Repeat up and down movement as desired reps.
You can do this exercise in seated and standing positions. But seated position may allow you to lift heavier weights.
7. Power Snatch
The last but not least exercise in the list is power snatch. I think you probably know that it’s Virat Kohli’s all-time favorite exercise, but that’s not the primary reason.
This compound exercise targets multiple muscle groups in our body, including quads (front upper leg), inner thighs, hamstrings, trapezius, and forearm flexors.
The power snatch also gives massive tension to our shoulders, abs, lower back, and glutes.
It’s an excellent exercise to improve your overall core strength, stability, lat strength, flexibility and mobility, and body composition. It also increases the force production rate and sprinting speed.
How to perform this masterpiece? Let’s learn.
Stand with a barbell in front of your shins, with your feet shoulder-width apart. (Follow the above image)
Keep your head up, butt out, chest up, back engaged, and butt down while grabbing the bar outside of your shins.
Keeping the bar close to your body, slowly lift the bar to your mid-thigh position and then explode the bar straight all the way up in an overhead position by using your hips and hamstrings.
At the same time, driving your elbows under the bar and push the bar hard over your head, maintaining an overall straight line.
Then lower the bar down to the floor or midway down of your shins before driving back up to repeat the movement.
Congratulation! Now, you knew the best muscle-building exercises and learned their best possible form to perform them without inviting future injuries.
So, these are the seven exercises you can do to build an overall attarctive physique.
When I am extremely busy or don’t have much time, these are the exercises I do to ensure that I maintain or build more muscle with the least amount of time working out in the gym.
Now I want to know, what are the exercises you love doing?
Are you already doing any of these seven exercises?
And, which other exercises do you think should have on the list?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!
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