Ten Popular Strength and Muscle Building Exercises
Exercise is one of the most important things that we can do to guarantee that we lead healthy and happy lives. Remembering that we have evolved from our nomadic ancestors whose time was spent in constant movement searching for shelter and food, and who on a daily basis had to travel long distances is very important. Our bodies have not been designed to sit around in front of a desk or on the couch; we are meant to have regular activity. If you want to find a local gym to workout at, click here.
Not only does exercise help you to become physically fit and maintain your level of fitness, it also helps you improve your mental health as well as you general sense of well-being. This is why many people have made exercise and important part of their daily routines, and although different people prefer different types of exercise, here are the top ten most popular exercises:
1. Bench Press
With a bench press, the muscles which are mainly worked out are the anterior deltoids, the pectorals and the triceps. To get the most muscular stimulation of the chest, when you lie on the bench to press, make sure that you position your torso with a slight arch on your lower back; your ribcage should be held high and your shoulders must be shrugged back and downwards.
2. Bent over BB Row
There are many muscles that this exercise works out; the main ones are the rhomboids, rear delts, biceps, forearms, lats mid-traps, lower back and brachialis. When performing this exercise, make sure that you have a wide overhand grip; this will provide your upper back muscles with the strongest workout possible. If you want to target your abs, specifically your lats for more of a V shape, is a closer underhand grip.
3. Barbell Pullover
With a barbell pullover, the main muscles exercised are the lats, triceps, upper pectorals and teres major. Whether your target area is your lats or your chest, by using a weight which allows you a stretch that is full and deep, as you keep your hips down, you will really get the most out of the exercise.
This classic and still a popular favorite mainly works the rhomboids, rear delts, brachialis, lats, mid-traps, biceps and forearms. To effectively stimulate every area of your backs muscular structure, when pulling make sure that you vary the width of your grips as well as the angle of your torso.
With the deadlift, the main muscles you work out are the quads, glutes, upper traps, lower back, hips, hams and forearms. If your focus is on your sports performance, greater power and overall strength then deadlift off the floor. If your main goal is to increase the muscle mass on your back, then deadlift in a Smith Machine or a rack anywhere from mid shin to knee height.
6. Leg Press
The main muscles worked while doing the leg press are the hams, glutes, quads and hips. It is important that from workout routine to workout routine or if possible, even from one set to the next, your foot width and height on the platform is varied, this will guarantee that different areas of the thighs are emphasized during your routine.
Another classic and still popular exercise is the squat, as you squat the main muscles exercised are the hams, glutes, quads, hips and lower back. Never ever sacrifice the proper range of motion simply to add more weight to your bar! Every rep has to be very controlled and should reach a depth where your thighs are parallel to the floor, if you can, maybe even a few inches more.
The main muscles worked out as you dip are the triceps, pectorals and anterior deltoids. To really target your chest, during this exercise lean the torso forward. If you are looking to engage and exercise your triceps, keep your torso upright.
9. Upright Row
With the upright row, the muscles you placing the most focus on are the traps, brachialis, shoulders, biceps and forearms. To exercise your shoulders use a shoulder width, or even a bit wider width and properly raise your bar to about nipple level. For more focus on the traps, your hands should be kept closer together and the bar should be raised all the way to chin level.
10. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The muscles that get the most exercise with the seated dumbbell shoulder press are the triceps, shoulders and upper pectorals. To work out your exterior delts, as well as the lateral heads, perform this press with your palms facing forwards and your elbows held back in line with your torso. For more emphasis on your anterior delts, press the dumbbells with your palms facing each other.
These are just ten of the many exercises that are ideal for building muscle, form and increasing your strength. The most important thing to remember is to perform these exercises correctly, not only will you get the most benefits from them; you will also avoid unnecessary injuries.