The gym is full of weights, benches, and machines designed to help you reach your bodybuilding goals. But seeing many dozens of machines can be intimidating – where to start? Which is the most effective? As with most things in life, it’s always best to start with the basics and build a foundation. These are the five top exercises for making you grow.
Simply put, the squat makes the entire body grow. Aside from the back, legs, and core of your body, squats force your brain to release growth hormone which makes the whole body grow. If you can’t add any more size to your arm, add squats to your routine and watch them grow along with your legs, back, your chest, and everything else. Always go to parallel with squats, use a belt and a spotter, and utilize safe poundages.
“How much do ya bench?” is perhaps the most commonly asked question of weightlifters by both other lifters, and the public in general. While it’s the most popular among newbies to lifting, some variation of the bench press is also always a staple in every good bodybuilding training routine. The bench press builds chest primarily, but also strengthens triceps and shoulders. And jus tlike every exercise in thie top five list, t’s also one of the core exercises, used by strength and power athletes of all sports.
The deadlift is the simplest exercise of them all: See how much weight you can pick up. Unfortunately, due to poor lifting form and angle of movement, it’s one of the most dangerous, in addition to being one of the most beneficial. Always use a weight belt, and good slow form. Back injuries can be debilitating and can last a lifetime. However, sometimes-risky movements like deadlifts can significantly reduce back injuries by strengthening weak areas.
Both as a motivator to continue (people notice your growing arms) and as a way of strengthening your body for upper body movements, curls are a must in a list of your top 5 movements. Curls build your biceps, as you well know, but also have secondary effects upon the back, forearms, and other groups.
Shoulders come into place on most major movements – nearly all chest, triceps, and back movements – as well as frequently in real life. An imbalance occurring from abnormally weak shoulders is a dangerous thing, so adding shoulder press is essential. The movement should always be done slowly after a complete warm-up, and never done with dangerous poundages.
In order to reach your bodybuilding goals in the most effective and efficient manner, you should be doing these movements each week as part of your bodybuilding routine. In fact, you could do nothing more than 4 sets of each exercise, one each day, and make progress (4 sets of squats on Monday, 4 sets of bench press on Tuesday, etc…) Good luck, and remember that a strong foundation built from the basics will benefit you tremendously when you someday tackle the more advanced movements in the gym.
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