Shed The Fat And Build Muscle With These 8 Exercises

Building muscle mass is no simple feat. Only through quality weight training exercises that target the large muscle groups in a way that is challenging enough can one aim to build more muscle mass. The combination of a diet rich in muscle boosting foods and the right weight training exercises can give you the results you have been looking for. So forget those isolation exercises that no longer challenge your muscles and don’t improve your endurance levels at all; begin with these 8 exercises that will boost your muscle mass because they involve the largest muscle groups.

But before we go into the top 8 exercises that build muscle mass, let us understand why these weight training exercises are so good for you. Are they so beneficial only because you have a better looking body? Absolutely not! These exercises will improve your cardiovascular activity, your strength & flexibility and will also decrease the risk for chronic ailments like blood pressure fluctuations and diabetes. Not to mention, they reduce the risk of injury and also help you cut the fat. As you pack on more muscle mass, your body will burn more stored fat.

So with so many benefits, it would be silly to not include weight training into your daily workouts!

Let us begin with the top 8 exercises that promise to enhance your muscles and build them stronger and better.

1.       Snatch –

There is no better exercise to make your shoulder muscles stronger and healthy. These exercises will train external rotation and will also fire your CNS. These must be the first exercise in your workout.

How to do the exercise?

These exercises are done with a barbell. Stand over the barbell with feet kept at shoulder width. Bend down and lift the bar by extending only knees and hips. As the barbell reaches the thigh, raise shoulders and bend knees a little. With a smooth motion, lift the barbell over the head and jump upwards. Then move to squat position, keeping the barbell over the head with your arms straight upwards. Come to standing position and move the barbell down by bending knees slightly. Repeat 10 times for a set.

2.       High Pull –

No exercise will make your traps look stronger and bigger than the High Pull. It strengthens not just the lower back but also glutes as well as a hamstring.

How to do the exercise?

Stand over the barbell and keep feet shoulder width apart. Bend down from the waist and lift the barbell. You can bend your knees slightly, but try and avoid this. Moving your elbows outwards, you need to bring the barbell to your chest height. You can do this with an explosive jump to allow for better movement. The exercise aims to pull the barbell off the ground, till your chest level where you move elbows outwards to grip the barbell. Hold for few seconds and then put the barbell back by again slightly bending the knees. Repeat 10 times.

3.       Overhead Press –

Horizontal presses are good, but nothing will work your upper body and build stronger shoulders like the overhead press. These are more effective than bench presses and will build stronger upper body muscles.

How to do the exercise?

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Take a barbell or even dumbbells and keep them at the shoulder height. The bar/dumbbells sit on the base on the palm. Inhale, flare out your chest and press upwards. Keep your arms lengthened and don’t let your elbow bend too much. Keep your head facing ahead and bend your neck back as the barbell goes above your head. Hold the barbell or dumbbells over your head and flex your glutes to feel the press. Your goal is to press the bar and take it straight over your head in a fluid motion. Hold the position for few seconds; exhale as you bring the barbell down to shoulder levels. Do 8 to 10 reps to make a set.

4.       Squats –

Who would have thought that the squats will find their way to the top 10 muscle boosting exercises? The truth is that no other exercise works your lower back, thighs and calves the way squats do. Add some weight to your squats and you will notice that your muscles have more definition.

How to do the exercise?

You can either take a bar or add weight by using dumbbells. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells on your sides, or if you have a bar, hold it behind your buttock with arms holding it on the sides. Inhale and bend down. Your aim is to make your thighs come parallel to the ground. Keep your arms straight and let the added weight of the dumbbells/bar put extra pressure on your thighs. Hold for a few minutes and then slowly rise, coming to standing position. Do 10 reps at least in one set.

5.       Deadlift –

This is a basic weight lifting exercise and involves simply lifting weights that add to your muscle endurance.

How to do the exercise?

Choose a barbell with as much weight as you can possibly lift. Stand over the barbell. Squat down, and grip the barbell. Now comes the tricky part – to stabilize such high weights, the best way is to use an alternative grasp. That means, as you hold the barbell, one of your palm will face you while the other one will face away from you in a grip. Now lift the weight as high as you can (till your hip levels ideally). Hold a few seconds; squeeze all muscles including glutes, thighs and arms. And then squat again to put the weight down. Repeat this 10 times, but make sure the motions are fluid to prevent any injury.

6.       Arm Dumbbell Row –

This exercise will work on lats, lower back, biceps and shoulders simultaneously.

How to do the exercise?

Keep a dumbbell on either side of a bench. Now place your right hand on the bench and bend your right knee to rest on the bench. Your upper body must be parallel to the ground. Push hips back and take the weight of the body on the knee and hand. Now lift the left dumbbell with the left arm and moving your elbow outwards, bring it to your chest. Make sure your palm faces your body in a grip. Hold for a few seconds and put the dumbbell down. Repeat 5 times and then switch the right knee and hand with left knee and hand to work on the right side of the body.

7.       Incline press –

These presses work better than simple bench presses because they use an incline to work your chest and shoulders better.

How to do the exercise?

Incline the bench to 15 to 30 degrees, as per comfort level. You can use dumbbells or a barbell. If using barbells. Take the weight off the rack and while keeping your arms straight, press the weight upwards as far as you can. Then lower to let the weight almost touch your chest, and press up again. Repeat 10 times or so and then rest the weight back on the rack. The execution is similar if you have dumbbells, where the dumbbells are pressed upwards and then come down to the chest and again pressed straight upwards.

8.       Farmer’s walk –

A simple yet effective weight training exercise, this utilizes weights to build more muscle as you walk.

How to do the exercise?

The exercise is pretty simple. Pick two heavy weights;  like two dumbbells and walk for a distance maintaining high speed. You can use a treadmill to do that or even walk outdoors. This improves stability in knees, ankles and also works out your arms and shoulders.

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