6 essential bodybuilding exercises for men

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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If you want to develop your best physique, a good strength training routine should be an essential part of your training program. Whether you’re looking to boost your training or transform your body, it’s important to include strength training exercises in your workout routine to improve muscle development.

Although everyone has their own way of working out depending on their fitness level, there are several methods and exercises that work for everyone. These bodybuilding exercises have stood the challenges of time and have become an essential part of every gym goer’s workout plan. So the next time you’re about to start your gym routine, be sure to add these moves to your workout:

bodybuilding exercises for men

Here is a rundown of the six most effective and important bodybuilding workouts every man should do on a regular basis:

1) Deadlift

The deadlift is arguably the king of all exercises. It targets major muscle groups hard and releases a huge amount of the muscle building hormone – testosterone – into the bloodstream. This exercise is a great building block for any strength training plan.

To do a deadlift:

  • Stand behind a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees slightly, and shift your torso forward while maintaining a flat back and a tight core.
  • Hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing your body. Press your feet to the floor and stand up straight while pulling the weight and keeping your arms straight.
  • Move your hips forward and contract your abdominal muscles at the top. Slowly reverse the movement by bending the knees and pushing the hips back to lower the bar to the floor.
  • Repeat.

2) Bench press

The bench press is another core strength training exercise that can help build well-defined shoulders, triceps, and pecs.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie on a flat bench on your back and hold a barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure the bar is directly above your shoulders.
  • Press your feet to the floor and keep your hips stable on the bench throughout the exercise. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and maintain a neutral spine position while avoiding rounding your back.
  • Lift the bar off the rack (if using) and lower it toward your chest, allowing your elbows to bend slightly out to the side.
  • Stop lowering the bar when your elbows come just below the bench. Pressing your feet into the floor, push the bar up to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

3) Dumbbell Front Squat

Dumbbell front loading squats are an ideal exercise for strengthening core muscles, upper back, and legs as well.

To do a barbell front squat:

  • Stand up straight, keeping a shoulder-width stance with your feet turned slightly outward.
  • Place the bar on your collarbone and slowly lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause and push back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

4) Powerful cleaning

The Power Clean is another highly productive strength training exercise that increases power and engages the same muscles as a deadlift, including your lower legs, upper back, quads, deltoids, and glutes. If done correctly, this can be an ideal exercise for building muscle and losing fat.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place the bar against your shins. Slowly lean forward at your waist and bend slightly to hold the bar using an overhand grip.
  • Make sure your hands are outside your knees and your chest is up, with your core muscles tight and your shoulders back.
  • In one smooth motion, lift the barbell while pushing your feet into the floor and engaging the glutes.
  • Keep the bar close to your body and pull it towards your chest. Quickly roll your wrists back and get into a quarter squat position, bringing both elbows forward.
  • Stand with your triceps parallel to the floor and lower your wrists to lower the bar.

5) Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell swings are also one of the great strength training exercises that target the glutes, lower back, and hips. There’s no better exercise for building overall strength and conditioning your muscles.

To perform kettlebell swings:

  • Hold a kettlebell with both hands using an overhand grip and place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lean your torso forward to lower the kettlebell between your legs, arms straight.
  • Explosively move your hips forward and squeeze your glutes as you use momentum to propel the weight past your shoulders.
  • Return the kettlebell to the starting position and repeat.

6) Pull-up

The pull-up is one of the best exercises for developing fan-shaped back muscles. It is a multipoint exercise that widens the shoulders and also leads to the release of testosterone, improving strength and muscle development.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand under a pull-up bar and grab the bar using an overhand grip with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly begin to lift your feet off the ground so that you are now hanging from the bar. Engage your core and draw your navel inward as you pull with your shoulders down and back.
  • Bend your elbows and lift your upper body until your chin reaches the bar.
  • Extend your elbows at the top of the movement and return your body to the starting position.


With each of the strength exercises mentioned above, work at your own pace and be sure of your form. Always choose a weight that’s right for you and never push your muscles too hard. Take it slow and gradually increase your pace.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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