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The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing

Man performing a front squat

Are you curious about the core muscle-building exercises you should be doing? When it comes to building muscle, keep things simple. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of hot new products and exercises that promise to be the next best muscle-building. Instead, these fancy exercises and products use long scientific words and explanations to show you they work to build the most muscle.

In this article, discover the basics. Then, learn about three muscle-building exercises you can’t afford to skip and why you should be doing them. These three exercises are the grassroots of building muscle and are essential for any serious training program.

You might find it hard to believe, but you can pack on a severe amount of muscle with these three exercises alone—as the core of any good program. So when planning a muscle-building program, always start with these three basic exercises and build the program around them.

Here are the three core muscle building exercises you need to build your workout around:

The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing


The squat is the most effective exercise for packing on serious poundage. There is no argument about it. The squat is primarily a leg-building exercise. You start the exercise with a barbell resting across your shoulders, standing straight up. Then bending at the knees and hips, you lower the barbell until your thighs are parallel to the floor. And then push the barbell back to the starting position.

The main muscle groups pulled into action for the squat are your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Secondary muscle groups include the lower back, adductors, and to a certain extent, your shoulder muscles. As you can see, many muscle groups are recruited for this exercise, making it the most effective exercise and most prominent potential muscle builder.

Like all the core muscle-building exercises, you should make the squat the first exercise you do on your leg training day. Because it is the most important exercise, you want your legs to be fresh and ready. If muscle building is your goal, aim for about 8-12 reps on the squat. Because you will be lifting heavy weights, a good warm-up is vital. Squatting is stressful for the lower body, especially the knees, so we recommend 5-10 minutes on the treadmill and some light squats first up.

The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing

Bench Press

The bench press is the king of upper bodybuilding exercises. For years the bench press has been used to measure a lifter’s strength. How many times have people asked you how much do you bench? But, people have never asked you how much you squat or how many chin-ups can you do.

The bench is a simple yet powerful exercise that targets the entire chest (pectorals), front shoulders (deltoids), and triceps. To perform a bench press, you must lie on your back on a flat bench, grip the barbell slightly wider than your shoulder grip and press the bar straight down to your chest.

The bench press is the most prominent upper body builder because it allows you to move the most weight possible. Also, this is its advantage over the dumbbell press. With the help of a spotter, you can also push yourself to lift heavier weights. Other advanced bench press techniques include board presses, bench press negatives, and chain presses. See our link at the bottom for more details.

The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing


If you were only going to do one exercise to work your back, it would be. The deadlift is the ultimate test of a lifter’s power to weight ratio. This muscle-building exercise is very demanding on the body.

The deadlift primarily hits most muscles in the back and targets the entire body. To execute this exercise, you need to move your knees and hips. Hold the bar in a wide grip (greater than shoulder width) with your palms facing your body. Start by bending your knees as you reach down for the bar. Next, pull the weight up by pressing your feet into the ground and straightening your legs. Once the bar passes your knees, thrust your hips forward. Finally, lock your back and tighten your core.

Most people will not be able to do deadlifts without some training first. You can practice the move in two stages. First, practice lifting the weight to your knees as you straighten your legs. Second, practice thrusting your hips as you move the weight past your knees to your waist. To perform the second part of the lift, you will need lightweight. The deadlift requires a muscle-to-mind connection and a firm grip. Thus, this is the most demanding back exercise you can do, so it must be the first exercise in your session.

The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing

When should you do these exercises?

These exercises are the most prominent muscle builders and the most taxing on your body, so they must be done to get the maximum benefits at the beginning of your workout. Do up to 5 sets on each exercise and vary how you perform these sets each week.

Don’t forget to use proper form, progressive overload, and a periodization plan to get the most of these three core bodybuilding exercises.

For example, in the first week, pyramid up the sets. In the second week, pyramid down the sets, and in the third week, do straight sets. Also, this keeps your muscles from getting accustomed to your routine.

Finally, use a high protein diet and 8 hours or more sleep to support your workout by providing your body with the energy and hormones to build muscle. What do you think? Please share your response in the comment section below so others can benefit from your experience.

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