The 8 Best Lifts that Increase Muscle Size How to Gain 20 Pounds of Muscle: Best Diet & Workout

The 8 Best Exercises that Increase Your Muscle Size

What are the eight best lifts to increase muscle size according to science? This article tells you what you want to know about the best lifts to increase muscle size according to science.

However, it is essential to know that to shed extra weight. It would be best if, First, you got moving. Simply going to the gym and using the Machines will not magically drop your excess pounds. It would be best if you worked out with a purpose for your fitness and health.

Everyone wishes to lose weight and lose it fast. But people often get caught up in their workout program and forget what works best. So, if you want to burn maximum calories and lose extra weight while improving your muscle fitness, check out some of the following lifts and workouts that are effective and easy to follow.

1. Deadlifts

Deadlifts increase muscle size and drastically change many people’s workout routines. So if you have been developing skills in other workouts but not getting the desired results, it is time to try this exercise to revolutionize your training positively. It does not just work from your back to the bottom, and the upper traps down to the lower back.

Benefits of Deadlifts
  • This exercise works your entire body. In addition, it targets multiple muscle groups within a single lift compared to other isolation exercises.
  • The deadlift also stabilizes your body, which means you are constantly working on your abs and building muscle mass to improve metabolism and fat loss.
  • Deadlifts are also beneficial for decreasing low back pain.

What Muscles Does It Work?

Since deadlift is an accurate full-body movement, it works your:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings (the muscles present on the back of your thighs)
  • Core muscles (abs and lower back)
  • Calves
  • Muscles along your spine
  • Latissimus Dorsi (muscles that stretch from your armpit to your hip)

How To Do Deadlifts

Traditional deadlift includes lifting a barbell from the floor while keeping your back and spine propped. To perform the deadlift:

  • First, stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Next, reach down to grab the bar with your hips, back, and knees bent.
  • Do not forget to keep your back straight and your neck neutral.
  • While bending down, tighten your core and push your feet through the floor.
  • Now squeeze your glutes, stretch your hips, and return to standing.

Deadlifts will save you time and money and help you build strength, making lifting less hectic. In addition, the deadlift will improve muscle fitness faster than most other weightlifting exercises.

2. Squats

We consider the squat the most dynamic strength training lift to increase muscle size. It works your upper and lower body muscles simultaneously to help achieve desired fitness results. We need most of these muscles to perform routine tasks like bending, walking, carrying heavy loads, and climbing stairs. They are also helpful in completing all sports-related activities.

Adding this exercise to your workout sessions can improve your exercise performance, help you move quickly throughout the day, and prevent any risks of injuries.

Benefits Of Squats

The squats can strengthen your core muscles and make bending and standing easy routine movements.

  • It also improves your balance and helps maintain a good body posture.
  • You can execute full-body movements with suitable balance, form, posture, and mobility.
  • The high-intensity and compound movements can also get rid of some serious calories.
  • It boosts the lower body’s most prominent and influential muscles.
  • You develop fiery strength and speed for athletic performance.
  • It also increases for a short while in hormones such as testosterone.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

A standard squat exercise targets the following muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Abdominal
  • Glutes and calves

How To Do Squats

To perform a basic squat, you need to follow these steps:

  • First, stand with your feet slightly apart and your toes turned outward.
  • Next, tighten your core and stabilize yourself.
  • Next, thrust your chest upward and shift your weight onto your heels while pushing your hips back.
  • Keep lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Finally, keep your feet on the floor, your chest fully lifted, and exhale while returning to a standing position.

3. Bench Presses

For many fitness and health fanatics, this lift is the lift to execute to increase muscle size. Many powerlifters consider bench press an essential workout during competitions to support full pressing strength and help achieve a powerful upper body. In addition, you can use this exercise to tone your upper body muscles, including shoulders and arms.

Depending upon your desired goals and objectives, there are many variations to the bench presses that work different muscles, like triceps and forearms.

Benefits of Bench Presses

  • It helps improve the amount of weight you can press or push.
  • Bench presses foresee the upper body strength for a wide range of movements.
  • It builds strength and supports the growth of the chest, shoulders, and upper arm muscles.
  • You get help with daily activities that include carrying or pushing.
  • It also helps restore muscle balance for swimming and rock climbing.
  • Like other compound movements, a bench press helps support healthy bones.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

The bench press targets:

  • Chest muscles
  • Triceps
  • Shoulder muscles

How to Do Bench Presses

Before starting with a bench press, select weights or get someone’s help with the bar if you are having trouble.

  • Lie with your back over a flat bench. Grip or hold the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width.
  • Keep your feet pressed firmly to the ground. Keep your hips on the bench throughout the exercise.
  • Slowly and steadily, lift the bar off its rack and lower it to your chest with your elbows bending out to the side.
  • Stop lowering the bar when your elbows get below the bench. Now push the bar back up to the starting position.

4. Shoulder Presses

Whether you want to gain mobility or stay fit/healthy, keeping your upper body muscles in a toned condition is imperative. You can use the shoulder press as another effective lift to improve muscle fitness. Many people consider it the best exercise for strengthening your upper back and shoulders.

The anterior deltoid muscles benefit from the shoulder press, but know that you will also work on your pecs, triceps, and deltoids. In addition, it will help you perform routine tasks with ease and more convenience.

Benefits of Shoulder Presses

  • It strengthens your shoulders and also improves your overall forte and core stability.
  • This exercise is best for people who want bigger, bolder, and strong shoulders.
  • The increasing triceps size and strength also improves lockout strength during other lifts.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

If you plan on executing shoulder press in a standing position, know that you will work the large muscles of your upper body, such as

  • Chest muscles (your pectorals)
  • Shoulder (deltoid muscles)
  • Arm muscles (triceps)
  • Upper back muscles (trapezius)

How To Do Shoulder Presses

To do a shoulder press:

  • Stand firmly on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a set of dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly lift the weights above your head without completely stretching your arms.
  • Wait for a few seconds at the top, return to the starting position, and repeat the sets as needed.

5. Dumbbell Pullovers

The dumbbell pullover is another classic weightlifting exercise that improves muscle size. Many people use this exercise as a resistance technique to strengthen their chest and large wing-shaped back muscles. Adding more variations to this exercise can also improve your triceps (back muscles of the upper arm) and core muscles.

Many sports enthusiasts recommend a dumbbell pullover as a postural workout for overall health and fitness. However, the movement patterns are similar to the abs rollout technique, so it works best for people looking for an easy way to perform chest and back training.

Benefits of Dumbbell Pullovers

  • It requires muscles to stretch under pressure, enhancing your potential for muscle gain.
  • The exercise improves your strength and flexibility simultaneously.
  • You work to expand the chest and increase the range of motion in the shoulder joint for effective muscle building.
  • Triceps activity is always high while performing dumbbell pullovers.
  • It trains both the front and back of the body simultaneously.
  • The resistance plan also improves your lung capacity.
Which Muscles Does It Work?

For dumbbell pullover:

  • Sit at the narrow end of a weight bench and keep your feet on the floor shoulder-width apart.
  • Lay on the bench with your neck, back, and head wholly supported.
  • Place a dumbbell in your hands and spread your arms over your chest with palms facing each other.
  • Be sure to keep your elbows bent and soft at all times. Keeping your back and core strong, inhale and extend the weights over your head.
  • Once you have reached full extension, exhale and slowly return your hands to the starting position over your chest.

When trying out for the first time, go for 7-10 reps. Then, after gaining some flexibility, add more reps, weights, and sets.

6. Barbell Rows

Another compound lift to increase muscle size is the barbell row. We consider the barbell row an original big muscle move to improve your posture. Many people perform this exercise to strengthen their lats and build a bigger back. Also, this is an essential exercise in regular workout sessions for people of all fitness levels. For example, adding barbell rows in weight sessions helps even out the upper body muscles for bench press fanatics. The best thing about this technique is that it focuses on shoulders and pecs more efficiently than other lifting exercises.

Benefits of Barbell Rows

  • It places intense stress on your back muscles, so your muscle cells increase and help build a bigger and stronger back.
  • It improves your performance in athletics, compound lifts, and routine activities.
  • The exercise recruits muscles throughout your body for optimum stability and balance.
  • It reduces back pain and discomfort.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

Muscles worked by the barbell row include:

  • Muscles in the mid and upper back
  • Lats and rhomboids
  • Biceps and forearms
  • Abs muscles
  • Traps and smaller back muscles

How to Do Barbell Rows

All you need is a barbell and some weights to execute this exercise. For example, to do a barbell row:

  • Keep the barbell on the ground with a medium weight.
  • Stand firmly on the ground with feet shoulder-width apart. Now grab the bar with an overhand grip, so your hands are outside your knees.
  • Stabilize your abs and back, and lift the barbell from the ground until you reach the starting position with a straight back.
  • Hinge your hips backward and keep your back parallel to the floor. Next, stretch your arms straight down and drive your elbows up and back to bring the weights to your belly button.
  • Compress your lats and slowly return to the starting position.

7. Hack Squats

Whether a professional or home workout Warrior, you can use the hack squat to increase muscle size. Hack squats are a modification of traditional squats but with an enormous range of benefits. Working your entire lower body can provide precisely what you are looking for. It is a superb choice for building strength in the legs, especially if you are a novice to these workout variations.

The angled machine keeps you standing while supporting your weight and helping you depend on your legs to execute the movement.

Benefits of Hack Squats

  • It needs very minimal coaching techniques and cues.
  • You can focus on training your legs without worrying about stability and core.
  • It offers a more stable movement pattern to go heavier with the move.

 Which Muscles Does It Work?

Since hack squat is a compound movement that works lower body muscles, it targets:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes and calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip flexors
  • Core muscles

How To Do Hack Squats

To perform hack squats:

  • First, set up the machine with suitable weights and load each side equally. You can start lighter and then gradually improve the resistance with time.
  • Step up onto the machine and place your back on the backrest and your shoulders against the given shoulder pads.
  • Keep your feet on the sled platform, so they are hip-width apart. Now grab the handles near the shoulder pads. You will need to push or pull the handle to control the weight and perform the exercise.
  • Lower yourself into a squat position.
  • Now push through your feet and completely extend your knees and hips to the starting position.
  • When you finish your last set, grab the handle and pull it back into the lock position to allow the machine to control the weight.

8. Lateral Raises

Another core training staple that improves muscle size is the lateral raise exercise. It builds strength and stability in your shoulders. This exercise benefits people looking to achieve a V-shaped torso without fancy equipment. The best thing about this lift is its simplicity. Lower the weights to your side and raise them to your shoulders. The lateral raises target muscles, and a range of motion in the shoulders press does not fully address.

Benefits of Lateral Raises

  • It strengthens your shoulders and upper back muscles.
  • You develop strength in your upper body and rear deltoids, so your body looks toned, more extensive, and more robust.
  • It lowers your chances of injuries by promoting good posture and shoulder stabilization.
  • The movements make your body more aligned and symmetrical.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

It targets:

  • Rhomboids
  • Hamstrings
  • Middle and lower trapezius
  • Lateral deltoids
  • Quadriceps

How to Do Lateral Raises

Ensure you have enough space around you to raise your arms in a “T” shape to perform the movements. For example, to do a lateral raise:

  • Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms at your side and palms facing in. keep your feet hip-width apart and engage your core.
  • Raise your arms at once, a few niches to each side, and wait.
  • Now lift the dumbbells up and out to each side while keeping your arms straight. Stop when your elbows reach your shoulders, and your body is in a “T” shape.
  • Breathe in while you lift and hold for a few seconds.
  • Lower the weights steadily and bring your arms back to your sides.

According to science and the eight best lifts to improve muscle fitness, four great body exercises are here.

1. Walking Lunges

This exercise is an alternative to static lunges, where you walk forward and lunge out using the other leg instead of standing upright after lunging on one leg. Walking lunges are an excellent way to target all the primary muscle groups of the lower body. It also improves muscle size, core strength, and balance.

The biggest challenge present with walking lunges is that the person has to maintain balance while moving forward between every lunge. In addition, it asks you to shift your weight and body position while standing on one leg temporarily. However, considering how stability and balance play an essential role in achieving muscle fitness, this exercise is an excellent option to add to HIIT and circuit training exercises.

Benefits of Walking Lunges

  • It challenges your core and lower body and is an excellent movement to add to any workout.
  • The lunges mimic movements of routine life to make you feel strong.
  • It helps develop better balance, so the walking lunges always prepare you for the body awareness and strength needed to reduce injuries and falls.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

The targeted muscles with walking lunges are:

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Core muscles

How to Perform Walking Lunges

Performing a walking lunge:

  • Stand straight up and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your hands at the side of your body or on your hips.
  • While bending your right knee, lower yourself to parallel your thigh to the floor in a lunging position.
  • Now, pause for a split second.
  • Do not move the right leg but your left foot forward to repeat the same movement. Wait until the leg is parallel to the floor in a lunging position.
  • Repeat the walking forward as a lunge movement on the alternative leg.

2. Push-Ups

We consider push-ups the most straightforward yet helpful exercises an individual can perform to increase muscle size and strength. It is a perfect lift that improves muscle fitness and helps shape core strength and the upper body. It has many variations and modifications, so even beginners can start with simple movements and work their way up to the advanced variations.

Benefits of Push-Ups

  • Traditional push-ups are great for building upper body strength.
  • It helps achieve proper form and strengthens your lower back and core by pulling in the abdominal muscles.
  • You can virtually perform push-ups anywhere you want with no fancy equipment.
  • It helps develop muscle fitness to deal with routine chores involving pushing things.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

The standard push-ups target the following muscles:

  • Pectorals or chest muscles
  • Deltoids or shoulders
  • Back of triceps and arms
  • Your abdominals
  • Wing muscles under armpits
How to Perform Push-Ups

The most typical/standard variety of a push-up is straightforward, but remember that the key to achieving this is your proper form.

  • Begin in a plank position; get down on all fours while keeping your hands wider than the shoulders.
  • Ensure that you tucked your pelvis in, your palms are under the shoulders, and your neck is neutral. Keep your shoulders rotated back and down as well.
  • Now, brace your core and lower your body (keeping your back flat). Next, bend your elbows while pointing them a little toward the back.
  • Keep lowering down until your chest scuffs against the floor.
  • Extend your elbows and push yourself back up to reach your beginning point.

3. Pull-Ups Or Chin Ups

Pull-ups are one of the most popular exercises for body training to stay fit and healthy. This lift improves muscle size, primarily in the back and arms. With the help of this exercise, you can achieve the most desired wide, V-shaped back within a few months. Many people include this exercise in their workout sessions because of its simplicity.

Apart from working your back, the best thing about pull-ups is that it works various other body muscles like your torso.

Benefits of Pull-Ups

It is the most effective exercise to strengthen the back, arms, and shoulder muscles.

Pull-ups also work great for improving your grip strength and lifting weights.

This strength training also improves your overall fitness level and physical health.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

The Pull-up targets:

  • Lats and biceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboids
  • Core muscles

How to Do Pull-Ups

To do a perfect pull-up, all you need to do is:

  • Hang on to a bar with relaxed shoulders and straight arms. Pull your navel in, tighten up your bottom and press your legs tightly to prevent your back from hollowing during the exercise.
  • Stimulate your shoulder griddle by pulling your shoulder blades downwards and backward while stretching your arms.
  • Start pulling yourself upwards until your chin is slightly above the bar. Inhale while pulling yourself up, and exhale while coming down.
  • Carry out the movement slowly and controllably until you return to the starting position.

4. Dips

Many people consider the dip the most direct lift to improve muscle size because it works the shoulders, triceps, and chest without weights. You only need two elevated parallel platforms to grip or flatten your hands. Dips are the ideal upper bodybuilding technique, and push-ups if you are into homemade physiques.

Benefits of Dips

  • The most significant advantage of dips is getting strength and power in your triceps, shoulders, and chest.
  • Dips help build a big upper chest, triceps, and thick shoulder caps to make you look fit and healthy.
  • We consider it a closed kinetic chain exercise that works your muscles to lower or raise your body.
  • It improves your lockout strength.

Which Muscles Does It Work?

Dips target the following muscles:

  • Chest muscles
  • Shoulder caps
  • Back of upper arms
  • Outer chest and under armpits,
  • Inner, outer and mid-back

How to Do the Dips

For a traditional dip, follow these steps:

  • Start by positioning your body between two parallel surfaces. The recommended choice is horizontal bars, but you can also opt for any steady furniture with a flat surface.
  • Keep your hands by your sides and get ready to lift your weight using your hands.
  • Retract your scapula and shift your shoulders back and down.
  • Now lift your body and bend your legs at the knee point.
  • With controlled movement, lower yourself down while bending at the elbow. Always keep your chest up while executing the exercise.
  • Once you reach a 90-degree bend in your elbows, push back to the starting position. Again, keep your triceps and chest contracted and your shoulders locked correctly.

Final Thoughts on How to Increase Muscle Size

Include these lifts in your workout program to improve your muscle size. Exercise can quickly help you reach your health and fitness goals. In addition, incorporate sound weightlifting principles like progressive overload, volume, deloading, rest and recovery, and a researched workout program. Also, don’t forget to include a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and use supplements that support your health and fitness goals.

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