There are a lot of muscle-building workouts available today and the variety of exercises is almost unlimited.
If you are looking for a routine to build muscle and increase your strength, fitness experts generally recommend alternating days between upper body and lower body workouts with rest days or light cardio in between.
Too much cardio is not recommended if you are trying to build muscle mass.
Upper body exercises and routines
Your upper body parts for muscle exercises training include your chest, forearms, upper back, biceps, triceps, traps and shoulders.
Lie on your back on a weight bench with either two heavy dumbbells or one barbell with heavy weight on it. Keep your number of reps below 12 and go slow on each rep for best results. Do three sets before moving onto another chest exercise.
You can use the same weight bench with a pair of dumbbells. Make sure they are plenty heavy and that you can’t do more than 6-8 reps per set. Lie on your back holding the dumbbells straight in the air with your palms facing in and slowly lower both dumbbells down to your sides until you feel the pull on your chest muscles.
Again, go slow on these and do only three sets.
Simply hold a dumbbell in one had and flex your wrist up and hold. Do five reps per side.
Upper back exercises
The best exercise for your upper back is a simple row movement. You can do it two different ways.
There are seated cable row machines at most gyms. You basically sit down, put your feet on the steps provided and pull the cable. Squeeze your back muscles at the end of each pull. Again, keep it at a challenging weight so you can only do eight to ten reps. Three sets is plenty.
If your gym only has dumbbells and no seated row machine, no problem. Grab two heavy dumbbells, and bend down with a flat back. Hold dumbbells so your arms are dangling toward your knees. Row again squeezing your upper back muscles at each row.
Do three sets of eight to ten reps.
Find heavy dumbbells or a heavy barbell and do three sets of ten. Try holding your curl half way down for five seconds on each rep for a little extra burn.
Select heavy dumbbells, and put your knee on a bench or a chair and curl one arm behind you at a time holding the extension the top for three seconds. Three sets of ten on each arm will give you the best results.
Traps and Shoulders
You can combine these two muscle groups with three simple moves.
Dumbbell shoulder shrug and press
Hold two heavy dumbbells in front of you resting on your legs. Shrug first and then press into a shoulder press. Repeat ten times total for best results.
Hold two heavy dumbbells in front of you resting on your legs and just raise your arms straight up to shoulder level. Do only three sets of eight.
Lower Body Exercises
Find a ledge and stand on your toes. Slowly lower your heals up and down. To increase the difficulty level, start holding a barbell with weight on your shoulders.
For best results on squats, find a rack so you can load your barbell up with heavy weight. Make sure you keep the pressure on your heels and not your toes during reps. Try doing eight to ten squats three times.
Most gyms have leg extension machines. Sit down on the machine and place your feet under the cushioned pieces. Slowly extend legs upward and hold for five seconds. Three sets of eight reps is a good start.
Sit-ups or crunches
Simply lie on your back with your knees bent and either pull yourself all the way up and touch the floor or just do a half crunch and squeeze.
To really strengthen your abs you should do at least 50 per session.
Most gyms have leg curl machines for your hamstrings. Find the one that has you lie on your stomach and raise the weight with a bent knee to your glutes. Keep the weight heavy and the reps to eight or ten for three sets.
Lie on the floor on your stomach with your arms stretched in front of you. Raise your arms and legs at the same time and hold for up to 30 seconds. Try to do 20 reps slowly.
Rest and Alternate
Try to do light cardio in between strength days and alternate between lower body and upper body moves each day.
Make sure you rest at least one day per week and replenish your muscles with lean protein and healthy carbohydrates.
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