I’m a Trainer, and These Are 24 of My Favorite Muscle-Building Exercises


Let’s talk about building muscle. It may sound as easy as doing a couple of squats and push-ups here and there, but it isn’t. To build muscle, you need to be strategic about your workouts, lift heavy, make sure you’re eating enough, and be consistent with strength training.

To get you started, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite strength exercises that will help you build muscle; this isn’t a workout, but exercises for you to use to build your own strength-training session. If you aren’t sure how to design your own workouts with these moves, follow this four-week weightlifting workout plan.

Check out some of my favorite muscle-building exercises ahead.

1. Leg Press

  • Before getting started, add weight to the machine. 25-35 pound plates on each side is a good starting point. If this is too heavy or too light feel free to adjust the weight.
  • Sit on the seat and place your feet hips-width apart on the footplate.
  • Once your feet are in place, press the footplate with both feet as you simultaneously disengage the safety latches on the side of the seat with your hands.
  • With your feet still on the footplate, bend your knees letting the footplate come toward your body.
  • Once your knees are at a 90-degree angle, press the footplate up and straighten your legs. Be sure not to lock your knees.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • Once you’ve completed a set, press the footplate and engage the safety latches.


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