Basic Muscle Gain Exercises

In bodybuilding, there are various types of exercises that can be divided into:

  • multi - joint - work with a barbell, free weight, own body weight;
  • isolated - work on simulators, blocks, frames.

They differ from each other in that the former are basic exercises for gaining mass, and the latter are grinding / polishing, carving specific details from the total mass.

The classic basic exercises in powerlifting are:

  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Squats

In bodybuilding, there are more basic exercises, a complete list of basic exercises for muscle groups in bodybuilding is presented below.


  • 1 Basic exercises for the muscles of the chest
    • 1.1 Bench Press
    • 1.2 Bench press on an inclined bench
    • 1.3 Dumbbell Bench
    • 1.4 Breeding Dumbbells
    • 1.5 Pullover
  • 2 Basic exercises for back muscles
    • 2.1 Pullups
    • 2.2 Deadlift
    • 2.3 tilt rod
    • 2.4 Head pull
  • 3 Basic exercises for the muscles of the legs
    • 3.1 Deadlift
    • 3.2 Barbell Squats
    • 3.3 Toe lifting
  • 4 Basic exercises for arm muscles
    • 4.1 Dips
    • 4.2 French bench press
    • 4.3 narrow grip bench press
    • 4.4 Lifting the bar for biceps
    • 4.5 Lifting Dumbbell Biceps
  • 5 Basic exercises for the muscles of the shoulders
    • 5.1 Bench Press
    • 5.2 Bench press
    • 5.3 Slope dumbbell training
    • 5.4 Chin pull
    • 5.5 Shrugs
  • 6 Basic exercises and techniques - Video

Basic exercises for the muscles of the chest

Bench press

The bench press is a basic free weight exercise. To do this, they lie down on the bench, lower the bar of the bar until they touch the chest, and then raise it to completely straighten the elbow joint. The grip should be wide enough, more than the width of the shoulders. In bodybuilding, the bench press is used as an exercise to develop the muscles of the chest, triceps, as well as the anterior bundle of the delta.

Bench press on an inclined bench

The bench press on an inclined bench allows you to work out the upper chest muscles (if performed in the “head above legs” position) or their lower sections (in the head down position).

Dumbbell bench press

With the dumbbell press, the lower point of movement is much lower than with the bar press, which allows you to perfectly work the pectoral muscles. In addition, you can change the trajectory of movement, squeeze dumbbells located in parallel, bring them at the top point to each other, which involves new muscle bundles and has a slightly different effect on them.

Dumbbell Breeding

Due to the fact that the dilution of the lying dumbbells involves the same muscles as the bench press, the load is focused on the inner edge and the middle of the pectoralis major muscle. The chest is given a convex shape, a clear separation is achieved between its muscles. The wiring is also done to improve the relief of the pectoral muscles. Performing this exercise you can improve your results in wrestling, tennis, boxing, gymnastics, acrobatics, basketball, badminton.


This auxiliary exercise is primarily aimed at strengthening the pectoral muscles, latissimus dorsi and, indirectly, triceps. Pullover is usually performed as an additional exercise when working on the pectoral muscles.

Basic exercises for back muscles


One of the main exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back. To do this, you need a horizontal bar or horizontal bar, which is easy to craft even at home. This is the simplest exercise, but its value lies in the fact that it is basic and allows you to use a large number of different muscle groups.


In the deadlift, as in a complex movement, almost all the muscles participate: either to stabilize the position, or to lift the weight. This exercise is used to build strength and muscle mass of the legs, back, and indeed the whole body.

Inclined rod pull

By regularly performing this exercise, you can develop the broadest, largest round muscles, as well as affect a number of others, which will allow you to achieve visual and actual thickening of the back. This exercise is used as a supplement to various deadlift options in order to fully work out the back muscles.

Head pull

This exercise allows you to create an aesthetic V-shaped body. In this case, the hands should not go back, but move strictly in the plane of the body. The grip should not be wide, optimally when the lower point of the forearm is perpendicular to the bar. The back should bend, and the legs should remain in focus.

Basic exercises for the muscles of the legs


already described above


Squatting with a barbell primarily involves quadriceps, the synergists (which help in movement) in this case are the gluteal muscles, soleus muscles along with the adductors of the thigh. The calf and thigh muscles act as stabilizers. Extensors of the back, abdominal muscles and others also work.

Climbing toes

Exercise perfectly develops calf muscles. You can perform both sitting and standing. For best results, both options are wise to combine.

Basic exercises for arm muscles


Performing this exercise requires very simple equipment - bars. You can find them in almost any yard, not to mention the gyms. For the development of triceps and pectoral muscles, this is perhaps the best exercise. This also applies to a large number of auxiliary muscles located in the shoulder girdle. Push-ups allow you to work out the triceps and chest with high quality, but the degree of load depends on the position of the hands.

French bench press

In order to increase the strength and volume of triceps, use the French bench press. It affects all triceps bundles, especially the upper and long. It also allows you to visually increase the volume of the hand.

Tight grip bench press

To develop the upper part of the triceps and increase its strength and volume, it is worth using a narrow grip bench press. At the same time, despite the greatest working weight compared to other triceps exercises, this exercise is used, as a rule, as a supplement to triceps pumping. The reason is simple: in addition to triceps, the anterior bundle of the delta and the top of the pectoral muscles work. Another advantage of the narrow grip bench press is that you can work out the shape of the triceps very well. When this muscle goes into failure, and the performer continues the exercise with the help of the anterior deltoid and chest muscles, it is these repetitions that allow excellent triceps resurfacing.

Biceps Barbell Lifting

With this basic exercise, you can increase strength and build biceps. The load is distributed evenly across both bicep bundles, the muscles of the inner surface of the forearm, and the brachial muscle.

If you change the width of the grip, you can shift the load on different bundles of biceps. The narrower the grip, the more internal beams work. And vice versa.

Lifting Dumbbell Biceps

In order to develop the biceps of the shoulder and forearm, dumbbell lifting for biceps is used. Exercise involves turning the brushes outward while lifting. This allows you to achieve maximum contraction of the biceps and synergist muscles. For training the biceps, this exercise is considered one of the best, since the turn of the palm with the elbow bent adds efficiency.

Basic exercises for the muscles of the shoulders

Bench press

This is a basic exercise most bodybuilders use to develop the shoulder girdle. It perfectly loads the middle and front deltoid muscles, as well as the upper part of the trapezius muscles.

Bench press

For the development of triceps and muscles of the shoulder girdle, it is recommended to perform a press of dumbbells or barbell above the head in a standing position. Here, the main burden falls on the deltoid muscles with the main emphasis on the anterior section, as well as on the triceps.

Dumbbell Dumbbell Breeding

With the help of this exercise, the back deltas, shoulder rotator muscles and trapezius muscle are pumped. Inclined dumbbell breeding is best for developing the shape and topography of deltoid muscles.

Chin pull

Exercise is suitable for working out the middle deltas, the top and the middle of the trapezoid. Also, the pull to the chin separates the trapezoid from the deltas, allowing you to draw and hone the shape of the trapezius muscles, as well as draw a clear line between the deltas and the trapezoid.


For the development of the trapezius muscle, shrubs are used. The exercise is quite simple: holding the weight in straight arms, lowered along the body, the shoulders are raised as high as possible, after the shoulders are lowered back without bending the arm at the elbow. Usually, shrugs are performed with weights, dumbbells, barbells or on a special simulator. At the same time, the bar can be placed both in front of the hips and behind the body.

Basic exercises and technique - Video