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Best and Worst Exercises
For Building Strong Lean Muscle

For a non-lifter, the importance of building and maintaining lean muscle probably won’t be understood. Regardless of your age, having adequate muscle mass enhances the body functions and enables you to perform your daily activities without undue strain and fatigue. Additionally, muscle mass gives you enhanced strength as well as an increased protection level against musculoskeletal injury.

Health related results and benefits from having increased lean muscle mass include better bone mineral density and an improved body composition; that’s a better ratio of lean mass to body fat. Also, the psychological benefits of looking fit and feeling strong is a big motivational factor.

Fortunately, anyone can build strong lean muscle but it requires you to understand several principles and do certain things “correctly and consistently” as well as diligence and patience not extremism and innovation.

Here are the best exercises for building lean muscle as well as those that you should avoid.

Best exercises for strong lean muscle -

Front Squat

Front squats top the list because despite the location of the bar, most of the load is located about mid-foot. The bar should be held high on the anterior deltoids with minimal change on the back angle hence allowing more activation and recruitment of the quads than any other kind of squat exercise.

A front squat also forces the hip to travel backwards hence shifting a greater tension towards the glutes.

This exercise works on the following muscles:

·         Hamstring

·         Gluteus Maximus

·         Quadriceps

Barbell Bench Press

This exercise gives the most power allowing you to press the most weight. It is also easier to control the bar than dumbbells.

Studies indicate that barbell bench press activates the pecs to a higher degree than decline press, incline presses and fly’s and it is also superior for targeting the triceps brachii.

The major muscles worked by this exercise are:

·         Serratus Anterior

·         Triceps

·         Anterior Deltoid

·         Minor and Major Pectoralis

Dumbbell Curl

Using dumbbells helps to prevent strength and muscle imbalances and gives you adequate stimulus for muscle growth.

Dumbbell curls allow or better still, promote natural movement and greater motion giving you the option to vary the position of your hand which in turn triggers the activation of different biceps heads to different degrees.

Dumbbell curls work on the following muscles:

·         Pronator Teres

·         Brachioradialis

·         Brachialis

·         Biceps

Bent Over Barbell Row

Bent over barbell rows are the best exercise for building a big back. It increases muscle activation in the lower back and upper and lower lats. When lifting heavy weight, ensure the lower back does not round as it can increase the stress on the lumbar discs.

The muscles worked include:

·         Biceps

·         Lower Back

·         Teres Major

·         Rhomboid

·         Rear Deltoids

·         Trapezius

·         Latissimus

Romanian Deadlift

Romanian deadlift (RDL) is one of the best exercises for the hamstrings. It works the hamstring from the hip joint. Therefore, in order to ensure a complete overall development, include a knee joint hamstring exercise like the leg curl.

Major muscles worked by this exercise are:

·         The Lower Back

·         Gluteus Maximus

·         Hamstring

Exercises to avoid when building lean muscle -

Rolling Shrugs

Besides the fact that gravity resists downwards which makes rolling insufficient for working the traps, this exercise wreaks havoc on the shoulder joints.

Stability Ball Press

This exercise is unsafe and not effective. It is intended for physical therapy and not heavy training.

Behind The Neck Press

The risk to benefit ratio of this exercise is quite high. It puts the shoulder griddle at a vulnerable position because the rotator cuff is at a mechanical disadvantage.

Bench Dips

Bench dips cause maximal internal glenohumeral and rotation extension which results to serious shoulder issues.

About The Author

Listed above are just some of the great exercise ideas that Kevin Hodges has, who is the founder and owner of, a website offering advice and guidance on training exercises, dietary tips and the supplement choice; like, The Best Steroids for Bulking. Checkout his website for more information, on how to build clean and lean muscle mass.

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