Four exercises you should know if muscle building is your goal in exercise
Exercises like squats and lugging weights are sometimes disregarded in training because they seem too simple.
But fitness trainers say the most underrated exercises are often among the most effective for building muscle.
Other less popular exercises like power cleans and single-leg deadlifts can also help build muscle.
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If personal trainers are to be believed, you may be disregarding some of the most effective exercises for building muscle. These are often not included in common workouts because they seem too simple or even too complex, experts say. Here’s how they can significantly boost your muscle gains.
Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight: building muscle requires patience, good nutrition and progressive loading. According to experts, however, underappreciated exercises like weight lugging, squats, power cleans and single-leg exercises can help build full-body muscles.
The simple carrying exercises are not only effective, but also suitable for almost all fitness levels. According to Noam Tamir, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City, carrying exercises build full-body muscles, improve posture, strengthen your core and grip.
Exercise mimics everyday movements, such as carrying in groceries or lugging heavy luggage. With a weight in each hand, simply walk forward while keeping your chest up so your whole body has to work to stabilize you.
"It may seem too simple to be effective, but it’s a lot harder than people think," Irving "Zeus" Hyppolite, personal trainer and founder of House Of Zeus in New York, tells Business Insider.
According to Hyppolite, goblet squats, or "goblet squats," are a simple variation on the basic movement with the ability to add weight and work more muscles at once.
To do this, hold a single weight, such as a dumbbell or kettlebell, with both hands in front of your chest and bend your knees to 90 degrees or below. Then straighten back up.
The goblet pose tightens your core and arms, and allows you to lift heavier, which can lead to rapid muscle growth in your legs, arms and back, according to Hyppolite.
If you don’t do deadlifts yet, it’s time to learn: it’s one of the most efficient exercises for building strength and muscle throughout the body, according to Tamir. The deadlift involves lifting a weight lying on the floor from a bent-over position. Increase difficulty and effectiveness by focusing on one leg at a time, keeping your hips square and tightening your abdomen.
Exercising with only one leg requires balance and stability and can help balance out a possible weaker side. Some people avoid exercise on one leg because they need to reduce the weight, but a lighter weight doesn’t mean the workout is less effective.
"A lot of people base effectiveness on how high their heart rate is, but that’s not the only factor," says Tamir. Leave your ego at the door and make sure you have excellent form, then you’ll probably see benefits in your max strength lifts as well.
Power cleans, based on an Olympic weightlifting discipline, can be a bit intimidating. "Most people think only athletes need to do Power Cleans, but in reality this one exercise trains your fast-twitch muscle fibers, revs up your central nervous system, builds strength and improves metabolic conditioning," Hyppolite said.
This movement uses the muscles of the posterior chain of muscles to lift a weight off the ground or from mid-thigh and go into a partial squat to catch the weight in front of the shoulders.
The technique has to be learned, but once mastered, power cleans have great benefits for your muscles and metabolism. The exercise works almost all leg muscles, from glutes to calves, as well as abs, back and shoulders. The explosive power also increases your heart rate, burns calories and improves your overall performance in the gym.
You can use any type of weight for power cleans: Barbells, a sandbag, dumbbells or kettlebells.
This text was translated from English by Mascha Wolf. You can find the original here.