Bodybuilding Exercises: What Are They?

Drowning in a sea of exercises, workouts, and fitness programs? If you are, you came to the right place. Asking, “What are my fitness goals?” is a good place to start. If those goals revolve around tone, definition, and muscle size, then bodybuilding exercises will work for you!




First, what are bodybuilding exercises? Bodybuilding exercises most often take place when a single muscle is isolated and then put through hypertrophy, which is the range between 8-12 repetitions. As a result, there is a massive amount of blood flooding the muscle causing the cells to expand which is formally known as a “pump.” Exercises in the hypertrophy phase will work great to grow muscle size, through strength gains will not be as prevalent compared to a powerlifting style workout.

What about implementation and periodization? In my opinion, these exercises are great if you’re new to the gym. Bodybuilding exercises work the best, however, if you’re going to be training for a fitness event. Of course, this only applies if muscle size and definition is the end goal. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine hypertrophy should be performed 3-4 times a week. During these training sessions, there should be 16 sets per muscle group with 8-12 reps per set.

Now that we know what bodybuilding exercises are and how to implement them, which exercises should we do? The list below are 10 of the best bodybuilding exercises I do on a consistent basis.


1. Squat

The squat, an exercise that builds kings. First and foremost, squatting will build your entire lower body but will also work your upper body as well. The first activating muscles in the squat are the quad, glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals. This exercise however also works the upper and lower back. The squat will increase every muscle system in the body. Putting it at the top of the list.


2. Deadlift

To deadlift or not to deadlift… is it even a question? No doubt deadlifts are great for physical and mental gains. As long as proper form is used, the deadlift can be a tremendous movement. Similar to the squat, the deadlift uses your glutes, hamstrings, and back – otherly known as the posterior chain. Also, nothing is like lifting hundreds of pounds in your hands while bending the bar back and forth.


3. Bench Press

Is the bench press just a lazy man’s push up? I would beg to differ. The bench press is one of the best ways to build size on the chest while also using other muscle groups such as the shoulder and triceps. As a result, more work can be done in a less amount of time. Actually, the bench press, if performed correctly, can actually utilize your back as well. Which overall makes it a good bang for your buck.


4. Cable Fly (Or Dumbell Fly)

Isolation at its finest. The fly is what Arnold Schwarzenegger used to achieve such a massive chest while on stage. As a result of using the fly movement, the chest will widen and become more defined. In fact, the wider the “fly” away from your body, the better the pump will be. Use a weight that is heavy, yet doable. I hope you’re ready for your chest to turn into a brick wall.


5. Leg Extensions

Leg size can almost be added overnight with the leg extension. Previously stated, the goal of hypertrophy is focused on blood flow to a particular muscle or muscle group. Nothing can accomplish that better than the leg extensions. This can be one of the most painful leg exercise you do, though one of the best when it comes to size and definition. Do these on a consistent basis, and the results will translate directly into gains.


6. Leg Curls

Similarly to the leg extension is the leg curl. The leg curl accomplished the same goal of blood flow, though it works the exact opposite muscle group. Make sure the force is exerted from the hamstring and not the glutes or lower back. If any pain occurs in those areas, lower the weight and go again. Super set these two exercises for tremendous growth, though beware it is not for the faint in heart.


7. Ab Crunch

Another classic, the ab crunch. One of the best movements to directly target the abdominal complex. Take it nice and slow, make sure you breath out at the peak of the contraction. Focus on tightening your core, and you will be feeling it tomorrow. By building the mind muscle link you will ensure the best contraction, which will increase over time.


8. Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press

Who doesn’t like to through weight over their head? The shoulder press is an excellent movement to target the front and medial deltoids. In fact, it is one of the easiest exercises to perform which maintaining great results. Begin by bringing the weight just below your chin. Then, press the weight up and above your head. Do this enough and your well on your way to boulder shoulders.


9. Dumbell Bicep Curl

The pump magnet and a guy’s best friend, the curl. Every guy loves a juicy arm pump; it can equally be as enticing for women as well! Other than being able to show your biceps off, they also assist in many daily tasks. The little bumps on your arm make up most of the daily lifting activities. Treat them right and you won’t be the only one who notices.


10. Standing Single Leg Calf Raises

Finally, onto the dreaded calves. No one in their right mind enjoys training calves. It is, however, a building block for a perfect physique. Have you ever felt a blow torch against your bare skin? Well, that is what training calves is like. Again, though, it is a critical movement so do not skip or exclude it!



I hope you’re able to apply these bodybuilding exercises into your training program. Ultimately, the greatest results will come from hard work. Furthermore, match your diet with your goals because eating correctly is also critical. Finally, enjoy working out, fall in love with it and you will never have to motivate yourself again.

Stay Strong and Train Hard,

Zach Zanger

10 Bodybuilding Exercises:

1. Squat

2. Deadlift

3. Bench Press

4. Chest Fly

5. Leg Extension

6. Leg Curl

7. Ab Crunches

8. Seated Shoulder Press

9. Dumbell Bicep Curl

10. Standing Single Leg Calf Raise



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