Key Exercises for Bodybuilding

Very often we walk into the gym and see a whole bunch of different people performing a lot of weird exercises that make no sense at all, thanks to CrossFit and all of the new exercise trends we now have gyms that are packed with people doing funky and dangerous movements. When it comes to building muscle, reinventing the wheel is not needed, CrossFit and all of those trending fitness programs along with all of their movements are pointless for Bodybuilding, if you want to do something do it right, weight training should be fun and painful but effective. Today we are going to talk about our key exercises for Bodybuilding.


Squats: The squat rack is your church as Tom Platz once said, people tend to associate bench press as the most alpha exercise of them all when the truth is that squatting should hold that title. There is no exercise that takes such a toll on your body like squats do, by squatting you’re building your core and your foundation, squatting adds overall thickness and size to your legs. By changing your footing stance you can work different parts of the leg, generally speaking this is the best exercise for legs that exists.


Lunges: A lot of people overlook these for some reason, doing lunges adds size and thickness to your quads and to your butt, not to mention that doing these improves your overall condition as they are a really hard exercise to perform, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler are just a few popular names that incorporated lunges into their leg routines.

Deadlifts:  Along with squats deadlifts is one of the hardest lifts out there because they are hard to do and they can be pretty dangerous. Deadlifting adds overall mass to your lower back but it also does the same to your legs depending on the variation you do (Normal, Sumo, Stiff legged), a normal deadlift will work the legs and back while a stiff legged deadlift will work the hamstrings.


Donkey Calf machine: This machine isolates the calf in a way that no other does, if you do these slowly while concentrating on the negative portion of the movement your calves will grow in no time.

Standing calf raise: There isn’t much science behind this exercise, it just works, people have done this exercise since the 60’s because it’s simple and it’s effective, just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger about it.


Calf press: Not a lot of people know about the existence of this exercise, if you do you are fortunate enough to have the knowledge but for those that don’t, this exercise consists of using the leg press machine but for calves. To do it you basically place your toes at the bottom of the foot platform and push with your toes while concentrating on the contraction.


Dumbbell Rows: If you want your back to become thick and wide this is one of the exercises to do, using dumbbells allows you to isolate each of the lats in a way that no other exercise can do, if you feel comfortable enough you can play around with angles and hit different parts of the back for maximum results, the stretch in this movement is just amazing.

Dumbbell Row

Barbell Rows: Along with dumbbell rows these are awesome for adding thickness and width to the back, since you’re using a barbell for this movement your motion is a little bit more restricted than with the dumbbells but it also allows for added thickness in the middle and upper back that dumbbells don’t usually cover.

Deadlifts: As it was mentioned in the leg section deadlifts along with squats are some of the most important movements to do when wanting to add strength and size, deadlifting will add thickness and strength to you lower back, something that is very much needed in order to be strong in every other lift.


Bench Press: This is the most known exercise of them all, even though it’s really dangerous to perform if you’re not using the correct form. Bench pressing when done right adds strength to your upper body along with thickness and size to your chest and deltoids.

Dumbbell Bench Press: The muscle fibers that aren’t worked when doing barbell bench press are very much worked out when doing dumbbells, by doing these you will have a longer range of motion and control over the weight in comparison to the barbell, allowing for a better stretch and contraction of the large and small muscle fibers.

Bench Press

Pullovers: Arnold once said that doing pullovers rips the rib cage wide open and sets the foundation for a big upper body and chest, he didn’t lie. Pullovers stretch the whole chest, ribcage and abdominal area; this is arguably one of the most underrated exercises ever.


Standing Shoulder Press: Doing this exercise will increase your upper body strength and balance, people who are able to bench press 300lbs are usually weak at standing military presses because it’s a whole different type of movement. Military presses will help you add overall mass in your deltoids and upper chest, your overall balance while doing any kind of pressing movement will improve.

Standing Shoulder Press

Side Laterals: Being wide is all about the illusion, if you have well built shoulders you will look and be wide, side laterals work the side head of the deltoid allowing you to look wider and thicker overall, always do this exercise or any variation (cable, standing, sitting etc.) in your shoulder workout.

Shrugs: You can’t have a v-taper without having big traps and shoulders, depending on the variation of shrug you do you can work your whole deltoid area along with your traps; shrugs add size and thickness, plus they look cool.


Dumbbell Curls: These along with bench press are probably some of the most popular exercises out there, when you think about the gym you think about benching or curling, admit it! Dumbbell curls add thickness and size to the biceps so they definitely need to be a staple in your workout.

Concentration Curls: These curls complete the biceps along with the previous exercise, concentration curls are all about concentrating on the muscle to increase blood flow and contraction. Concentration curls add thickness and peak to your biceps.

Concentration Curl

Kickbacks: These just like pullovers are highly underrated, kickbacks work the whole tricep area made out of three heads, if you do these correctly you should be able to develop the thick horse shoe look just like Roelly Winklaar’s.

Dips: Dips simply make your triceps become bigger and thicker overall; they are a compound movement that should be stapled in each and every arm routine.