Five Basic Exercises

Basic exercises with a bar

Despite the fact that in bodybuilding there are a lot of exercises, only a few of them are basic, and all the rest are secondary. In order to effectively train and force the muscles to grow, it is first of all necessary to study the technique of these basic exercises.

The key difference between the basic exercises is that they load all large muscle groups of the body at once, as opposed to isolating exercises that work on only one group of muscles( for example, the biceps).In addition, basic exercises are always performed with the barbell.

All about how to gain muscle and create the perfect sports body - an introductory course of strength training for beginners.

Testosterone and basic exercises

Scientific studies show that the more different muscle groups are simultaneously involved in a particular exercise, the more active this exercise will affect the body's production of testosterone and other anabolic hormones needed by the body for muscle growth( 1).

In other words, if you want to gain muscle mass, you should approach the training of the body in a complex way, and not just "swing the biceps" or "swing the chest."A novice who has learned to perform basic exercises correctly, can increase the body weight by 5-7 kg already in the first months of training.

The most important exercises of

When performing multi-joint basic exercises with heavy weight, the entire body of an athlete is subjected to a load. In addition to the musculature of the arms, body and legs, the respiratory and even central nervous system is included in the work - this is what provides an essential hormonal response.

It should be noted that the greatest efficiency of muscle growth is achieved with severe strength training and performing a low number of repetitions of exercises - no more than 5-7 repetitions. In turn, this requires the use of large working weights and the perfect observance of technology.

List of basic exercises

Basic exercises are five multi-joint exercises performed with the bar: bench bench press, standing bar press, squats with rod, rod rod in slope and deadlift. It is these exercises that most strongly affect the growth of muscles and the increase in the hormonal background of the body.

At the same time, most secondary exercises performed with dumbbells or in simulators are variations of basic exercises. For example, a dumbbell press sitting or bench press on the simulator is a modified bench press standing. Exactly as a bench press lying down is, in fact, a variation of push-ups.



Deadlift - basic exercise number one for the muscles of the body. If you only perform it and refuse any others, you will still see the result in the form of a set of mass, because it is the deadlift that involves the maximum number of muscles in the work.

In order to learn how to perform stall draft correctly, it is recommended to start with a minimum balance on the rod and using a stand - lifting the weight "off the ground" disrupts the technique, not allowing the hips to be strained and the back perfectly straight.


Squats with a bar in the frame

Squats with a bar is the basic exercise for the development of the musculature of the legs, starting from the gluteal muscles and quadriceps of the thigh and ending with the calves. With the correct technique of performing, the spine and abdominal muscles are also included in the work, forming a steel press.

It is recommended to learn the correct squatting technique in a special frame that allows you to squat with a small weight, but with an emphasis on the full sense of the muscles. You must start the movement by pushing the buttocks upward, straightening the knees and not thinking about the muscles of the legs.

Bench Pressing Rod

Bench press lying on the bench

Bench Pressing on the Bench is the key exercise for developing the muscles of the chest, triceps and the front of the deltoid muscles. Depending on the angle of the bench and the width of the setting of hands on the rod, it is possible to include various beams of pectoral muscle.

In order to learn how to perform the bench press lying correctly, you must first learn how to properly press. Do push-ups from the bench, focusing on the fact that the movement is made by the strength of the pectoral muscles. The press should be constantly stressed.

Rod Thrust to Belt

Rod of the rod to the belt

Rod pull to the belt is the basic exercise for the development of the musculature of the back and giving it a visual width. When properly performed, deltas, pectoral muscles, forearms and numerous muscle arms are also included.

It is recommended to learn how to do rod draft in a slope with the thrust block to the belt sitting in the simulator. First, you pull the weight to the knees, then - almost to the chest, while reducing the shoulder blades. It is in the phase of lifting the weight to the chest that you should feel the tension of the latissimus muscles of the back.

Bench Standing Rod

Bench Press Rod

Bench Pressing Stand ( also called "army bench press") develops the shoulder belt, deltoid muscles, arms, improves posture and strengthens the muscles of the abdominal press. It is this basic exercise that forms a classic sports figure with broad shoulders.

Training the barbell above the head while standing is recommended to start with the dumbbell stand while standing, paying special attention to the fact that the weight moves only vertically, and the body is static tensioned. Remember also that a lot of weight can be traumatic for the joints.

Pros of basic exercises

  1. Muscle growth and simultaneous fat burning. Basic exercises require the body to increase the consumption of nutrients. During the training, glycogen is actively used, and after the training is over, recovery processes that burn fat are started.
  2. Increased appetite. Due to the acceleration of metabolism, the desire to consume food is significantly increased. This plays a particularly important role for the skinny ectomorphs who have problems with muscle mass because of a constant lack of appetite.
  3. Increased testosterone and libido levels. Because testosterone is the most important male sex hormone, its high level definitely increases craving. The good news is that the love of joy after strength training helps the muscles grow faster.
  4. Improves muscular symmetry. Properly performed basic exercises have a positive effect on the symmetry of muscle development. As a result, not just a pumped up, but athletic and powerful physique is formed.
  5. Strengthening the "muscle-brain" connection. Most newcomers can not force their will to strain a certain muscle, which indicates a weak connection between the brain and muscles. Performing heavy basic exercises can improve this communication, increasing the effectiveness of the training.


The most important for the collection of muscle mass are the basic exercises that increase the level of testosterone due to complex effects on the body. Five such exercises are allocated to the basic group: deadlift, squats, bench press, bench presses and pull to the belt.

Scientific sources:

  1. Best Stimulators of Growth by Tom McCullough, MEd., Source
  2. Research 'The Effects of Testosterone on Muscle Size', source