The Ultimate Guide to Muscular Strength: Top Exercises to Try
29 June, 2023
If you’re looking to build muscular strength, there are a variety of exercises you can try. From weight lifting to bodyweight exercises, we’ve compiled a list of the best exercises to help you achieve your goals.
When you combine these exercises with EMS training, you can achieve incredible results in a shorter amount of time. That’s because Electrical Muscle Stimulation engages more of the muscle fibres, without heavy weight lifting or intense gym sessions.
Take a look at some of the most highly recommended muscular strength exercises to add to your gym routine!
What exercises improve muscular strength?
The first thing to know about building muscular strength is that it requires additional stress on the muscle. When our muscles sense stress, they adapt and grow in order to solve the problem of not being strong enough. Muscular strength is an adaptation to things being too heavy or too hard for the body to deal with and therefore every individual body will require different amounts of exercise to build muscle.
For example, if you’re an 80 year old woman who is sedentary, simply walking for 10 minutes a day will improve muscular strength as it will stimulate the muscles in the legs. Meanwhile, if you’re a fit 30 year old man, doing a 10 minute walk a day won’t impact your muscles at all.
For the average person, lifting weights will improve muscular strength when progressive overload is applied. Some of the best exercises to do are ones that work the whole body and build strength in different muscles. These are known as compound exercises.
Best exercise for muscular strength
Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises for building overall strength, particularly in the lower body and back muscles.
To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip a barbell with both hands, palms facing down. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, lift the barbell off the ground by extending your hips and knees. Lower the barbell back down to the ground with control and repeat for several reps. As you progress, you can increase the weight of the barbell to continue challenging your muscles, but a good starting weight would be the bar (20-30kg).
Squats are often referred to as the king of lower body strength exercises, and for good reason. They work multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and even the core.
To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Keeping your chest up and your core engaged, lower your body down by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Keep your weight in your heels and your knees tracking over your toes. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Repeat for several reps, gradually increasing the weight as you get stronger.
The bench press is a classic exercise for building upper body strength, particularly in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
To perform a bench press, lie flat on a bench with your feet flat on the ground and your hands gripping the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower the barbell down to your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body. Pause briefly at the bottom, then push the barbell back up to the starting position. Repeat for several reps, gradually increasing the weight as you get stronger. It’s important to have a spotter when performing heavy bench presses to ensure safety.
Pull-ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, particularly in the back, shoulders, and arms. Start by using bands to support you, or a guided machine if available.
To perform a pull-up, grip a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended, then pull your body up towards the bar until your chin is above the bar. Lower your body back down to the starting position and repeat for several reps. If you’re unable to perform a full pull-up, try using an assisted pull-up machine or resistance bands to help build strength.
Military Press/ Overhead Press
The military press is a classic exercise for building upper body strength, particularly in the shoulders and arms.
To perform a military press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell at shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Press the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended, then lower the barbell back down to shoulder height and repeat for several reps. If you’re new to the exercise, start with a lighter weight and focus on proper form to avoid injury.
The above exercises are great if you’re trying traditional training in a gym. However, you should note that injury can be common in people lifting weight for the first time, so starting slow and steady is always recommended. It can also be beneficial to invest in a personal trainer who can take you through the exercises.
EMS training can add to your muscle building routine, by stimulating more muscle fibres and encouraging muscle growth. Whether you’re performing these exercises with weights, or just starting with body weight, EMS training is a less intense and less injury-prone way to enjoy the muscle building process.
Want to try EMS training for yourself? Reach out to 20PerFit today!