Spending time in the gym may or may not be enjoyable for you. Either way, you don’t want to spend a lot of time working on a body part to have meager gains.
If you were only able to do one exercise per body part, what would you choose?
Admittedly, hammer strength machines are great, but if you want to reach maximum levels of strength and muscle mass, pick up a barbell.
Performing barbell and dumbbell movements have been proven to be the most effective form of resistance training.
Now that we’ve ditched the machines, let’s dive into what the most effective exercises per body part are.
Effective Muscle Building Exercises For Each Body Part
Chest: Barbell Bench Press
Chest day, AKA Monday, has been the most popular day at the gym since before the beginning of time.
The barbell bench press primarily works your pecs, relying on your delts and triceps as secondary muscles worked.
Lats: Bent-Over Barbell Rows
If you are trying to build a barn door back and get rid of your invisible lat syndrome, bent over barbell rows are the exercise.
This exercise also works your core and posterior chain to support the weight, your spinal erectors, traps, and even biceps are worked in this exercise.
One bonus with this exercise is there is a direct carry-over to your bench. A stronger back makes a stronger bench.
Abs: Rope Crunches
When it comes to building strength in your core and abs, rope crunches are the most effective.
This weighted movement doesn’t use a dumbbell or barbell, but will run you through the ringer.
Since your shoulders have 3 different points to work; your anterior, your lateral, and posterior deltoids should all have their own exercise.
- Anterior Delt (Front Delt): Seated Military Press
- The seated military press helps keep a straight back and remove all leg drive from the movement.
- Lateral Delt (Side Delt): Lateral Raises
- When done correctly, lateral raises really gives you that “boulder shoulder” look. Don’t use heavier weight than you need to, ego lifting won’t help here.
- Posterior Delt (Rear Delt): Bent-Over Dumbbell Flyes OR Face Pulls
- Face pulls are great for rear delt and trap recruitment, just like bent-over dumbbell flyes. For an extra challenge, do your working sets of bent over dumbbell flyes and then do 2 burnout sets of face pulls.
Traps: Dumbbell Shrugs
While I personally feel deadlifts are an extremely effective trap builder, I would have to say dumbbell shrugs are a close second.
This exercise is best when done in the full range of motion and with explosive power.