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Fitness and Weight Loss The best exercises for big muscles

It's not any more complicated than that. Follow these steps from strength coach Dan John for the top moves for muscle

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The best exercises for big muscles play

The best exercises for big muscles

(Men's Health)


Muscles grow through a combination of load and time under tension. By starting each rep with the weights at your sides and then lifting them to your shoulders, you effectively double the amount of time your arm, shoulder, and upper-back muscles spend working.


I've often said that if a movement is worth doing, it's worth doing in every workout. The squat is the most important exercise for building mass. That's why, like the other exercises listed here, it's included in each workout shown on this month's poster.


You'll do this just after squats to give your hamstrings an extra stimulus. I call it a "tonic" exercise rather than a training movement because I'm looking for a specific effect in one set of muscles.


Five years ago, the barbell bent-over row would've been my choice. Done correctly, it's a marvelous exercise. Done the way you often see people do it in the gym, it strains the lower back. Performing a row with your chest against a bench solves this problem; you're removing the risk to your lower back.


The pullup is a double-duty movement: a great lat builder and perhaps the best ab exercise I know. I have yet to find someone who can do more than 20 pullups who can't also dominate any test of abdominal strength.


Combined with the clean and press, the bench press provides all the work you need for your chest, shoulders, and triceps.


Many experts have abandoned the barbell curl because they think it's an "isolation" exercise. But I see the strict curl (elbows aligned with the torso, no rocking, back straight) as a window into an athlete's overall strength. After all, I don't think you'll ever see a guy who can curl a lot of weight who doesn't also have big arms.


I hate being asked what the best movement is for size and strength. But my answer is the farmer's walk. Put half of your body weight in each hand and take some steps; every inch of your body will have an opinion about what you just did.

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