For men looking to embrace discomfort and elevate their workout routine, there are ideal exercises designed to target the men’s key muscle groups. Whether it’s cultivating strong arms, sculpting a chiseled core, or even just not skipping leg day, incorporating any of these five programs into your regimen can yield remarkable results.
Try following a standard or bro split workout routine. What is a bro split workout? It’s when you dedicate specific workout days to certain muscle groups instead of spending a session working out your whole body, as you would in a standard routine.
Arms: Biceps and Triceps
Bicep Curls: Grab a set of dumbbells, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and curl the weights upward, focusing on the bicep contraction. Alternate between hammer curls for well-rounded bicep development.
Triceps Dips: Using a dip bar or a bench, position your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body below the bench until your elbows reach a 90-degree bend, then lift back up with your arms to engage the triceps. For an added challenge, elevate your feet or use a weighted dip belt.
Legs: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Glutes
Squats: The king of the kings, the crème-de-la-crème, squat workouts are irreplaceable for a reason. Squats engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously as you drop it low, low, low. To achieve the best form for squats, stand shoulder-width apart and lower your body as if you are sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and push through your heels to return to standing.
Deadlifts: Another great compound exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core is deadlifts. Lie down but keep your feet planted so your lower half forms a triangular shape with the ground. With a barbell over your hips and your feet hip-width apart, lift the bar using a hip-hinge motion, keeping your back and shoulders back. Lower the bar slowly back to the ground while maintaining proper form to finish out this killer workout.
Core: Abs and Obliques
Planks: Everyone’s favorite! We know these are a struggle, but planks are a great way to engage your core gradually. Simply get into a push-up position, supporting your weight with your forearms. Keep your body straight and your butt down as you tighten your core muscles. Hold this position as long as possible and, over time, work to increase the duration.
Twists: Sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you, leaning back slightly while maintaining a straight back.
You should feel your core engaged before you pick anything up. Hold a weight on your chest and rotate your torso from right to left, engaging the obliques. This may burn but focus on controlled movements to maximize the effect.
Hanging Leg Raises: Hang from a pull-up bar in either chin-up or pull-up style and slowly raise your legs until they’re parallel to the ground. Lower them back down, avoiding swinging your legs as they descend, engaging the lower abdominal muscles. You can adjust the difficulty of this exercise by bending or straightening your legs as desired.
Back: Upper and Lower Back Muscles
Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups: Another classic exercise that uses your own body weight against you is pull-ups and chin-ups. To complete these exercises, grip a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, as the name implies. For chin-ups, have your grip facing your body. For pull-ups, reverse the grip so your palms are facing away from you. This exercise strengthens your upper back, lats, and biceps, giving you the ideal “chiseled back” look you see all those male superhero actors have.
Bent-Over Rows: Holding a barbell or dumbbells, bend at the hips with a slight give in your knees. Keep your back upright and lift the weight towards your lower chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. If you’re confused by the movements described, there are many images online offering a great display of the dos and don’ts of bent-over rows.
Deadlifts: Though we also mentioned these in the leg workout section, deadlifts also deserve a shout-out here as they offer excellent compound movements for back muscles.
Shoulders: Deltoids and Trapezius
Overhead Press: Stand with your feet planted firmly below your shoulders, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulder. Push the weight over your head, fully outstretching your arms. Hold in this position, then slowly lower the weight back to where you start.
Lateral Raises: Hold dumbbells at your sides and raise them to shoulder height, keeping a slight bend in your elbows, as if you’re performing the first movements of the chicken dance. Lower the weights back down slowly to complete the repetition, focusing on the deltoid muscles.
Front Raises: Like lateral raises, front raises also involve dumbbells, but instead of bringing the weight to your sides, pull the bar in front of you, again maintaining a slight bend in your elbows and controlling the movement throughout.
Incorporating these exercises into separate, well-rounded workouts can significantly impact overall strength, muscle development, and fitness. Remember that consistency and proper form are key to achieving desired results, not lifting a bunch of weight improperly and hurting yourself.
In Summary, The Top Five Most Effective Workouts for Men are:
- The Arms
- The Legs
- The Core
- The Back
- The Shoulders
By adding any of these effective workouts into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your perfect male body. By committing to a regular workout schedule and embracing your discomfort to continue to push yourself further, you’ll have a stronger, more sculpted physique and improved overall health for years to come.