Top 7 Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

New to the iron game or perhaps already in the game but want to improve? Master these basic lifts. Forget all the trendy junk exercises you see “fit influencers” doing. Strength training for men and strength training for women are no different each other. Building a solid foundation will set you up for long term success. Building up your strength will help you build on slabs of muscles even! These bigs compound lifts require a lot of energy to complete but gives you the greatest return. There is a reason these lifts have been around a long time and here to stay. Here are the movements you want to incorporate in your strength training program and probably a staple for the rest of your lifting journey:


Its no doubt that the deadlift is the king of strength builders! It engages every muscle group of the body. There is nothing like fighting with gravity and winning! The deadlift resembles our natural day to day activities as we constantly bend over to pick up objects. Not only will you improve your  strength in your glute, upper/lower back, quads, etc, but you’ll notice a difference in your posture!



The squat is the ultimate developer for your quads! These are the very muscles that are also responsible for sprinting and jumping ability. Want strong legs? SQUAT! Want your leg strength to transfer to other sports? SQUAT. Want impressive muscular legs? SQUAT. Need I say more?


Improving your overhead strength will lead to better shoulder development and over all upper body strength. Quick fun fact: did you know this was once one of the main lifts in the Olympics which was later dropped in 1972?



Another great upper body developer! Often argued to not have a strong carry over to other sports, but I’d like to argue otherwise. Plus you can’t just omit an entire body part as we want an overall balance in strength.



Back is worked a horizontal plane and the vertical plane. Barbell rows work the horizontal plane and generally important to work your back twice as much as your pressing movements. A weak back can be a limiting factor for a lot of your bigger lifts. So adding the barbell row can help fix any imbalances and further improve posture.


A vertical plane movement for the back. Back muscles help strengthen a solid base for your pressing movements and plays important part for shoulder health. If you want to be able to do advanced body weight movements in the future, like muscle ups for example, it is first built with a strong pull up base. 

7.) DIPS

Dips are awesome and having strong arms is more important than your think! Building strong triceps will help with your pressing movement lockouts such as your bench press and strict press. Have you reached a plateau in your pressing movements and lack lock out strength? Perhaps training triceps may help you more than you think!