The 6 world’s best muscle-building exercises – which are missing in your training plan?

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What muscle-building exercises do you have in the training plan? You will probably give away potential if one of these six is missing. What are the 6 best muscle-building exercises?


How do you recognize the champions – fitness exercises that are good for something? The concept of “Big Six” gives you the answer.


Because the “Big Six” are not only one of the most effective muscle-building exercises in the world. They also help you find the right balance.


The 6 most effective muscle-building exercises in the world

The Big Six: The 6 most effective muscle-building exercises in the world?

The concept of “Big Six” is based on the research work of Dr. Richard Schmidt (“Motor learning and performance“).


The two fitness coaches, Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, have it in their worth reading training guide “The New Rules of Lifting” adapted.


Let us remember.


If a muscle-building exercise meets the following four requirements, it is one of the Fitness exercises that really take you forward:


  1. She is functional. The exercise depicts everyday movement patterns.
  2. She claims a lot of muscle mass at the same time.
  3. She involves more than just a joint.
  4. You need a lot of energy to carry them out.


The “Big Six “fulfill all four criteria. And they can do more than that:


The Big Six makes the difference between Show muscles and one athletic body out.


They help you to develop muscles that keep you fit and efficient in everyday life and advance your favorite sport.


Ultimate Muscle Building

Why six?


Because each of these fitness exercises represents a fundamental movement pattern for humans. Whether jumping, running, pressing, and pulling – each of the muscle-building exercises imitates an everyday function.


You will see that the concept of the Big Six is anything but rigid. There are variants and alternatives for each of the six muscle-building exercises.


Each of the big six thus stands for a whole category of muscle-building exercises that form the foundation of an effective training plan.


The Big six at a glance:


  1. Knee bow
  2. Loss steps
  3. Lift
  4. press
  5. pull
  6. Hull – Rotation


In this article, you will get to know each of them in detail:


  • What is it for a muscle-building exercise?
  • What muscles does it use?
  • Why do you need her ( apart from helping you to look good naked )?
  • How is it carried out technically correctly ( selected video – tutorial )


Best muscle-building exercises # 1 – Squat


Squat exercise

What is the squat?

They exist in many flavors:


  • In the gym, you usually see the classic variant with the barbell on the shoulder ( see photo ).
  • However, you can also use one to bend your knees, and set Dumbbells perform on the outstretched arm.


The dumbbell – variant feels strange because you have to spread the dumbbells a little sideways so that they do not collide with your knees while you bend them. There is a good alternative for that home gym if you don’t have a barbell yet.


If you train with heavy weights, the upper body muscles must do more work than the Barbell – Knee Bows.


What muscles does the squat strain?

The great thing about the squat is that almost all muscles in your lower body cover in just one movement:


  • The Quadriceps, the front of your thigh, are most challenged. His job is to stretch his knees out of the bent position.
  • In addition, the squat also strains the large, strong muscles surrounding your hip joints: the glut egg( Hintern ) and the ischiocrural muscles( thigh back ). The deeper you can perform the squat, the more you demand these muscles.
  • Another key – player is your lower back: He holds your upper body upright as you crouch and gets up again.


A variety of other muscles hold yours when you squat the entire body under tension – from the feet about the calvesDuctors and Adductors, and Abdominal muscles up to the middle back.


What is the advantage of squats in real life?

What is the advantage of squats in real life?

Fitness coaches know that their athletes can improve their jump performance by squats better than any other fitness exercise. The study situation confirms the (and yes, there are also alternatives to the squat).


Maybe you are now wondering what it will bring you to jump higher if you want to look good.


Imagine you were 90 years old.


It’s 2067, and you’re sitting in your comfortable armchair ( yeah, 2020’s design was still modern! ) in your living room in front of the 4D – TV. This armchair is so comfortable that you can sit in it forever and watch repetitions of your favorite series.


But suddenly, a natural need comes over you. You try to get up. The need becomes more urgent. You try to get up again, but the stunted muscles of your lower body simply cannot apply the strength necessary to lift you out of the armchair.


So nature takes its course in your lap and the soft armchair.


I know who would go to the gym today to avoid a mishap in his favorite armchair in‚ X years?


But the thing is: it is not that one day you suddenly wake up in the morning and cannot get up. Muscle loss happens to creep.


If you don’t exercise your muscles, you lose more and more strength as you get older until you never come up the stairs, can no longer play with your grandchildren, or can no longer get out of the chair.


Technique – Video squats

My colleague Johannes Kwella shows you the correct squat – a technique in the following video.


Best muscle-building exercises # 2 – Failure steps


Best muscle-building exercises # 2 – Failure steps

What are the downpipes?

You either hold the weight on the side (Dumbbells), on the shoulder (barbell), or you only carry out the exercise Body weight by (for example as “Split Squat” in TRX training):


  • In the starting position, you stand upright, your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a long step forward and lower your body until your back knee almost touches the floor.
  • Then you push yourself up with the front leg and return to the starting position.
  • The upper body stays upright all the time.


The Split squat is an alternative in which a leg is already in the starting position ( see photo ). Then you lower the body and push yourself up again without leaving the failure step.


Another variant is the Step-Up, where you are on a platform ( e.g., a weight bench ) – and descending again.


Which muscles take on steps to lose?

Losses require the same muscles as squats in muscle development in terms of “looking nude well,” so both exercises are closely related.


But the movement pattern is completely different.


The Hip pouch, the muscles on the front of your pelvis, raise your thighs upwards. (The Hip extensor, the glutei, and ischiocrural muscles that straighten your body when it is bent forward.)


Since most people spend much of their day sitting, hip flexors are often shortened. In some people, they are even shortened so much that they practically block the hip.


The firmer your hip flexors are, the harder it is for you to jump or take big steps – for example, if you want to cross a small stream while hiking.


Losses give you more flexibility in the hip because they first stretch the hip flexors and then let them contract quickly.


This enables the “shortened” amplitude among us to have a natural movement amplitude again.


Losses not only keep you strong but also smooth and flexible.


Lateral failure steps

What advantages do steps in real life bring?

You take steps with almost all sports (okay, chess is excluded).


Either forward or to the side:


  • A soccer player makes almost all steps in all possible directions.
  • Think of the tennis player getting a difficult ball due to a failed step.
  • Sprinters must be able to take large, powerful ( failure – ) steps.
  • Imagine the beach volleyball player who takes a big step and dredges after a ball.


Even if you don’t play any of these sports, down steps give you more freedom and agility in everyday life. If you miss this, your steps will be shorter, and you will lose mobility.


Then at some point, you may only be one step away from supervised living, where you sit in a comfortable chair all day and watch TV.


Techniqu – video failure steps

The correct execution of the failure steps ( know also: “Lunges“) with a barbell shows you the following technique – video. The movement pattern for the other variants is very similar.


Best muscle-building exercises # 3 – Deadlifts


Deadlift exercise

What are deadlifts?

When Lifting, lean forward over a barbell or a pair of dumbbells and lift them from the floor by straightening your body over the hip joint.


Note: The lady in the photo stretches the cervical spine by looking ahead. You optimally leave the spine in its natural position throughout the exercise. This means that she should look better at the floor in this position.


Which muscles are used for deadlifts

Lift lifts, similar to a squat, are the complete musculoskeletal system of your lower body.


However, the strong ones that dominate here are the Hip extensor, the glut egg ( Hintern ), and the ischiocrural muscles (thigh back).


Your lower back takes over – together with the deep abdominal muscles – an important stabilizing task while you bend your body on the hip joint and stretch it again.


Your Trapezius muscle also plays an important role. It is shaped like a diamond and runs from the neck over the shoulder blades to the middle back. When he takes a cross, he pulls your shutter blades together.


Ultimately, you must also be able to hold the weight – without your Lower arm muscles, nothing works here.


deadlifts in real life

What is the advantage of deadlifts in real life?

Lift is probably the most useful fitness exercise ever. Could you really imagine living a self-determined life without being able to lift heavy things off the floor?


After all, you want to be able to transport moving boxes, carry a chair to the other side of the table or lift shopping bags without placing your intervertebral discs.


The back and hip remain strong and resilient by deadlift (and its many variants).


Technique – video deadlift

When lifting the cross, mistakes are often made that can lead to injuries in the worst case. Here is a detailed technique – a tutorial that you should look at entirely.


Best muscle-building exercises # 4 – Pressing


Best muscle-building exercises # 4 – Pressing exercise

What is pressing?

There are many pushes in the gym – Exercises:


  •       Pushups: You push your hull up from the floor.
  •       Bank pressures: You lie backward on a bench, push a weight up from your chest, and lower it again.
  •       Press overhead: You push a weight vertically from your shoulders upwards ( see technique – video, below ).
  •       Dips: Your bowed arms are behind your torso, and you push your body up by stretching your arms and bringing them in line with your torso.


There are some other variants for each of these muscle-building exercises.


Which muscles are stressed by pressure?

Pushups and bench presses are considered “chest exercise, “while overhead pressing falls under “shoulder -” and dips go through as “triceps exercise.”


But all pressure exercises have one thing in common: they start on the shoulder joint.


Dips, pushups, and bench presses train the front part of your Shoulder muscles. While pressing the overhead front and the middle part, Claim your shoulders.


Pushups, bench presses, and dips demand your Chest muscles to connect with the front shoulder. Overhead pressing bypasses the chest and puts even more strain on the shoulders.


All four exercises claim that Triceps stretch your arm on the elbow joint.


pushups with bench real-life pressure exercises

What is the advantage of real-life pressure exercises?

A strong pressure force helps you to fit in many sports, for example, boxing, shot put, or basketball (think).


Many believe that the two most prominent pressure exercises – bench press and overhead press – put a completely different strain on the body.


Of course: Everyone who trains knows that, for example, the shoulders do not develop as if they were pressed by the back of the bench as if they were pressed overhead.


But as soon as you leave the gym and as soon as it comes to the function goes, the limits blur. In “real “life, you rarely push straight forward or exactly vertically upwards. Most of the movements take place somewhere in between.


Imagine you want to push a car that has been left behind. You probably position your torso at about 45 ° angles to the floor while you lift your feet into the asphalt.


Part of the strength comes from your legs, but you also have to press: with your chest, shoulders, and triceps.


Your training plan should therefore address these muscles from different angles.

Technique – Press video overhead

Pressing overhead while standing – one of the most effective printing exercises – is technically more demanding than, for example, the bench press and one of my favorites. Johannes shows you how to do it technically correctly in the following video – Tutorial.


Best muscle-building exercises # 5 – Pulling – Rowing


Best muscle-building exercises # 4 – pulling or rowing


What is pulling or rowing?

You can perform train exercises – like the pressure exercises – from many different angles:


  • When Latzug – one of the most popular train exercises in the gym – you pull the weight down perpendicular to your shoulders.
  • When pull-up, you pull your body vertically up to a pole.
  • Rowing exercises are many colors and shapes: in the gym, you can put and pull the weight toward your body on a machine. You can pull weight while sitting or standing from different angles on the cable pull with one or both arms.
  • When Short – or barbell rudders, you usually bend your body forward on the hip joint and align your trunk almost horizontally. Then you pull the dumbbells to the corresponding side of the body or the barbell to the stomach or chest.
  • Then, there are Covers in which you keep the weight overhead while lying on your back (on the cable pull, this also works while standing). Then you pull the weight over your head in an arc until it is over your torso in the front.


Which muscles does pulling take?

The two large muscle groups of the upper back are the Latissimus Dorsi (“Lat “) and the Trapezius muscles:


  • The Lat is a shoulder joint – muscle, which you can find once on the right and once on the left. He pulls your arm out frontally or overhead back towards your torso.
  • The Trapezius muscles are responsible for the shoulder blades. They pull them together (like rowing), down (like with pull-up or lat pull), or up (as when lifting your shoulder).
  • With every pulling movement, the Bicep and some Lower arm muscles support your lat muscles (and the trapezius muscles). Train exercises are, also more suitable for developing your bicep than bicep curls alone (for some people, bicep curls are even completely unnecessary). While you are training your back, the biceps naturally grow to the extent they are needed.


advantage of pulling in real life

What is the advantage of pulling in real life? 

The good old tug is one of the most functional games ( and an excellent exercise ).


It is fascinating how your biceps and the muscles of the upper back work together in their natural harmony when tugging:


  • You start the pulling movement by raising your trunk on the hip – as in Lift.
  • Then you pull with your upper back – like with Dumbbell-rowing.
  • In the last part of the movement, the biceps – dominate as in Biceps – Curl.
  • You rotate your entire body via the trunk muscles – as with Cable pull – wood chopping (see below).


Pull-out does not differ much from the movement sequence in a row – an exercise that is not called “rowing for nothing because it is Rowing a boat imitated. 


Train exercises help you do better climbing. The climbing – movement looks like this:


  • You first pull yourself up with your upper back.
  • Biceps dominate in the last part of the movement.
  • Here, too, the grip force is crucial. Otherwise, nothing works.


Useful if you enjoy climbing, climbing trees, or holding onto a cliff want. For the Stone Age man, this ability was vital if he saved himself to avoid becoming the low – Carb – meal of a saber tooth tiger.


Technique – video rowing

Barbell rowing prevented belongs to – next to that pull-up – to my train – favorites. You will learn the right technique in this video.


Best muscle-building exercises # 6 – Trunk – rotation


Trunk - rotation exercise

What is Trunk – rotation?

Some muscle-building exercises are specially designed to train trunk rotation:


  • You can lie backward on the floor and lower your legs sideways by rotating your hip.
  • A more sophisticated variant with a similar movement pattern is the Wipers (see below).
  • Or you keep your lower body fixed and rotate the upper body like that Russian Twist or Wooden hoes on the cable pull (see below).


There are also very effective fuselage rotations – exercises where you do not rotate the fuselage but instead keep it fixed.


If you actively play your torso on the rotation hindered, you train these muscles just as much as with – Renegade Rows and other exercises that involve one-armed pulling or pressing (see above).


What muscles does the trunk – rotate?

You have two muscles that rotate and bend your waist: the outer and the inner oblique abdominal muscles.


The inner ones lie under the outer, oblique abdominal muscles. The muscle fibers each run diagonally across the cross and enable diffraction and rotation:


  • If you leave your upper body bow, you stretch the inner and outer, oblique abdominal muscles on the right. When you straighten up again, they contract.
  • If your left upper body rotates, contract the outer muscles on the right and the inner oblique abdominal muscles on the left.


Your Sixpack – muscle (rectus abdominis) is just as involved in the trunk rotation as some smaller lower back muscles.


advantage of hulls - real-life rotations

What is the advantage of hulls – real-life rotations?

Apart from chess, I can’t think of a sport that does not require fuselage rotation.


Tennis, squash, and golf are very obvious examples. A right-handed person uses the outer and left oblique abdominal muscles when beating.


But you also constantly rotate your hull in everyday life:


  • You rotate your waist when you swing your legs over the edge of the bed to get up in the morning.
  • You rotate your waist when you enter the car and leave later.
  • You bend and rotate your waist when you hug your children or lift something.


A strong hull not only helps you in everyday life and almost all sports, but it also helps you to avoid injuries. (It can also look damn good)


Technique – Video fuselage – Rotation

The Wooden hoes on the cable pull ( Engl .: “Cable Wood Chop “) are one of my favorite – Rotation exercises for the hull. The technique – Tutorial is from Scott Hermann, a US fitness coach.


Best muscle-building exercises – conclusion

Correct strength training is one factor that matters if you want to look good. Many people invest much time in their training and see little success.


Stagnation and plateaus can arise if your training plan is not based on the movement patterns for which your body is created – the “Big Six.”


Best muscle-building exercises

And you now know them:


  1. Knee bow
  2. Loss steps
  3. Lift
  4. press
  5. pull
  6. Hull rotation


If the Big Six are part of your routine, you are not only training the muscles that help you look good naked. You also train your coordination – as nature intended it for us.


Ultimate Muscle Building