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Six Muscle-Building Moves You Should Be Doing

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Build size with these muscle-building moves from the experts over at our sister brand Men's Fitness.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

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Why: “This will boost your hip power and stability,” says David Arnot, PT and director of Evolve (opens in new tab). “They’ll benefit anything that involves sprinting, jumping or squatting.”

How: Lie down with a dumbbell in your right hand and drive down through the heel of your left foot to raise your hips. Aim for four sets of ten reps on each side.

Barbell Lunge

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Why: “This is a big player in the leg strength game,” says Arnot. “It’ll challenge your glutes, quads, core and back muscles throughout.”

How: With a bar across your rear shoulders, squeeze your core muscles and lower into a lunge. Keep your back upright, then drive off the front foot to stand. Aim to hit 50% of your squat one-rep max for five sets of five.

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

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Why: “This move eliminates the bad arm curl habits that can stop your biceps from growing,” says Arnot.

How: Lie back on a bench set to a 45˚ incline, holding dumbbells in each hand. Keep your shoulders back as you slowly curl the weights through a full range of motion. Start light to get the form right and target four sets of 12.

Standing Cable Cross-Over

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Why: “Your pec muscles get a far greater stretch and contraction with this flye-type chest move than the classic bench press, and that means they’ll grow quicker,” Arnot says.

How: Keeping your arms straight, bring both hands together in front of you, pausing for a second to really squeeze your pec muscles with each rep. Aim for four sets of 12.

RECOMMENDED: 5 Pectoral Exercises That Are Better Than The Bench Press

Straight-Arm Lat Pull-Down

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Why: “Control with this move is paramount for a strong back,” says Arnot. “Mastering it will bolster your lats, lower back and triceps and boost your max chin-up total.”

How: Hold the long bar attachment with a wide grip. Keep your body stable and pull down with straight arms, then slowly control the bar back to the start for four sets of eight.

Garhammer Raise

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Why: “This move guarantees tension is fully on the abs and they aren’t being overridden by your hip flexors,” says Arnot. “The result is robust core control.”

How: Hang from a pull-up bar with knees together and thighs horizontal. Slowly raise your knees to your armpits, then back down. Continue until failure, rest, then repeat twice more.

Sam Rider
Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.