Muscular strength exercises are not the easiest to do especially when you are new to them or when you haven’t worked out in a long time. They make you feel like quitting every single day due to how intense they are. With time, you will find the exercises becoming easier. That happens because over time you become more familiar with the workouts as well as the fact that you grow stronger. You can only get to that point if you don’t keep on pushing even if you feel discouraged or unmotivated. In this article, we shall look at the different muscular strength exercises examples as well as all there is to know about muscular strength.
What Is Muscular Strength?
Muscular strength refers to the ability to generate the maximum amount of muscle force while performing a particular exercise (4). It is also the ability to move and lift objects. Muscular strength is measured by these two things:
- How much force you can exert;
- How much weight you can lift for a short period of time.
Exercises To Improve Your Muscular Strength
When it comes to building your muscular strength, compound exercises are the way to go. Compound exercises are exercises that involve one, two, or more joints and train more than one muscle group. Compound exercises are also known as multi-joint movements. Examples of multi-joint exercises include squats, deadlifts, and planks. In addition to compound exercises, other key exercises effective when it comes to building muscle strength are pulling and pushing exercises examples being push-ups and pull-ups. These exercises are important in that they prevent uneven pulling of joints which is something that is likely to happen if you ignore pulling and pushing exercises in your muscular strength-training workout plan. With that out of the way, here are some upper body muscular strength exercises as well as lower body muscular strength exercises for your workout session.
Muscular Strength Exercises List
Also referred to as a wall sit, it is very effective for building strength as well as muscular endurance. It works the abdominal muscles, the calves, the glutes and even the quads. If you cannot do a basic squat due to hip or knee injuries, this exercise works perfectly as a replacement due to the extra support provided by the wall.
How to do a wall squat (1):
- First, start by standing with your back against a wall. You should make sure you are 12 inches or more away from the wall.
- The next step is to bend your knees while you drop to a position similar to your sitting pose. Make sure you are doing all this while your back is against the wall. Don’t remove your back from the wall.
- Go down until your hips are parallel to the ground. When you get to that position, push up through your heels back to the original position.
Deadlifts are effective when it comes to building full-body strength. This is from the fact that they workout most of the muscles in your core, your legs, and your back. Apart from building strength, they do help in improving your posture; a good posture is good for your health as it prevents lower back pain as well as other conditions.
How to do a deadlift (5):
- You start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then bend your knees and grab your dumbbells or barbells.
- Then keep the dumbbell or barbell lifted. While lifting the dumbbell, your hands should be closer together than the shoulder-width distance they initially were.
- Then raise the dumbbells or barbells gently until they get to the hip level and then bring them back to your shin.
Can you really say you’ve exercised if the squat is not part of your workout routine? This is a must-do exercise especially if you want to build muscular strength. Squats work your butt, your back, your calves, your quads, and most of the abdominal muscles. If you want a toned butt and toned legs, squats are still the way to go.
How to do a squat (3):
- First, put your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms by your side and your toes slightly pointed out.
- Then hinge your hips and bend your knees as you sit back as if you are going to sit down and allow your arms to raise up in front of you. Make sure your knees don’t fall inwards and your back stays upright while doing this.
- When your thighs are parallel to the ground, stop and raise up by pushing through your heels to return to the starting point.
If you are looking for an exercise to build your upper body muscular strength, this is the exercise for you. It works most of the upper body muscles like the triceps, pecs, deltoids, and most of the hand muscles.
How to do a bench press:
- You start by lying flat on a bench.
- Using a medium-width grip, lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked.
- From that position, lower the bar slowly until it slightly touches your pecs. Hold this position for a while.
- Then gently push up the bar to the original starting position as you breathe out.
This workout can be done by anyone unless recommended otherwise by an expert. It helps strengthen your back, shoulders, and improve your grip strength. It is an effective exercise that will help you build your upper body muscular strength.
How to do a pull-up:
- You start by standing upright with your arms fully extended while holding a pull-up bar.
- With your knees bent, pull yourself up until your chin touches the bar.
- Return to the original position and repeat as many times as you can.
The shoulder press is also referred to as the overhead press and it is known to help strengthen the shoulders, the trapezius muscles, and most of the muscles in the core.
How to do an overhead press (5):
- Start by picking up the barbell and holding it so that your palms are facing in front. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart.
- Slightly bend your knees and place your barbell near your collarbone. Lift the barbell so that it is lying on your chest, and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Now raise the barbell to your shoulder level and hold it there. It should be right in front yet still above your head. That is your original starting position.
- From the original position, lower the barbell to your collarbone slowly. Do this as you breathe out.
- Raise the barbell back to the original starting position to make one repetition.
Push-ups are yet another upper body muscular strengthening exercise on our list. They are effective when it comes to working the shoulders, pecs, and triceps. They help build overall strength which is something you are aiming for.
How to do a push-up (3):
- Start by kneeling and then bring your feet together right behind you.
- The next thing to do is to bend forward and bring yourself to a high plank position.
- Then the next step is to lower your body towards the ground. Make sure your body is making a straight line from the head all the way to your spine.
- Lower your body until your chest almost touches the ground and hold that position for a while.
- Then raise your body using your hands to the initial position by fully extending your hands.
Do you want strong glutes and hamstring? Then bridges are the way to go.
How to a bridge:
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
- Then raise your hips off the floor. Make sure your hips are aligned to your knees and shoulders.
- Hold that position for three deep breaths.
- Return to the original position and repeat the exercise.
Planks are yet another go-to exercise if you want to build muscular strength. They help strengthen your spine, abdominal muscles, and trapezius muscles.
How to do a plank (1):
- Start by kneeling down on a mat.
- Place your elbows on the mat.
- Extend your right leg back, then your left leg.
- Keep your neck, back, and hips in the same line.
- Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.
How to do it (5):
- You first start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Then take your dumbbells and hold one at each shoulder.
- The next step is to slowly bend your knees into a position that resembles sitting in a chair. While doing this, make sure all the weight is in your heels. Do not let your knees move in front of your toes, and don’t let them roll in or out. Go as low as you can possibly go keeping your head and chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed.
- By pressing through your heels, gently straighten your legs to stand up. Make sure you keep your spine in a neutral position while doing all this. Do not round your back.
- Aim to do sets of 12 to 15 reps.
An effective exercise for building muscular strength all over the body. Burpees work both your upper body and lower body simultaneously.
How to do burpees:
- Begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor. Let’s call this the “frog” position for clarity.
- Jump and push both your legs back and get into a plank or push-up position.
- Hop and get back to the “frog” position.
- Jump vertically and extend your hands above your head.
- Land softly on the floor.
- Get into the frog position again, then go back to the plank position.
This is a great exercise for building the overall strength and stability of your lower body. It also helps reduce any muscle imbalances as well as improve your core. It mainly works the hips, hamstrings, and quads.
How to do it:
- You begin by standing straight with the dumbbells in each hand. Your palms should be facing your body. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
- Then take a step forward with one leg while bending the stationary foot until the knee touches the ground. While doing all this, you should make sure your back is straight.
- Hold that position for a few seconds and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
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What Are The Benefits Of Muscular Strength Exercises?
Muscular strength exercises are important as they help with:
Building muscles and strength (2). Muscular strength exercises belong to resistance training exercises whose main aim is to build muscles and strength. Being stronger translates to being able to carry out everyday activities like carrying groceries from the car to the house, easier.
Weight loss. Muscular strength exercises help with weight loss by building muscles (2). Muscles have a higher resting metabolism compared to fat mass and this helps in burning calories even at rest thus leading to weight loss.
Helps your body to stay functional and healthy even when you get old. As you get older, you start experiencing things like lack of balance among others (2). Muscular strength exercises help improve your balance, build your bone density, reduce the risk of falls and being dependent on people for things like movement.
Those are some of the benefits of muscular strength exercises.
The Bottom Line
As you have seen, muscular strength exercises come with a number of benefits like helping you to build strength, helping in weight loss, and helping you to stay functional for longer. If you are new to muscular strength exercises or exercising as a whole, it is important to ease yourself into the exercises. Doing too much too quickly might increase your chances of getting injured. To prevent injuries, you also need to maintain the right form while performing the different muscular strength exercises highlighted in this read.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 Forms of Resistance Training That Strengthen Your Muscles (2009, health.usnews.com)
- How to Get Stronger With 7 Simple Exercises (2020, self.com)
- The 9-Minute Strength Workout (n.d., nytimes.com)
- Understanding Muscular Strength (2020, verywellfit.com)
- Weightlifting Pictures (n.d., exercise.lovetoknow.com)