Building Muscle Fast:

The "Big 5" Muscle Building Exercises

If your goal is building muscle fast, and you use weights and machines in your workout routines, then you need to incorporate the "Big 5" muscle building exercises to pack on muscle mass.

You have to lift big to get big, or so the saying goes. So, what do these exercises have in common?

  • They work more muscles than any other exercises, and
  • They work the largest muscles in the body.
  • This all means that you can lift heavier weights,
  • Which in turn means they build muscle faster than other exercises.

So what are the Big 5 Muscle Building Exercises?


The squat is one of the best muscle building exercises. The squat builds muscle fast by incorporating over 240 different muscles. Perhaps more importantly, the squat is important for building muscle fast because it works you biggest muscles. Specifically, the primary muscles worked are the glutes (your butt), and your quads (the front of your legs) and your hamstrings (the back of your legs).

Lifting tips: Never bend your knees more than 90 degrees (that is, never let the top of your thighs go past parallel to the floor) and don't let you knees drift past your toes. Speaking of toes, keep them pointes out slightly. Make sure that your upper body is upright and that there is a slight arch in you back. Your eyes should face forward at all times, never up or down.


The deadlift is another one of the muscle building exercises that hits a ton of different muscles. The primary muscles involved are again your butt and legs, however, there is a significant help from your lower back in performing the lift. Two variations of the deadlift allow you to vary which muscles of the legs are the primary movers. If you do this exercise with bent knees, you work many of the same muscles you use in the squat. If you do it with straight legs, you give extra work to your hamstrings.

Lifting tips: Keep your lower back slightly arched and your torso upright, eyes pointed forward. Do not round your back. If you feel any back pain, stop immediately.

Bench Press

While the squat and the deadlift were muscle building exercises that focused primarily on the muscles of the lower body, the bench press is essential for building muscle fast in your upper body. The bench press targets you’re the biggest muscles on the front of your upper body, the pectorals (chest), along with the triceps (back of your upper arms), frontal deltoids (front shoulders) and even your serratus (the muscles along the sides of your rib cage that look like fingers – you can only see them when your body fat percentage is really low).

Lifting tips: Use a spotter for safety. Don't raise your back off the bench to raise the weight.

Bent-Over Row

The Bent-Over Row is a great exercise for building muscle fast. As a muscle building exercise, it adds thickness to the largest muscles on the back of your torso, your latissimus dorsi (the large, fan-shaped upper-back muscles), spinal erectors (the muscles that run on either side of your backbone) and rear shoulders.

Lifting tips: Keep your eyes forward and your lower back slightly arched. Your knees should remain slightly bent for the entire lift. Lift the weight up to your belly.

Behind-the-Neck Press

The last of the Big Five Exercises to Build Muscle Fast will add muscle to your deltoids (shoulders), triceps (back of the upper arms), and upper chest.

Performance tip: Focus straight ahead to keep you head, neck and back in natural alignment. Bring the weight down no further than the bottom of your neck to prevent injury to your shoulders. Use a spotter for safety.

The Big 5 for Building Muscle Fast

So those are the "Big 5" Muscle Building Exercises. Incorporate those exercises into your routine, along with the proper nutrition and adequate rest, and you be well on your way to building muscle fast!

Leave "Building Muscle Fast" and Return Home

About Ben

How do you know you can trust the content on this site? Great question! Read a little more about me...