5 Workouts That Build Muscle

You’ve decided it’s time to get back to the gym and start building some strength. Maybe you want to lose weight, tone your muscles or just feel stronger in your everyday life. No matter your reason, choosing workouts that help you build muscles will give you the best chance of meeting your goals. 

If you’re a beginner, you might not know which workouts focus on building muscle and which are more about strength or cardio. In this post, we’ll give you a few recommendations of basic workouts and exercises you can do at home or in the gym that will help you start moving toward your health and fitness goals.


First and foremost, it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself. Some people might get discouraged after a week of exercise if they don’t see any results. However, even professional athletes rarely see gains in this short amount of time.

So the question is: “How long does it take to build muscle?” Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends. Beginners typically don’t see meaningful results, such as changes in the mirror or on the scale, before about eight weeks of consistent exercise.

Athletes or people who were athletic earlier in life, however, often see results in as little as half that time. That’s because their muscles have been exposed to these workouts before (even if it was years ago) and so they bounce back more easily.

Now that you know a reasonable timeline within which to see results, let’s take a look at some helpful exercises.

Push Ups

Push-ups are an often underestimated workout. They’re great for building muscle and strength in your shoulders, pectorals, triceps, biceps, back and core. Plus, you can do them anytime and anywhere. Men should be sure to hold an upright plank position when doing push ups. Women can rest their knees on the ground if needed.


Squats are another powerhouse workout that engages your hips, quads, hamstrings and core. You can do this at home without added weight to help build strength and flexibility in your legs. However, if you’re doing squats without added weight, you might not see much muscle gain. To build muscle with squats, it’s advisable to add weight with a bar at the gym or a kettlebell at home.


When building muscle, you can’t forget about your core. Your abdominal muscles support your entire body, including your back, so without them, you won’t be able to reach your peak strength. Planks are an easy isometric workout that engages your core and helps you build muscles. You can hold a plank for a set amount of time or make it a dynamic workout by doing shoulder taps or mountain climbers.


Rowing is an excellent workout if you want to build muscle in your back and shoulders. It engages muscles that are hard to get with other exercises for a truly targeted workout. There are many ways to do a row, including on a rowing machine, with a pulley system at the gym or with a resistance band at home. As with squats, the more weight or resistance you can add, the more muscle you’ll build.

Calf Raises

You want to make sure you have balance as you build muscle, so don’t forget your calves. Many leg workouts focus on the upper leg, but calf raises are an easy way to strengthen your calves, ankles and feet. Simply hold some weight in your hands and push yourself up onto your toes then lower yourself back down. You can do this exercise holding dumbbells, a kettlebell or even with a weighted bar on your shoulders.

Exercise is a key component to healthy living and building strong muscles helps you to feel better every day. Use these five simple exercises to start your workout routine at home or in the gym and start seeing your muscle mass increase with every great workout!

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