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The 3 Best Exercises for Building Lean Muscle

build lean muscles

If you’re sick and tired of looking ‘average’, at least in your own mind, then it might be time for you to get to the gym and do something about building lean muscle.

Many of us would give anything to have a lean, muscular, aesthetic physique that a Greek God himself would be envious of. As you know, in order to build muscle, burn fat, and make any kind of improvement to your physique at all, you need to be willing to put the hard work in at the gym.

How many of you out there can honestly say that the exercises and routines that you are following are yielding the results you were hoping for? If a lean muscle is your primary goal, you need to know which exercises to perform. That’s where we come in. Below you will find 3 of the best exercises for building lean muscle.

Barbell bench presses

When it comes to building lean muscle, the barbell bench press is, without question, one of the most beneficial exercises you could ever wish for. The barbell bench press is a compound exercise, which basically means that it works for multiple muscle groups at once. Primarily it targets the pectoral muscles, but on top of that, it has works the triceps, the delts, and even your core stabilizer muscles. Proven to add thickness and definition to the chest, barbell bench presses, either on a flat, incline, or decline bench, are ideal. To perform this exercise:

  • Lay on a flat bench and arch your back very slightly, while pinching your shoulder blades together.
  • Next, place your hands onto the bar with a grip just wider than shoulder width.
  • Lift and un-rack the bar carefully, and then slowly lower it down gently until it grazes your upper chest, making sure not to bounce it.
  • Hold for a second and extend your arms, lifting the bar back into the air and repeating for as many reps as required.
  • After several reps you should begin to feel a deep stretch in your chest.

Military presses

If you’re looking to build lean muscle on and around your shoulders and upper back, military presses are perfect. These are another compound exercise that targets many muscles in the upper-body. What’s more, they can be performed seated or standing. To perform standing barbell military presses:

  • Take a barbell and place it onto a squat rack roughly shoulder height.
  • Next, stand under the bar, grip it around 2 inches wider than shoulder width, keep your head straight, and lift the bar off.
  • Now, slowly press the barbell up over your head, making sure to keep your head straight, as if you were trying to make a double chin.
  • When the elbows are fully extended, hold for a second, and slowly lower the weight back down to shoulder height, and repeat for as many reps as needed.


Finally, if it is lean muscle mass you want to build, you can’t forget squats. Squats target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your calves slightly and they are the perfect lower-body compound exercise. To perform barbell squats:

  • Place a barbell onto the rack so that it is roughly 2 inches below shoulder-height.
  • Next, place your hands roughly 8 inches wider than your shoulders while gripping the bar, and slowly stand underneath it.
  • Stand so that the bar rests on your traps, making sure it is well away from your neck.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly stand up with the bar resting on your upper back.
  • Now, take a step back and slowly squat down until your knees form an at least 90 degree angle.
  • Hold for a second, keep your head up straight, and slowly stand back up.
  • Repeat the process for as many reps as required before safely re-racking the bar in the squat rack.

This video will help you to know more:


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