Basic Bodybuilding Movements

Whether you’re an experienced bodybuilder or new to the gym, it’s important to make sure you have a balanced routine that covers all the major muscle groups.

Decathlon

Basic Bodybuilding Movements

Basic Bodybuilding Movements

Decathlon

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The easiest way to understand this is to think of each activity as one of the core bodybuilding movements – pushing and pulling in the horizontal or vertical position, and quad- and hip-dominant exercises. In order to build muscle throughout your upper and lower body, you just need to do a mixture of these pushing and pulling exercises on a regular basis.
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Here are the basic bodybuilding movements to incorporate into your routine.
1) Horizontal pull bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Any exercise that involves pulling weight in a horizontal position towards your torso. These movements work the muscles in your mid and upper back.

Examples:

Seated rows, one of the best exercises for building your upper back.
2) Vertical pull bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Any compound exercise that involves pulling weight vertically towards the front of your torso, or performing a bodyweight exercise with a vertical pulling motion. These movements predominantly work your upper back muscles, and your biceps and triceps to a lesser degree.

Examples:

The following exercises are excellent mass builders for the back: Lat pulldowns, Pull ups, Barbell rows, Bench rows.
3) Horizontal push bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Any compound exercise that involves pushing weight horizontally above your torso.

Examples:

The barbell/dumbbell bench press – arguably the best exercise for overall chest mass.
4) Vertical push bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Any movement that involves pushing weight vertically above your shoulders.

Example:

The barbell/dumbbell shoulder press - a great mass builder for your shoulders.
5) Quad-dominant bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Any movement that focuses on your quads in your upper legs.

Example:

Squats - an excellent mass builder for your upper legs and glutes.
6) Hip-dominant bodybuilding movements

What are they?

Lower-body exercises that involve your glutes and hamstrings.

Examples:
How to incorporate these bodybuilding movements into your routine

Many amateur and professional bodybuilders follow a simple push and pull split that covers all the upper and lower body while ensuring adequate recovery for each muscle group.
For example, you could have a weekly routine that looks like this:

Day 1 –Vertical push exercises

Day 2 – Quad-dominant and hip-dominant exercises

Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – Horizontal push exercises

Day 5 – Rest

Day 6 – Vertical and horizontal pull exercises

Day 7 – Rest

This routine ensures there are at least three days of recovery between each pulling and pushing exercise. Some people may find they need slightly less or more time to recover, which will depend on their training level and intensity. Because the hips and quads are such large muscle groups, there’s no need to work them more than once a week.

If you’re on a cutting diet and you find that each muscle group is still sore several days after these basic bodybuilding movements, consider increasing your protein intake to aid recovery.
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