10 of the Best Exercises to Build Aesthetic Muscle
Have you ever wondered what the best exercises for building aesthetic muscle are?
Well if so, then you’re in luck today because today I’m going to be sharing with you 10 of my favorite exercises for building a great physique.
Get strong in these movements while maintaining a low body fat and your body is going to be breathtaking.
It really is as simple as that.
So let’s go ahead and get started with the first exercise.
In my opinion this is the true king of all exercises for it’s wide variety of uses. Seriously, if you need to improve athletic performance or build an awesome back, then this exercise is for you.
Whereas with the squat, I feel it’s better suited towards improving athletic performance more so than building an awesome-looking body. Chin-Ups and pull-ups are also a closed chained kinetic exercise meaning that the bar is fixed and your body moves through space.
These types of movements are generally better for improving athletic movements such as jumping. Of course chin-ups and pull-ups are a vertical pulling movement and no back is complete without some type of horizontal movement to compliment it, which brings me to my next exercise…
#2 Barbell Bent Over Rows
This is a great movement for building up the thickness in the back. Once you get the form down, you can really build up to some heavy weights with this movement.
That’s why I like it a lot more compared to some of the other horizontal pulling movements out there. Now I see many people do this exercise with their back at a 45-degree angle.
However, I’ve noticed that I get a much better contraction in my back when I keep it parallel to the floor. Try that out next time you do this exercise and see if you notice a difference.
#3 Incline Dumbbell Press
This is definitely my favorite exercise for building masculine square pecs. This is because it places emphasis on the upper chest, which will help give proportion and balance to the chest.
Many guys focus on the flat barbell bench press to build up their pecs. This isn’t a bad exercise, but it should be used as a supplemental exercise to the incline press.
The flat bench press works mostly the middle and lower chest, which over time will create flat, droopy-looking pecs. Obviously we want to avoid that and we can by using the incline version.
#4 Military Press (all variations)
This is definitely the best movement for putting on mass to the shoulders. Get strong in this movement and your shoulders will be very big.
This exercise will hit all 3 heads of the deltoid (front, side, and rear), however most of the emphasis will be on the front delt. Now it really doesn’t matter what variation of this exercise you use (seated/standing, barbell/dumbbell) because all of them will be effective.
I recommend sticking to one and then switching to another when your strength plateaus.
#5 Lateral Raises
This is one of my favorite exercises of all time, and it acts as a good supplemental exercise to the military press. The lateral raise is an isolation movement for the side delt, and it helps to create that capped shoulder look.
Now since it is an isolation movement, don’t expect to build up to some really heavy weights like you would with the military press. I generally like work in the 10-12 rep range with this exercise and use a moderate amount of weight.
So if you’re in desperate need of some broader, more defined shoulders, you should definitely give this exercise a try.
#6 Bulgarian Split Squats
This is one of my favorite movements for building proportionate, sleek-looking legs. Why?
Because it’s a unilateral movement meaning that it works on one leg at a time. Unilateral leg exercises are awesome because they place more emphasis on the vastus medialis, which is that teardrop muscle right above the knee.
Developing this muscle will help to add balance to your legs, instead of making them big at the top and skinny at the bottom like other leg exercises. Not only that, but also this exercise is going to require a lot more balance than something like a back squat for example.
With that in mind, don’t expect your form to be perfect the first time you do this exercise.
#7 Incline Dumbbell Curls
Are you having trouble using good form on your standing barbell curls? If so then definitely give this one a try.
Due to the nature of the exercise, it’s a lot harder to cheat on this exercise than it is with a barbell curl for example. Additionally, it also works your biceps from a different range of motion than the standard barbell curl.
I really started to notice my biceps becoming rock hard after a couple of months of doing this exercise, and I know that it can do the same thing for your biceps.
#8 Skull Crushers
This is one of my favorite exercises for the triceps for one simple reason:
It flat out works.
Seriously if you want to add some mass to your triceps than this should be a staple. Here are 3 amazing benefits of this exercise:
1. Most of the tension is on the long head of the triceps (which is the biggest part of the tricep)
2. It provides a nice stretch at the bottom of the movement
3. It’s easier to add weight to this exercise than most other tricep movements
Enough said, let’s move on to the next exercise.
#9 AB Wheel Rollouts
There are 2 main functions of your abs:
Flexion and stabilization
The ab wheel rollout is going to focus on the stabilization function of your abs, which is great because it’ll be safer on your back. Not only that, but also this exercise will hit the transverse abdominals really hard, which are your deep ab muscles.
Why should you care about ab muscles that you can’t even see? Because the transverse abdominals will help to give you a nice trim waistline and improve your posture, and who doesn’t want a slim-looking waist?
Well I guess that sumo wrestlers don’t want their waists to be small, but that’s beside the point.
#10 Hanging Leg Raises
This is the final exercise on the list, and it’s a flexion exercise for the abs. I couldn’t just give you a stabilization exercise and leave you “hanging” without a flexion exercise.
You see, many people think that all flexion exercises are bad because they place the back in a vulnerable position, but that isn’t true. It’s mostly crunches and sit-ups that give people issues.
The hanging leg raise on the other hand, places your body in a much safer position. In addition to being a safer exercise, it will also help improve your grip strength because you’ll be hanging from a bar while you’re doing the exercise.
So if you’re in need of an ab exercise that’s more challenging than basic sit-up and crunches, give this one a shot.
Right now you might be thinking, “These exercises look great, but how do I implement them into a solid workout routine?”
Here’s the deal:
In next week’s post, I’m going to be sharing with you exactly how to do just that. So be sure to stay tuned.
As for right now though, you can simply replace a couple of these exercises for other ones in your routine (i.e. replacing standing barbell curls with incline dumbbell curls and flat bench press for incline dumbbell press).
Finally, if you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!
Also comment down below and let me know what your favorite exercise was, or what some of your favorite exercises to do in the gym are!