9 Muscle-Building Moves For Men

shirtless african american man(BlackDoctor.org) — There’s no magic pill for getting ripped. But if you’re willing to sweat, there are ways to pump up your physique in less time than you might think. With the right moves, you can work toward powerful pecs and bulging biceps in just two workouts a week.

Buff vs. Mr. Universe

The right weight and number of reps for you all depend on your goals, and of course your physical fitness. Beginners can start with 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise — and the last few reps should be difficult. Those at an intermediate level can aim for 4 sets of 8-12 reps. If you’re looking for huge, prize-worthy muscles, the best bet is to consult a fitness professional.

To build rock-hard muscles in less time, try super sets. This means doing sets of two different exercises with little or no rest in between. Beginners should do supersets that work opposing muscle groups – for example, a set of biceps curls and a set of triceps pushdowns.

1. Bigger Arms: Hammer Curl
For biceps that beg to be displayed in short sleeves, start with a hammer curl. Hold dumbbells so they face your outer thighs. Exhale and bend the elbows, raising the dumbbells until their tips nearly reach your shoulders. Inhale and lower slowly. To see results, men should hit each muscle group with 3-4 different exercises, twice a week.

2. Strong Shoulders: Lateral Raise

This classic move targets the deltoids to create a Popeye-worthy bulge in this rounded area where the upper arm meets the shoulder. Start with the weights by your sides. Contract the abdominals to stabilize your spine. Then sweep both arms up to shoulder level to form a “T.” Keep the arms relaxed and elbows unlocked. Rotate elbows slightly outward to isolate the shoulder muscles. Slowly lower back to the starting position.

3. Strong Shoulders: Front Raise
If hulking shoulders are a goal, muscle this exercise into your workout. Do it standing or seated on a bench or stability ball, with weights at your sides. Raise one straight arm to the front, up to shoulder level, while turning your palm towards the floor. Slowly lower back down. Keep an erect torso and neutral wrist position. Using one arm at a time makes it easier to keep the back straight.

4. Tapered Torso: Wide-Grip Pulldown
Wide-grip pulldowns develop the latissimus dorsi muscle or “lats.” This back exercise creates the illusion of a narrower waist for that tapered look, says Pire. Sit on the pulldown machine and grasp the bar wider than shoulder width. Lean back slightly, contract your abs, and bring the bar down to your upper chest. Avoid using momentum. Pause and slowly return the bar to starting position.

5. Abs: Kettlebell Twist
Men seeking the fabled “six-pack abs” first need to shed excess body fat, which can hide even the most toned mid-section. When you’ve reached a lean weight, the Kettlebell twist can help your abdominal muscles really pop. Sit on the floor, knees bent, heels down. Lean back, back straight, and engage the abs. Place the kettlebell on the floor, switching from one side to the other. Want faster results? Hold your feet off the floor.

6. Lower Body: Leg Press
Every gym’s got a guy with “light bulb” syndrome – a muscleman who neglected his lower body. If you don’t want to be that guy, spend some time on the leg press machine. Place your feet on the resistance plate with knees bent at 90 degrees. (Don’t bend your knees any further to avoid injury). Grasp the handles and slowly push the plate out until your knees are straight but not locked. Pause and slowly return to starting position. The leg press works most of the major leg muscles.

7. Lower Body: Squat
Squats target both the inner and outer thighs. Use a barbell heavy enough to challenge the muscles without compromising your form. Position the bar behind your head and your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your spine straight, squat down until your thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. As you come back up, raise the hips and chest together. For safety, keep your knees behind your toes, shoulders behind your knees.

8. Lower Body: Calf Raise

Stand on one foot with the arch of the foot and heel hanging off of the edge of a step or platform. Hold on to something if you need to for balance. If you are able to balance without holding on, you will work your core muscles and promote joint stabilization in the standing leg. Drop the heel all of the way down below the step and then raise all the way up on the toes. Hold dumbbells to increase resistance.

9. Lower Body: Dead Lift
Yes, the dead lift shows off your manly upper body musculature — but it’s one of the best workouts for your hamstrings, too. Start in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart, holding the bar in front of you. Lower the bar to just below your knees, or further if you’re more flexible and can keep a flat back and stable spine. Slowly return to the starting position. Keep the bar close to your body to protect your lower back.