4 Exercises to Build Muscle Fast

All you need is a barbell and a couple of weight plates to get a total full-body workout. So find a small space in a gym or at home and try "hybrid training," which means blending two or more exercises into one smooth movement. Perform this routine three times a week, resting at least a day between sessions. Do two sets of six to eight repetitions of each exercise and rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

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1. HANG CLEAN/FRONT SQUAT

A. Lower yourself into a squat and hold a bar at arm's length in front of your shins with a shoulder-width, overhand grip (palms facing behind you).

 

 

B. Shrug your shoulders as you pull the bar straight up and rise onto your toes. As the bar approaches chest height, bend your knees and swing your elbows forward to "catch" the bar in the crooks of your fingers.

 

C. Keeping your elbows high, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push back up and lower the bar.

 
 
Tip: This hybrid exercise is designed to improve explosive strength. Click here to find an exercise to reach any goal from winning an arm-wrestling contest to hitting a 300-yard drive to powering up your sex drive.

2. BENT-OVER ROW/BACK EXTENSION

A. Stand holding a barbell with an overhand grip, knees slightly bent. Bend forward at the waist until your torso is almost parallel to the floor.

 

 

B. Keeping your lower back naturally arched and your elbows flared out, pull the bar up to your chest.

 

C. Once it's there, drive your heels into the floor and stand up without allowing the bar or your elbows to sag. Then lower the bar.

 
 

Tip: If you're back is too sore to perform this move, try the best abs workout you've never done. Since most back pain is related to weak muscles in your trunk, this workout — which strengthens your midsection — will cure what ails you.

3. SPLIT SQUAT/SHOULDER PRESS

A. Stand with one foot approximately 3 feet in front of the other and hold a barbell just beneath your chin.

 

B. Bend both knees 90 degrees to drop your hips straight down (your back knee should be just off the floor) as you simultaneously press the bar overhead till your arms are fully extended. Stand up and lower the bar.

 
 

Tip: If you skip squats because you think they'll kill your knees, think again. This is one of the 7 muscle myths that are hurting your gains.

4. BARBELL PUSHUP/BARBELL ROLLOUT

A. Load 10-pound plates on a bar and get into pushup position with your hands on the bar, directly beneath your shoulders.

 

B. Do a pushup,

 
 

C. then lower your knees to the floor and

 

D. roll the bar out as far as you can while keeping your arms straight and your back flat. Roll the bar back toward you, then straighten your legs and return to pushup position.

 
 

Tip: Don't undo the muscle you made in the gym at the dinner table. See the list of 125 healthiest supermarket foods in America, and rev up your appetite for these delicious staples of a healthy diet.

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