For decades, people have been searching for the perfect exercises. Lifters have always pondered whether or not their strength training routine was optimal, or if they should make some changes.

The truth is, there are a few, simple rules when it comes to exercise. This is specifically true when it comes to building strength. If you follow these rules, you’ll make significant gains, no doubt about it.

There are also some key motions that we can perform in order to rapidly increase strength

In this article, I’ll outline my three favorite exercises for maximizing total body strength. Will this routine necessarily double your strength in 2 weeks? Unlikely. 

That being said, these exercises are extremely effective for building muscle. So, over time, you’ll definitely be able to increase your size and strength using just these three movements.

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Muscular Strength: How to Increase Strength

Best muscular strength

In theory, increasing strength really isn’t that complicated. It really comes down to just a few key factors:

  • Adequate protein intake.
  • Progressive overload.
  • Using the right exercises.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.

Protein Intake

Protein performs many different functions within our body. 

But tissue building is likely its most important one. We use protein to build up a variety of different tissues, but muscle tissue especially relies on protein.

If you aren’t taking in enough protein, you won’t be able to build muscle, plain and simple. This is not to say that fats and carbs aren’t important as well. However, protein is the main nutrient that is often lacking in many nutrition plans.

Progressive Overload

In simple terms, progressive overload can be thought of as simply doing a little bit more each exercise session. 

Put another way, you have to increase some components of your exercise program, if you want to make progress.

To illustrate this point: if you perform 10 pushups, three days a week, you will make some progress. 

However, if you continue to perform 10 pushups, three days a week, for months on end, you won’t continue to make progress.

Instead, you should progress these pushups every week or every two weeks if you want to make improvements. 

Specifically, you could choose to increase your reps during each set, wear a weight vest, or perform more difficult variations of pushups. There are also many other progressions from which you can choose.

Muscular Strength Exercises

Best strength exercises

Last but not least, it’s important to remember that not all exercises are created equal. Some movements are better than others, especially with regard to muscle building.

For this reason, I have compiled the following exercises which you should consider performing as part of your muscle-building journey.

The Three Best Muscular Strenght Exercises for Building Muscle

If your goal is to increase strength and pack on muscle, you need these exercises in your repertoire.

The best part about each of these movements is that they can all be modified in a variety of ways in order to progress as time goes by.

In terms of sets and reps, this will depend largely on your specific goals. As a starting point, you can begin by aiming for 10-12 reps per set, 3-5 sets per session, and 3-4 sessions per week. 

During each set, you should strive to reach a state of fatigue, in which you have great difficulty finishing the last rep or two. 

If you’re finding that you’re flying through each set without fatigue, it’s time to progress the exercise and make it more difficult so that you experience fatigue every time.

Muscular Strength Exercise #1: Pull Ups

Pull Ups

For many people, pull-ups are extremely difficult. This movement uses the biceps and back muscles while supporting your entire body weight. 

In order to progress this movement, you can wear a weight belt, grip a thicker bar, increase your reps, or increase the difficulty in some other way.

How to Perform

  • Grasp the bar with a strong, overhand grip (pronated).
  • Hang from the bar with straight arms, but with your back muscles engaged.
  • Using primarily your lats, but also your biceps, pull your chest toward the bar.
  • Once you’ve reached the top of the range, slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
  • Complete the prescribed number of reps in this manner.

Muscular Strength Exercise #2: Bench Press

Bench Press

The bench press is incredibly versatile. You can bench with dumbbells, barbells, or even odd objects such as heavy medicine balls.

When it comes to the bench press, the possibilities for progression and variety are truly endless.

For our purposes, I’ll describe the dumbbell variation of the bench press.

How to Perform

  • Select an appropriate weight.
  • Sit on the end of the bench with the weights on your thighs.
  • Carefully, using your legs to help, position the weights near your chest and shoulders as you lay back on the bench.
  • Slowly, press the weights toward the ceiling by contracting your pecs, shoulder muscles, and triceps.
  • Lower the weights back down carefully into the starting position.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of reps and sets.

Muscular Strength Exercise #3: Barbell Squats

Barbell Squats

Much like the other moves in this list, the variations on squats are endless. They can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, bands, and many other tools. 

How to Perform

  • Carefully (use a spotter, if necessary), position yourself beneath the loaded bar. 
  • Stand up in order to unrack the bar.
  • Take a few small steps backward, giving yourself enough space to complete the squat movement.
  • Slowly, sit down and back, while also bending your knees.
  • Be sure to keep your spine perfectly straight throughout the movement.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range, stand back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the prescribed number of reps and sets.


Increasing strength is simple in theory, but hard in practice. However, if you stick to the tried-and-true principles of muscle building, you’ll gain some serious size in no time. Try this routing out and see how you do!

Works Cited

  1. Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International journal of environmental research and public health16(24), 4897.
  2. Stokes, T., Hector, A. J., Morton, R. W., McGlory, C., & Phillips, S. M. (2018). Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training. Nutrients10(2), 180.
  3. Nóbrega, Sanmy R.; Scarpelli, Maíra C.; Barcelos, Cintia; Chaves, Talisson S.; Libardi, Cleiton A.. Muscle Hypertrophy Is Affected by Volume Load Progression Models. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: January 20, 2022 – Volume – Issue – doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004225

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