Which Bodybuilding Exercises Should You Do?
This question's answer depends on
- What your goals are?
- What equipment and facilities you have available
- Your age
- Weights experience
Let us suppose your main focus is to build strength and muscle mass, or perhaps muscle firmness and definition. The general consensus is that the 'super three' lifts - squat, bench press and deadlift - are the main lifts for building bulk and strength. They are technical, and perhaps even dangerous, done with free weights near the limit of your maximum, so guidance and a spotter are useful. If you want then you can start off just with dumbbells or light weights till the time you are comfortable and then move ahead.
If your focus is on acheiving a good balance of body composition and strength you should consider additional back, abdomen and shoulder exercises. Also you should definitely work on the front of the arms. This may include squat, arm curl, lat pulldown, deadlift, triceps pushdown, crunch, seated cable row, bench press, leg press and overhead press. Calf raises , cable crossover flyes, bent-over rows, pull-ups, tricep dips, incline bicep curl and Chin-ups should round it out (but not all at once!). This list is a standard one and most of the gyms have the required equipments for doing these kind of exercises.
For the more experienced bodybuilders and trainers, complete-body exercises like hang-cleans and push-pulls would be really useful. The number of exercises is endless and those at this stage will realize that it just gets better and better.
In professional bodybuilding world, muscle definition of even the smallest muscle can be termed important, hence isolation exercises play a big part. In contrast Olympic weightlifting requires more focus on strength and technique training.