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5 Essential Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

Updated: Jun 20

Working out is essential for building muscle and strength. As a leading gym in Mornington, we at Bodychange Bootcamp, we believe in building a foundation of strength that empowers every individual to reach their fitness goals. 

Whether you're a seasoned gym-goer or just starting your fitness journey, mastering these five essential exercises forms the cornerstone of our strength training philosophy. By incorporating variations of each exercise into our programs, we ensure a comprehensive workout that targets all major muscle groups from multiple angles, fostering balanced strength and functional fitness.

1. Squats: The King of Lower Body Strength Squats are the quintessential lower body exercise, targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Whether you're performing traditional barbell back squats, goblet squats, or Bulgarian split squats, this compound movement not only strengthens your legs but also improves mobility and stability. By mastering proper squat form, you lay a solid foundation for overall lower body strength and power.

2. Deadlifts: Harnessing Full-Body Power Deadlifts are a powerhouse exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core. Whether you prefer conventional deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, or Romanian deadlifts, this movement is unparalleled in its ability to build raw strength and functional power. By mastering the hip hinge and maintaining a strong, neutral spine, you not only enhance your physical performance but also reduce the risk of injury in daily activities.

3. Chest Press: Strengthening the Upper Body The chest press, whether performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or on a machine, targets the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This fundamental pushing movement is essential for developing upper body strength and muscular endurance. By incorporating variations such as incline or decline presses, you can target different areas of the chest and shoulders, ensuring balanced development and functional strength for activities like pushing objects or performing daily tasks.

4. Overhead Press: Building Shoulder Stability and Strength The overhead press, also known as the shoulder press, targets the deltoids, triceps, and upper back muscles. Whether you're pressing a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells overhead, this movement enhances shoulder stability and strength, crucial for activities that require lifting objects overhead or reaching for items on high shelves. By mastering proper shoulder mechanics and maintaining core stability, you not only develop strong, resilient shoulders but also improve posture and upper body function.

5. Pull Variation: Back to Basics The pull variation encompasses a range of exercises such as rows, pull-ups, and chin-ups, targeting the muscles of the back, biceps, and forearms. By incorporating pulling movements into your routine, you balance out the pushing exercises, promoting optimal posture and musculoskeletal health. Whether you're pulling a barbell towards your chest, performing bodyweight pull-ups, or using resistance bands for rows, mastering these variations builds a strong, functional back essential for daily activities and athletic performance.

Incorporating these five essential exercises into your strength training regimen forms the backbone of success at Bodychange Bootcamp. By focusing on compound movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and incorporating variations to target muscles from different angles, we ensure a well-rounded workout that builds strength, enhances function, and fosters a resilient body capable of tackling any challenge. Whether your goal is to build muscle, improve performance, or enhance overall health, mastering these foundational exercises lays the groundwork for success on your fitness journey.

These 5 exercises should form the backbone of any muscle-building routine. Attending group fitness classes at our Mornington gym is the most effective and fun way to perform these exercises and see results. Our experienced coaches will guide you all the way to ensure proper technique so you get the most from your workout, whilst decreasing the risk of injury.


Q: How many times a week should I do these exercises?

A: We recommend performing a full-body routine 2-3 times per week, with at least one day of rest in between sessions. Listen to your body and don't overtrain.

Q: What are some tips for improving my form?

A: Focus on using a mirror or recording yourself to ensure your form is correct. Our coaches will constantly check you form during sessions. Maintaining good form prevents injury and maximises muscle engagement.

Q: How do I progress with these exercises?

A: Progressions can include adding more reps, using heavier weights or more difficult variations. Our coaches will provide modifications and challenges appropriate to your fitness level and goals. Consistency and gradual progression over time are key and we take care of this for you..

Q: What else can I do to build muscle?

A: A balanced diet with adequate protein is important for muscle growth. Challenging yourself with interval and circuit training is also beneficial. Rest is also essential as that’s when the muscle grows from the workout your just performed.

Q: How long will it take to see results?

A: Most people see changes within 4-6 weeks with regular training 2-3 times per week. However, building significant muscle and strength takes months of consistent training and diet. Be patient and focus on gradual improvements. Our coaches can help track your progress.

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