6 best exercises for beginners to gain weight and muscle mass

Certain exercises can help you gain weight and muscle mass. (Photo via Pexels/Dan Ara)
Certain exercises can help you gain weight and muscle mass. (Photo via Pexels/Dan Ara)

While everyone out there is looking for ways to reduce those extra kilos, are you someone who wants to gain weight and muscle mass? If yes, then you don’t need to look further.

With the right exercises and proper diet, gaining weight is not that difficult. However, it is still important to be consistent and follow a holistic plan. To gain weight safely, you need to choose the right type of exercise and diet per your body type so that the body fat gets distributed proportionately and muscle mass gets developed in the right places.

To help you get started, here’s a simple workout routine to build muscle mass and gain weight safely. With each exercise discussed below, go slow and be mindful of your form. As a beginner, it is vital to perform exercises correctly to target the right muscles and avoid pain or discomfort.

Bench dips, squats and 4 other exercises to gain weight and build muscle mass

1. Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the best and most effective exercises to gain weight on your shoulders and arms.

To do this exercise correctly:

  1. Start by lying face down on the floor and positioning your arms in front of you with your palms flat on the ground.
  2. Make sure your hands are at a shoulder-width distance.
  3. Push your body up, so your arms get fully extended while keeping your legs and back straight.
  4. Lower your body down until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  5. Repeat the exercise a few more times.

2. Lunges

Lunges are a very productive exercise for toning and bulking the lower body muscles, including your butts and legs. It is a great bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere with or without weights.

To do this exercise:

  1. Stand up tall with your abs engaged.
  2. Move one leg ahead and lean forward until your knees reach a 90-degree angle.
  3. Push back on your heel and lift yourself to the initial position.
  4. Repeat on that same leg a few times, and then repeat with your other leg.

3. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are also an excellent and simple exercise to gain weight, particularly in your arm and shoulder muscles. You’ll need a pull-up bar or a sturdy cylindrical object to do this exercise.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start the exercise by gripping the pull-up bar tightly with both hands.
  2. Make sure your palms are facing away from your body, and your arms are at a shoulder-width distance.
  3. Once you are ready, pull yourself up so your arms are straight and your feet aren’t touching the floor.
  4. Continue to pull yourself until your chin gets above the pull-up bar.
  5. Repeat as many times as you are comfortable.

4. Bench dips

Bench dips are a great exercise that helps bulk up the triceps muscles. You'll need a sturdy bench or any other elevated platform to perform this exercise.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start by placing a sturdy wide bench behind your back.
  2. Hold the edge with your palms facing down and your fingers facing the floor.
  3. Position your legs in the front, perpendicular to your torso, and bend at your waist.
  4. Slowly lower your hips by bending your elbows and pushing yourself down until your forearms get perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Lift your torso and straighten your arms back to the start, and repeat.
  6. Complete at least five reps.

5. Squats

Squats help develop muscle in your legs and hips and majorly target the quadriceps.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand upright with your feet at a hip distance.
  2. Place your hands on your hips or simply position them straight in front of your chest.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and lower your body down using only your legs.
  4. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs get parallel to the floor, and make sure to keep your upper body as stable as possible.
  5. Raise yourself back to the starting position and repeat as many times as you're comfortable.

6. Bench press

The bench press is another very effective exercise to gain weight and muscle mass, particularly in your back, triceps, delts, and traps. However, when doing this exercise, you must be very careful with the weight bar to prevent shoulder injury.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start the exercise by lying on your back on a bench and facing the barbell.
  2. Grab the bar carefully with both hands and extend your arms to your sides to take the bar out of the rack.
  3. Lower your arms to bring the bar down to your chest and slowly raise it towards the rack.
  4. Repeat this movement at least 10 times or more, depending on your fitness level.

Bottom line

Along with the exercises mentioned above, you must also be mindful of your diet to gain weight. It will help if you focus more on healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins that help develop muscle mass. This includes eggs and lean proteins, such as fish and chicken, full-fat dairy, such as greek yogurt, whole milk, whole-grain bread, almonds, etc.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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