10 of The Best Strength Training Exercises for Men

Strength training is not only for building big muscles; for many of us, it's more about staying fit and healthy especially as we get older. Besides gaining extra power, there are many other important benefits you receive from lifting weights.

Strength training exercises will improve your range of motion, make your bones stronger, and make your everyday functions easier.

And as an added bonus, these exercises will increase your metabolic rate so that your muscles will continue to burn fat and calories for many hours after your workout has been completed.

Strength Training Exercises for Men

Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a smooth full body exercise that activates almost every muscle in your body. It is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises that effectively burns fat, builds lean slimming muscle, and improves your cardio fitness.

one arm kettlebell swing position #1Kyle Demonstrating the Kettlebell Swing
one arm kettlebell swing position #2


An all-time classic upper body exercise, the push-up is looked at by many as the perfect exercise that can be done almost anywhere at anytime.

push-ups on push-up bars position #1
push-ups on push-up bars position #2

Bent Over Rows

The Bent Over Row is a simple exercise that targets the upper back and shoulders. Typically when you add lean muscle to your upper body you create a "V" effect from your waist up to your shoulders which makes you look slimmer...even if you haven't lost a pound.

bent over rows position #1
bent over rows position #2

Dumbbell Squats

The dumbbell squat's main focus is your quad muscles, but the exercise does a great job of activating muscles through your entire body. Because this exercise uses so many large muscle groups, it is extremely effective for burning calories.

dumbbell squats position #1
dumbbell squats position #2

Russian Twist

The Russian twist is a far-reaching oblique exercise that can really help the athlete that uses explosiveness in their upper torso for sports like golf, baseball hockey etc.

russian twist exerciseKyle Demonstrating the Russian Twist

Tricep Extension

This is a great exercise for working the backs of your arms. The tricep muscle is responsible for the extension of the elbow joint (straightening the arm). Because the tricep is the largest muscle in your arms and people always see them. It is important to include an isolated exercise like the tricep extension to maintain muscular tone in your upper arms.

Twisting Lunge

Like the squats, lunges are a real good exercise for strengthening and sculpting your leg muscles. This exercise also does a great job of opening your hip joints and muscles for added flexibility.

Bicep Curls

Bicep curls do a good job of providing muscle balance. Many of us have one arm stronger than the other. Doing the curls with each arm individually keeps them maintaining the same strength.

Straight Leg Deadlift

One of my favorite exercises, the deadlift does a great job of stretching out and strengthening the muscles in the back of the body.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is an effective compound exercise that adds size and strength to your upper body.

overhead press position #1
overhead press position #2

Strength Training Exercises For The Beginner

Getting started with strength training can be an eye opening experience. Strength training can be invaluable if you want to lose weight, especially for burning fat and replacing it with lean and slimmer muscle. 

Making your body stronger doesn't hurt either. No matter what your fitness goals are, strength training should be an active part of it. Make sure you take the time to choose strength training exercises that you enjoy, there are plenty of exercise options out there if you're not having fun, it isn't worth it.

If you haven't done any strength training exercises before, it is a good idea to start with a fitness professional for your first few sessions. They will help you with some important weight lifting fundamentals like proper breathing and using correct posture while you lift. They can also introduce you to popular and widely used exercises to start with.

Tips on Strength Training Exercises

  • Rest your muscles. Keep in mind that your rest days are just as important as your workout days. Never work the same muscle in back to back days. Every time you strength train you cause a small tear in your muscle tissue. They are not harmful and your muscle gets stronger after each repair, but the muscles need 48 hours to recover and get ready for the next workout session.

  • Use good form. Using proper form is essential and more important than how much weight you can lift. To gain the most from an exercise and not get hurt, you need to do them smoothly and let the muscle you are targeting do all the work.

  • Keep it challenging. When an exercise starts getting too easy, keep it challenging by adding more weight or some new exercises. This will help to stop you from hitting a fitness plateau that can stop your weight loss schedule or your fitness progress.
  • Don't forget your lower body. Your legs have some of the largest muscles in your body yet we tend to ignore them when we workout. Working your legs will burn more calories than working your upper body. Exercising your lower body will also tighten and tone your legs and butt by adding lean muscle mass.

  • Confuse your muscles. It is important to change the exercises and the order you do them in. Changing your routine will not allow your body to become accustomed to it, which will keep it more difficult and challenging. Even doing something simple like adding a little weight or starting out with a different exercise every workout will help. You could also rotate different exercises for the same muscle group every six weeks or so to keep it challenging.

  • Use compound exercises. Compound exercises train more than one muscle group for each exercise. You can burn more calories and finish your workout faster by working more muscles together.

More on Compound Exercises

Strength Training  Benefits

  • Muscle Building. You can build a surprising amount of muscle by strength training just a few hours a week. You can use heavier weights with less reps to build bulkier muscle mass. Or you can do the opposite for slimming lean muscle.
  • Weight maintenance.  Your metabolism will "spike" higher for about 48 hours after completing a workout as your body works to repair itself. Muscles need time to recover and repair damaged tissue. This will result in more calories and fat being burned.

  • Strengthen your bones. The body builds most of your bones while you are young. Strength training can promote increased bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 

  • Maintain a healthy heart. A recent study done at the University of Michigan showed that individuals who did strength training exercises three times a week for two months could lower their diastolic blood pressure. 

  • Improve your stamina. Your coordination and flexibility will improve with the additional body strength. Your balance will also be better with the added strength.

  • Influence chronic disease. Strength training can also help to avoid or manage some lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity.

Proper Gym Etiquette

  • Never leave sweat on a machine. Have some type of towel available to wipe the sweat away.

  • Don't "hog" a machine. Try and always stand up between exercise sets and let someone else work the machine with you. Or just do fast sets which are better for you anyways.

  • Try and not use your cell phone. 
fitness club
  • Always return the weights you use to the rack they were on.

  • Don't exercise on a cardio machine for more than 30 minutes if there are others waiting.

  • Don't grunt, and don't drop the weights, especially when you are on a machine. Nothing is more irritating than someone grunting and groaning and then letting go of the weights on the machine so they loudly slam into each other.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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