Building muscle is a slow process that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, you can build muscle faster by performing compound exercises. A compound exercise is any movement that works multiple muscle groups at a time and engages two or more joints.


Overhead Press


The overhead press, also called standing barbell military press, is a shoulder exercise. It mainly works the anterior deltoids, the front shoulder muscles. However, many other muscles are involved. For example, the long head triceps act as dynamic stabilizers and synergists when you perform the overhead press. The triceps help you extend your elbows during the lift, especially when you utilize a narrower grip.


Your core muscles are engaged in the overhead press, but they primarily help you maintain form when you’re lifting the weight over your head. Avoid wearing a weightlifting belt if you want to build more core strength.


Additionally, the pectoralis major and trapezius muscles assist when you overhead press, although their involvement is minor.

Bench Press


One of the most common exercises people perform in the gym is the bench press. It is one of the best exercises to build muscles in the chest, shoulders and triceps. The bench press can be performed with a barbell or with dumbbells. Using dumbbells will work the stabilizing muscles more, while using a barbell will build more overall strength and muscle mass.


Although the pectoralis major is the primary muscle engaged during a barbell bench press, the front deltoids act as synergists. Your triceps help you lockout the weight. You can put more emphasis on the triceps by using a narrow grip (close grip bench press).


Always control the weight when benching. Don’t bounce the weight off the chest, as you will not work the muscles properly. Additionally, using improper form can cause injuries, like a torn pec or a rotator cuff issue.



An effective way to build a wide back is to perform pull-ups. The latissimus muscles are the primary muscles involved in wide grip pull-ups. The rhomboids, biceps, trapezius and rear deltoids act as synergists.


Use an underhand narrow grip if you want to work the bicep muscles more. An underhand grip somtimes is called a “chin up.” An overhand hand narrow grip places more emphasis on the brachioradialis (forearm muscles).

Barbell Deadlifts


Deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do because they work the posterior chain. Not only is the lower back worked, but the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, trapezius, forearms,and core muscles are too. The deadlift works the biggest muscles in the body.


If your grip gives out when holding onto the barbell, you can utilize chalk, straps or use a mixed grip. Weightlifting straps can help you get more repetitions, but you will not build forearm muscle or grip strength. Additionally, a weightlifting belt may allow you to lift heavier, but your core muscles will not be stimulated as much.


Ensure that you maintain proper form when deadlifting, particularly when lifting heavy. The deadlift places a lot of stress on the erector spinae. Improper form can lead to lower back injuries like a herniated disc. Ask a personal trainer to help you and research “how to deadlift with proper form.”



If you want to build big strong leg muscles and big glutes, do squats. One of the most common squats is the barbell squat. It works the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core muscles. A close stance will stimulate the quadriceps more, while a wide stance stimulates the glutes.


Squatting below parallel is not necessary to build lower body muscles, although you may gain more hamstring muscle mass. Note that a lot of flexibility is required to squat below parallel. Work on stretching the hips, back, hamstrings and calves.

Build Muscle Faster


Although building muscle is a slow process, compound movements allow you to build muscle mass faster because they engage multiple joints. Additionally, compound exercises allow you to lift heavier weights compared to isolation movements. Isolation exercises involve just one joint, and fewer muscle groups are involved. Progressively lifting heavier weight over time will lead to an increase in muscle mass and strength.


Best Compound Exercises to Build Muscle Fast