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Best Workouts for Men

Written by Anandini Swaminathan, BSc., MSc. (Human Nutrition) | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Aug 12, 2020
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Most men hit the gym to get better in a very personal and meaningful way – whether it is to improve fitness levels, cardiovascular health, get six pack abs or improve marathon timing. The best exercises to achieve any of these personal goals are discussed below.


Chest and back – Push ups

While push ups help build the chest, a small variation can strengthen the serratus. This is a muscle which helps move the shoulder blades. Strengthening the serratus will improve posture and prevent shoulder injuries while building the chest.

Best Workouts for Men

How to perform this exercise

  • Assume the push up position.
  • Keep the arms straight, hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • The body should be in a straight line from the ankles to the head.
  • Lower the body till it almost touches the ground.
  • Hold and push back up.
  • As the arms are straightened, push the upper back towards the ceiling (this will strengthen the serratus).
  • Hold for one count and then repeat.

Core – Bent knee sit ups/ Crunches

Core Bent Knee Sit Ups Exercise

How to perform this exercise

  • Spread a mat on the floor, lie down on your back, with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and heels slightly apart.
  • Place hands behind the head.
  • Pull shoulder blades together and elbows back without arching the lower back.
  • Engage the abdominal and core muscles.
  • Bring chin slightly downwards and slowly curl the head and shoulders off the mat.
  • Pull rib cage together and bend towards the pelvis. Continue curling till the upper back is off the mat.
  • Hold this position briefly. Inhale and gently, lower torso back to the mat.

Back – Dumbbell front squat

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand with feet hip width apart and turned slightly outward.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side.
  • Engage the core and abdominal muscles. Curl the dumbbells upwards to a position where they are just in front of the shoulder.
  • Bend hips and knees simultaneously till thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale and return to starting position. Repeat.

Lower Back - Single-leg side plank

The single leg side plank helps improve muscle endurance in the lower back. It has been found that greater lower back endurance lowers the risk of lower back injury.

How to perform this exercise

  • Lie down on the left with knees straight.
  • Use the left elbow and forearm to prop up the upper body and place the right arm on the right hip.
  • Tighten the core and then raise the hips off the ground to form a straight line from the ankles to the shoulder.
  • Raise the top leg (right leg) as high as possible.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

Biceps – Incline offset-thumb dumbbell curl

Working on the biceps gives more strength and definition to the upper arm. The incline offset-thumb dumbbell curl hits the biceps harder than a regular curl as the muscles have to work overtime to keep the palms facing forwards while curling the weight while at an incline.

Biceps Dumbbell Curl Exercise

How to perform this exercise

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells so the thumbs are touching the outside head of each dumbbell.
  • Lie on your back on a bench at an inclination of 45 degrees.
  • Let the dumbbells hang straight down from the shoulders.
  • Turn the arms so that the palms face forward.
  • Without moving the upper body bend the elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to the shoulders as possible. Hold and lower the weights.

Triceps – Triceps kickback

The biceps come to mind when the upper arm is mentioned. However, the triceps is a bigger muscle and working on it will make the overall appearance of the muscle firmer, bigger and tighter.

How to perform this exercise

  • Hold a dumbbell in the left hand.
  • Stand in with feet apart and place the right leg forward.
  • Tighten the abdominal and core muscles. Place the right hand on the right thigh.
  • Slowly lean forward keeping the head aligned with the spine.
  • Bend the left elbow and bring the left upper arm parallel and close to the torso.
  • Straighten the arm taking the dumbbell upwards behind you.
  • Return arm to starting position and repeat.

Thighs – Side lunge

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand with feet parallel and hip width apart.
  • Inhale and step to the right, keeping your weight on the left heel. Both feet still face forward.
  • Shift weight to the right foot, bending the right knee and pushing the hips back.
  • Continue to lunge until the shin bone is vertical to the floor and the right knee is in line with the second toe of the right foot.
  • Push off with the right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Thighs Side Lunge Exercise

Hips – Single leg squat

This is a challenging exercise and helps train the gluteus medius (hip muscle).

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand on one leg and extend the floating leg slightly in front while keeping the ankle flexed.
  • Hold the arms straight out in front.
  • Bend the supporting leg at the knee. Ensure the knee comes over the toe and doesn’t roll in.
  • Hold for about 2 seconds, push yourself up and repeat.

Shoulders – Dumbbell lateral raise

The shoulder muscles (deltoids) consists of three parts – medial, anterior and posterior heads. The area to target for better muscle building is the medial head. The dumbbell lateral raise helps build this region.

Shoulders Dumbbell Raise Exercise

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand with feet slightly apart, holding dumbbells at your sides, elbows relaxed.
  • Engage the core and abdominal muscles.
  • Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells upwards and away from the body up to shoulder level. Keep the torso erect and do not allow the wrists to bend.
  • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to starting position. Repeat.

Calf Muscles – Farmer’s walk

This workout not only works the calves but also improves cardiovascular fitness.


How to perform this exercise

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length at your sides.
  • Rise up on the balls of the feet.
  • Walk forward for 60 seconds.

Doing these workouts will definitely show good results. It is not enough to simply workout – good nutrition practices must be embraced. The best workouts go hand in hand with good eating habits to ensure men achieve their fitness goals.


  1. Exercise Library - (http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_core_workout.aspx?workoutid=5)

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