With so many great exercises available to choose from, picking the ten best bodybuilding exercises is a tough (and somewhat subjective) task. If you could only pick ten exercises to do the rest of your training days, the following (in no particular order) would be the ones I would recommend to pack on more muscle for a strong, powerful, rock-solid physique.

1. Olympic Squat

This is a favorite leg developer of old-school bodybuilders. For this squat variation, the bar will be up high on your traps and you will take a narrower stance. This will force your knees over your toes and allow your torso to stay upright, leading to a more quad dominant. While this squat variation is more quad dominant, your glutes and hamstrings will still get a good workout (assuming you squat below parallel.)

2. Deadlift

Obviously this is the number one move for back development. There is nothing quite like a heavy-ass deadlif for adding slabs of meat to your back. On top of working the muscles of the back (and nearly every muscle in your body,) the hormonal response elicited by deadlifts is highly favorable to building lean muscle.

3. Bench Press

Arnold Schwarzeneggerarnolds, Doug Young, Ronnie Coleman, and Bill Kazmaier all had the bench press at the core of their chest routine. This old favorite is highly effective for muscle building because it allows you to use more weight than any other upper body exercise, resulting in massive upper-body growth.

4. Overhead Press

This is one of the best overall delt developing exercises. You’ll also get the added benefit of working your triceps. When performing this move, just make sure that you are not doing a push press, don’t bend your knees and explode up. By doing so, you will be making your legs the prime mover at the start of the lift rather than the intended delts.

5. Bent-Over Row

This can be done off the floor or off of an elevated platform. Experiment and find out what works best for you. Regardless of the style you choose, the key is to squeeze the shoulder blades together at top of the movement. This exercise works the entire musculature of the back and was a favorite of Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman.

6. Wide-Grip Pullup

Wide-grip pullups are absolutely essential to developing an impressively wide back. They are more lat intensive than their normal grip counterpart. To perform wide-grip pullups grasp the pullup bar wider than shoulder width, and make sure to come all the way down on each rep. Use muscle intention to really feel your lats doing the work. Pull yourself all the way up so that the bar is around chest level at the peak of the movement.

7. Barbell Curl

Grab a straight bar, not an EZ curl bar, with a supinated grip and use a full range of motion. Because your arms are supinated throughout the entirety of the movement, your supinator muscles are forced to work overtime, which can lead to bigger, stronger biceps

8. Skull Crusher

Triceps extension, skullcrusher, whatever you want to call it, just make sure you do this move. The triceps extension is an old school, classic triceps isolating exercise. It has been around forever and used by some of the best bodybuilders of all time. It works the triceps from the elbow to the lats. Keep your elbows close together and pointed towards the ceiling. Bring the bar down toward your forehead to maximize triceps activation. The temptation is to flare your elbows out because you can do more weight – DON’T!

9. Straight-Leg Deadlift

The focus when doing this exercise should be on activating the hamstrings. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your legs straight throughout the movement. This forces the brunt of the work to be done by the hamstrings. You are going to effectively hit the hamstrings, glutes and back with this exercise. The straight leg deadlift has helped build many ironclad physiques.

10. Standing Calf Raise

A physique is not complete without bulging calves. The standing calf raise is king when it comes to developing the muscles of the calf. Put the bar on your back (just like a back squat) and raise up on your toes. It’s as simple as that. You can also effectively do this exercise in the Smith Machine. And don’t be afraid to go heavy.