As the years pass, bodyweight exercises are becoming more and more popular. Many people turns to home workouts, especially during the lockdown where all the gyms are closed for an undetermined time. Also, not everybody has money to spend on a subscription or love working out in a crowded gym. Not everybody loves working out around some people who stink from kilometers away (just kidding), but gyms don't always give a pleasant experience.
This way, being able to train in the comfort of your home is much more convenient. There's no need to buy any equipment or whatsoever to start with. We will lay down the best bodyweight exercises list, simple, yet effective, that any beginners can include in their workout routine.
The activities that you will be doing are pushing, pulling, and any other kind of action that uses your own weight as resistance. Beginners can find these activities beneficial as their weight is an adequate stimulus to help build their Muscles.
What's The Best Bodyweight Exercises List To Build Muscle?
When it comes to home workouts, there are specific exercises that are best used for building muscles. We've compiled a list of bodyweight exercises capable of a full-body workout. If you're looking for an effective beginner bodyweight workout program, look no further as we will guide you on how to gain muscle at home.
This activity is a great beginner exercise as it is a simple and effective way of developing your upper body strength. Pushups engage the triceps, chest, and shoulders. This exercise can even strengthen your back and core. You can do this activity anywhere you want and don't require any equipment to be effective. The movements need large muscle groups to hold and lift your body weight.
How To Do Push-ups?
Starting with your chest and stomach on the floor, lift your body in a pushup position. Your weight should be supported on your hands and toes beneath your shoulders with your back straight. Place your arms and hands directly under the shoulders. The feet should be hip-shoulder width apart. When you are in this position, bend your arms, lowering you into the ground. As soon as you approach the floor, extend your arms, lifting you upwards. Always keep your core engaged and back straight.
Every beginner bodyweight workout program wouldn't be complete without pull-ups. This fantastic exercise develops the upper body. Doing this every day can make physique-changing results. Pull-ups is a compound exercise just like push-ups, it uses different muscles all at once. Almost all of the upper body muscles are involved in this bodyweight exercise, including the deltoids, biceps, forearms, lats, and traps.
Depending on the position of the grip, you might find that some muscles are worked differently. For example, wide-grip pull-ups engage more the lower lats while close-grip pull-ups engage more the inner lats and lower traps.
How To Do Pull-Ups?
Find a straight bar you can hang on. Hang from the bar with an overhand grip. The overhand grip is when your hands are holding a bar faced toward your body. Start with the exercise by pulling your body weight up from this bar. It would be best if you aimed to get the chest closer to the bar and then pull the elbows down and back. Your hands should be wide apart so that you are comfortable.
Squats targets your core muscles and lower body. It mainly works your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. Bending your knees into 90-degree angles helps these muscle groups to activate effectively. Every time you squat, it engages your core as it stabilizes your body for every movement you make. The body movement in squats strengthens the bones, tendons, and ligaments around the leg muscles.
How To Do Squats?
To do squats, stand-up straight with your feet hip or shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to squat down. Always keep your back upright and straight. Thighs should be parallel to the ground. Stack your knees over the ankles and behind your toes. Pause and keep your back straight. Push down through your heels and straighten your legs. Return to your upright standing position. Prevent leaning in too much forward and letting your knees sink inward as these are wrong postures that many beginners incorrectly do.
4. Pike Push-Up
This movement is known to build some significant strength. It is an exercise that concentrates on building the muscles on your upper body, especially in the shoulders. It is a variation of the traditional push-up, but your hand is in an inverted V shape that focuses more on the shoulders than on the chest. Experts suggest perfecting your standard push-ups before doing this great exercise.
It can be a transition for your push-ups to make it more unique and challenging. This exercise strengthens you for a handstand. Take your workout routine further by being proficient in the pike push-up and do impressive handstand push-ups. Besides building shoulders, it also develops your core. When you shift your weight forward into the pike position, your core must keep you from falling forward.
How To Do Pike Push-Ups?
Be aware that Pike Push-ups are not for beginners. You must first be comfortable in doing the traditional push-ups. Emphasize your form when doing this exercise. So first, you must start in a plank position on the floor. Place your hands firmly placed on the floor, under your shoulders. Also, put your toes firmly on the ground too. Keep your core tight and the back flat, engaging your hamstrings and glutes. The body should be in a neutral, straight line.
Now, Lift your hips to form an inverted V shape. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor. Slowly push back up, keeping your arms straight returning to an inverted V position. Throughout the whole movement, maintain control and stability.
5. Back Bridge Exercise
The back bridge exercise strengthens your glutes and hamstrings. When correctly done, it also maintains your core stability. It develops your core by targeting your abdominals, back, and hip muscles. You can add this exercise to your beginner workout routine to create a full-body workout. The main target of the back bridge is the erector spinae muscle. It is a muscle that runs along from your neck to your tailbone. For people who have back problems, this exercise is excellent for you as it improves posture and eases back pains.
How To Do The Back Bridge Exercise?
On a flat floor, lie on your back with your hands on your sides. The knees should be bent and feet flat on the floor under your knees. Next, tighten your glutes and abdominal muscles by pushing your lower back into the ground before pushing up. Raise your hips to create a neutral straight line from your shoulders to knees, holding it for at least ten seconds. Pull your hips back, returning in a flat lying position. Make the exercise more challenging by alternating between lifting toes and heels throughout the movement.
Dips target the triceps and upper body muscles. Many beginners focus on developing their biceps due to its front-arm presence. Triceps is a bigger muscle group than your biceps. If you're chasing the size of your upper arms, working on the triceps is a must. The triceps muscle has three heads and developing them is better to gain size. Fortunately, you can do that with a single exercise, and that is your dips.
How To Do Dips?
Even if you do not have gym equipment at home, you can still do this exercise. You will need two sturdy objects of the same height that are close enough. Be sure that it supports your weight and won't collapse. We recommend you to have equipment that's specifically for doing dips as it is more convenient for you to do. Firstly, grab the parallel bars on your sides and hoist yourself up. Look straight and contract your abdominal muscles. Then, keep your elbows at the sides and lower yourself until the triceps are parallel to the floor. Once parallel, pull yourself back up before you can lock your elbows.
How To Make Bodyweight Exercises harder?
Since bodyweight exercises are simple, easy to do, our muscles can adapt quite fast and may need more challenges to grow bigger. You can add more variation and difficulty from the mentioned list of exercises to make them more challenging. Here are some simple ideas that you can add to your bodyweight exercises.
1. Increasing Your Range Of Motion
Make your exercise more challenging by increasing how far your body travels to complete the exercise. For example, in your push-ups, you could increase your chest-to-floor range by putting your hands on blocks.
2. Shortening Rests
Shorten rest intervals so it can make any movement more challenging. It is a simple variation that will surely increase the difficulty of your workout routine.
3. Slowing Down Your Tempo
Slowing down your exercise is a great and simple way to make it harder. A slow tempo keeps the muscle under tension, it recruits more muscle fibers which leads to more muscle growth.
4. Add Dumbbells And Weights
Adding more weights to your exercise increases the workout difficulty and develops the muscles even further. You can add weighted vests in your squats, push-ups, and pull-ups to increase muscle development and training intensity.
5. Making Exercises Unilateral
Make bodyweight more varied by shifting the bulk of the work onto a side of your body. You can use this variation in bilateral exercises like squats. It challenges your coordination and balance, building your unilateral strength.
Can Bodyweight Exercises Build Muscle Mass?
A common assumption about bodyweight exercises is that they are not as effective in building muscle as they are easy to do, which is not true.
Bodyweight exercises can develop muscle just as fast if you do challenging variations progressively. Our body adapts to the stimulus and it is no different when we are exercising. When you do a challenging exercise, your body adapts no matter what and will become easier for the next practices. Finding a way to make it more difficult for the next activity is a great way to gain muscle. Gradually doing challenging exercises is called "Progressive Overload." This way of exercising makes your body adapt naturally and safely.
Are Bodyweight Exercises More Effective Than Weights?
There are some benefits that bodyweight exercise has to offer than lifting weights. These exercises can be challenging without using any equipment. It may not be more effective in terms of muscle gains, but it gives better body control wherein a lot of these exercises involve spatial awareness and body coordination.
Why Bodyweight Exercises Could Be Better For Beginners?
These home workouts require body coordination, mobility, and need a proper form to be effective, it will ensure they get prepared for real weights. Unlike lifting heavy weights, these exercises are much safer, easier to do, and don't put too much stress on your joints. Doing high repetitions is way less risky to get injured, and that, at any level, for beginners, intermediates, or even experts. It provides a natural range of motion, can improve your fitness and athleticism.
Overall, body resistance workouts are fantastic, we recommend you to try it out. There's no need to require a gym membership or equipment at all to stay strong and healthy. It is a simple way for you to get into fitness without spending too much, and ending up buying equipment as you get stronger, little by little.