Most people think that bodyweight exercises are pointless, and you should only lift weights. Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re completely wrong. There are some great exercises out there that will help you build muscle and increase strength. To help prove my point, here are four of the best:
If you want a basic bodyweight exercise, then the push up is for you. It’s not hard to do one, and there are variations to make them easier or harder to do. This exercise will target your chest and triceps, depending on how you do it. The closer you have your hands together on the floor, the more triceps activation you get. A typical push up will be done with hands at shoulder width, so you get a great bit of chest activation going on. You can also do clapping push-ups to make the exercise even harder, and grow bigger muscles. Plus, you need no equipment for this movement, all you require is enough space to lie down!
The pull up is the greatest test of upper body strength there is. By doing this exercise, you’ll be working a whole host of muscles against the weight of your body. Primarily, pull ups will target the lat muscles in your back. Also, you get considerable activation in your trapezius muscles, most notably the lower traps. As a bonus, pull-ups will also work your forearms and biceps; it’s an all round muscle building masterpiece. Most people think you can only do pull-ups in the gym, but this isn’t the case. You can do them on a door frame or the back of some stairs in your home. There are also companies like PullUpMate that do portable pull up stations for indoor use. I strongly recommend you find a way to do this exercise at home, as it should be done every day to maximize muscle growth.
As far as triceps bodyweight exercises go, dips are the best for building muscle mass. The reason for this is that you’re in a suspended position when doing them. So, your triceps are working hard to keep your body stable, while also moving it up and down. And, you can also alter the angle of your body to target your chest more. This means you’re essentially doing a suspended pushup, and can get serious chest growth. You can create your own dipping station at home by using two chairs or the corner of a kitchen counter. So, they’re great to add to any home workout.
Handstand Push Ups
The final exercise will target your shoulders and make them burn like crazy. Simply do a handstand against a wall, and lower your head to the ground then push up using your shoulders. If you can’t do this, then pike push ups are a good alternative. Get into the downward dog yoga pose and lower your head to the floor then push back up.
All of these exercises can be done without any weights at all. And, each can be modified depending on your experience and strength levels. Add them to your workout routine today!