The Best Bodyweight Workout: Build Muscle at Home or at the Gym

The Best Home Bodyweight Workout

Are you looking for a great bodyweight workout that will help you build muscle? Look no further! In this article, we will describe the best bodyweight workouts that can be done in the comfort of your home gym or at a recreational gym. These workouts are designed to prioritize the muscle-building aspects of the exercises and how to perform them most effectively. The routine includes warm-up, and bodyweight exercises for the upper body, the lower body, and the core.

How calisthenics or bodyweight workouts can build muscle?

Bodyweight workouts are a great way to build muscle. By using your own body weight, you can resistance train and build muscle without needing any extra equipment. Calisthenics is a type of bodyweight workout that uses natural movements to help improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Some examples of calisthenics exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.

One of the benefits of bodyweight workouts is that they can be done anywhere, at any time. All you need is your own body weight and some space to move around. This makes them perfect for people who travel often or have busy schedules. They are also great for beginners who are new to working out.

Another benefit of bodyweight workouts is that they are relatively low-impact. This means that they are easier on your joints and muscles than other types of workouts, such as running or lifting weights. This makes them a good choice for people who are recovering from injuries or who have chronic pain conditions.

Bodyweight exercises are still good for building muscle because they put your muscles under tension. When your muscles are under tension, they are forced to adapt and grow stronger. This is how you build muscle.

You are also able to take exercises from other sections and mix and match them to create your own circuit or superset. Just be sure to keep the intensity high and rest when needed.

Warm-Up

Before you start your workout, it’s important to warm up. This will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.

To warm up, do light cardiovascular activity for five minutes. This could be jogging, cycling, rowing, or even walking. Then, do some dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching that involves moving your body through a range of motion. This could include leg swings, arm circles, or trunk rotations.

After your warm-up, you’ll be ready to start your workout!

How To Perform Each Bodyweight Workout

Each of the following workouts can be performed as a circuit. This means that you’ll do each exercise for one minute and then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve completed all of the exercises, rest for two minutes and then repeat the circuit.

You can also perform these workouts as supersets. To do this, choose two exercises and alternate between them for 30 seconds each. For example, you could do 30 seconds of push-ups and then 30 seconds of sit-ups. Then, rest for one minute and repeat the superset.

The exercises can also be incorporated into a routine with other exercises.

The Best Bodyweight Workout

Upper Body and Core Workout

Push-Ups

The push-up is an excellent exercise for targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Sets: 3-5          Reps: 10-20          Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the push-up, start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Lower your chest to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Push back up to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Push-Up

Variation #1: Incline Push-Up

If you want to emphasize the chest more (especially the lower chest), you can do an incline push-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Place your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or a chair.

  • Lower your chest down to the surface and then push back up.

Variation #2: Decline Push-Up

If you want to target the shoulders and upper chest more, you can do a decline push-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Place your feet on an elevated surface like a bench or a chair.

  • Lower your chest down to the ground and then push back up.

Variation #3: Knee Push-Up

If you’re new to exercise or have any wrist pain, you can modify the push-up by doing a knee push-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start in a high plank position with your knees on the ground and your hands shoulder-width apart.

  • Lower your chest to the ground and then push back up.

Chin-Ups

The chin-up is an excellent exercise for targeting the biceps and back.

Sets: 3-5          Reps: 8+           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the chin-up, start by grabbing a pull-up bar with your palms facing you. Hang from the bar with your arms straight and your feet off the ground. Bend your elbows and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Lower yourself back down to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Chin-Up

Variation #1: Pull-Up

If you want to target the back more, you can do a pull-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by grabbing a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you.

  • Hang from the bar with your arms straight and your feet off the ground.

  • Bend your elbows and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.

  • Lower yourself back down to the starting position.

Variation #2: Negative Chin-Up

If you can’t do a chin-up or pull-up, you can build up to it by doing a negative chin-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by grabbing a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you.

  • Hang from the bar with your arms straight and your feet off the ground.

  • Slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended.

  • Hold for two seconds and then pull yourself back up to the starting position.

Variation #3: Bodyweight Rows

If you don’t have access to a pull-up bar, you can do bodyweight rows.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start in a high plank position with your hands on a sturdy surface like a table or countertop.

  • Bend your elbows and row your body up until your chest is level with your hands.

  • Lower yourself back down to the starting position.

Dips

Dips are another great exercise for targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Sets: 3-5          Reps: 8+           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the dip, start by holding onto the edge of a sturdy surface like a table or countertop. Extend your legs out in front of you. Bend your elbows and lower your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Dip

Variation #1: Tricep Dip

If you want to target the triceps more, you can do a tricep dip.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by holding onto the edge of a sturdy surface like a table or countertop.

  • Extend your legs out in front of you and place your palms on the edge of the surface with your fingers pointing towards you.

  • Bend your elbows and lower your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.

  • Push back up to the starting position.

Variation #2: Chest Dip

If you want to target the chest more, you can do a chest dip.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by holding onto the edge of a sturdy surface like a table or countertop.

  • Extend your legs out in front of you and place your palms on the edge of the surface with your fingers pointing away from you.

  • Bend your elbows and lower your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.

  • Push back up to the starting position.

Variation #3: Pike Dip

If you want to target the shoulders more, you can do a pike dip.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by holding onto the edge of a sturdy surface like a table or countertop.

  • Extend your legs out in front of you and place your palms on the edge of the surface with your fingers pointing towards you.

  • Bend at the waist and bring your legs up so that your body forms a 90-degree angle.

  • Bend your elbows and lower your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.

  • Push back up to the starting position.

Hanging leg raises

The hanging leg raise is a great exercise for targeting the abs.

Sets: 3-5          Reps: 10-20          Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the hanging leg raise, start by grabbing a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you. Hang from the bar with your legs straight and your feet off the ground. Bend your knees and raise your legs up until they are parallel to the ground. Lower your legs back down to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Hanging Leg Raises

Variation #1: Knee Raise

If you want to make the hanging leg raise easier, you can do a knee raise.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by grabbing a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you.

  • Hang from the bar with your legs straight and your feet off the ground.

  • Bend your knees and raise your legs up until they are parallel to the ground.

  • Lower your legs back down to the starting position.

Variation #2: L-Sit Hold

If you don’t have access to a pull-up bar, you can do an L-sit hold.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start in a seated position with your legs out in front of you and your palms on the ground beside you.

  • Lift your hips off the ground and bring your knees up so that your thighs are parallel to the ground.

  • Extend your legs out in front of you and hold the position for as long as you can.

Variation #3: V-Ups

If you want a dynamic version of the L-sit that emphasizes the lower abs, you can do a V-up.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your sides.

  • Engage your core and lift your legs and upper body off the ground until they are both in line with each other.

  • Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Lower Body Workout

Squats

The squat is a great exercise for targeting the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Sets: 3-5           Reps: 10-20           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the squat, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Engage your core and send your hips back as you bend your knees to lower your body down. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and then press back up to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Squats

Variation #1: Jump Squat

If you want to make the squat more dynamic, you can do a jump squat.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides.

  • Engage your core and send your hips back as you bend your knees to lower your body down.

  • Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and then press back up to the starting position.

  • As you reach the top of the squat, jump up into the air.

  • Land softly and immediately sink back down into another squat.

Variation #2: Pistol Squat

If you want to make the squat more challenging, you can do a pistol squat.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing on one leg with your other leg extended out in front of you and your hands at your sides.

  • Engage your core and send your hips back as you bend your standing leg to lower your body down.

  • Stop when your thigh is parallel to the ground and then press back up to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and then switch legs.

Variation #3: Shrimp Squat

If you want to focus more on the glutes, you can do a shrimp squat.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by sitting on the ground with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground.

  • Place your hands behind you and lean back so that your body forms a diagonal line from your head to your heels.

  • Engage your glutes and press through your heels to lift your hips off the ground.

  • Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and then lower your hips back down to the starting position.

Lunges

The lunge is another great exercise for targeting the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. The advantage this exercise has over the squat is that it allows you to focus on each leg individually.

Sets: 3-5           Reps: 10-20           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the lunge, start with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Step forward with one leg and lower your body down so that both knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes. Press back up to the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.

Alternatives of the Lunges

Variation #1: Bulgarian Split Squat

If you want to make the lunge more challenging, you can do a Bulgarian split squat.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start by standing in front of a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides.

  • Place your left foot on the bench behind you and then lower your body down so that both legs are bent at 90-degree angles.

  • Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes.

  • Press back up to the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.

Variation #2: Reverse Lunge

If you want to focus more on the glutes, you can do a reverse lunge.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

  • Step backward with one leg and lower your body down so that both knees are bent at 90-degree angles.

  • Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes.

  • Press back up to the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.

Variation #3: Jump Lunge

If you want to make the lunge more explosive, you can do a jump lunge.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

  • Step forward with one leg and lower your body down so that both knees are bent at 90-degree angles.

  • Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes.

  • From the bottom position, jump up and switch legs in mid-air.

  • Land with your feet in the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.

Nordic Curls (or Glute Ham Raise)

The Nordic curl is an excellent exercise for targeting the hamstrings. This exercise can be done with bodyweight or with added weight.

Sets: 3-5           Reps: 8-10           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the Nordic curl, start in a kneeling position with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Secure your feet so they don’t move and then slowly lower your body down so that your hips are in line with your knees. From this position, curl your body up by contracting your hamstrings and then return to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Nordic Curls

Variation #1: Eccentric Nordic Curl

If you struggle to perform Nordic curl, you can do an eccentric Nordic curl.

To perform the exercise:

  • Start in a kneeling position with your feet together and your hands at your sides.

  • Secure your feet so they don’t move and then slowly lower your body down so that your hips are in line with your knees.

  • After reaching the bottom, relax your hamstrings and allow your body to fall forward.

  • Reset the position and start a new repetition.

Variation #2: Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

If you want to focus more on the glutes, you can do a Swiss ball hamstring curl.

To perform the exercise:

  • Place a Swiss ball at your feet before lying down on your back with your palms flat on the floor.

  • Place your heels on top of the ball, then press your hips and glutes off the floor.

  • Dig your heels into the ball as you curl it toward your glutes.

  • Reverse the motion, and press the Swiss ball away from your glutes to the start position.

Calf Raises

The calf raise is a great exercise for targeting the calves. This exercise can be done with bodyweight or with added weight.

Sets: 3-5           Reps: 10-20           Rest: 30s (superset)/0s (circuit)

To perform the calf raise, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Slowly raise your heels so that you’re standing on your toes and then lower them back down to the starting position.

Alternatives of the Calf Raise

Variation #1: Donkey Calf Raise

If you remove assistance from momentum, you can do a donkey calf raise.

To perform the exercise:

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on a sturdy object in front of you.

  • Place one foot behind the other and then slowly raise your heels so that you’re standing on your toes.

  • Lower your heels back down to the starting position and then repeat with the other leg.

Summary

In this article, we’ve described the best bodyweight workout to build muscle and burn fat. This workout includes warm-up, and bodyweight exercises for the upper body, lower body, and core. You can do this workout at home or at the gym. Remember to focus on quality over quantity. If you want to make the exercises more challenging, you can add weight. Stay consistent and make sure to rest in between sets.

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