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How to Build Muscle with Bodyweight Exercises – Top Tips for Training at Home

Sometimes you just want to get fit right on the spot. In this case, the best way to build muscle is by doing bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight exercises can help anyone lose weight and begin to build muscle anywhere, after all, all you need is space to perform the movements indicated below.

If you are already strong and would like to push even further into the bodyweight exercises to build muscle, we suggest trying out Calisthenics.

The following tips are from Marcus Filly, learn more about him and his revolutionary functional bodybuilding here.

“First, you’ll need to know 3 insider tips as to why these moves are so effective, and how to use them best. In my decades of sport and functional fitness training as well as coaching clients around the world, there are some universal principles that are the key to success:

1. Movement Pattern Balance

Ever done too many burpees and push-ups and your shoulders paid the price?

Functional Bodybuilding is all about longevity and avoiding burnout and injury. We accomplish this by balancing the movement patterns in every workout so you’re not squatting too many times in a row, or hammering your shoulders in the same way over and over. You can train more often and more effectively by pairing complementary patterns like a hinge (such as in a deadlift) with a core movement. As an added bonus, your workouts will feel fresh and you can avoid the boredom of doing the same routine over and over.

build muscle with bodyweight exercisesSource: RX'd Photography

2. Progressive Build – Build Muscle

One of my mottos is Simple Equals Strong – and I’ve seen it play out too many times where clients take on too much too soon, only to get injured or feel dismayed by their training. Believe me, you can get an incredible pump from a simple isometric movement – and I’ll show you how below. How to avoid it? Start simple, and week by week you can progress your training by controlling key variables like the time under tension, the rest in between movements, and how many sets and reps you take on.

3. Time Under Tension – Bodyweight Exercises

If you are new to tempo training, prepare to love the burn. Tempo refers to how fast you perform each move – so instead of doing an air squat at a normal pace, or as fast as you can, you’re going to slow it way down and control every second. A tempo prescription will always be 4 digits, and here’s how to read it:

1st – eccentric (how slow to lower down)

2nd – isometric (hold tension at the bottom of the movement)

3rd – concentric (how fast to come back up)

4th – isometric or pause (how long to pause before the next rep)

Example: 31X1 tempo for an air squat would mean lower down for a count of 3, squeeze at the bottom for 1 second, eXplode up fast, and then wait 1 second at the top before the next rep.

Okay, you’ve got the basics – on to the moves!”

1. Wall Walks

How to do it:

Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your feet against a wall (wear socks or go barefoot if you don’t want to leave a mark). Push up onto your hands and walk your feet up the wall until your chest touches and your body is in a straight line, then control your walk back down.

Why I love it:

This move will tax both your shoulders and your core, while developing control from shifting your weight from side to side as you walk.

Coaching Notes:

Squeeze your butt as your legs get higher to help keep your body rigid and centered over your shoulders. Get your chest and nose to the wall if you can, and be sure to control all the way back down.

Scaling Option:

You can work up to this one by elevating your feet on a chair and working the pike handstand position, then walking up and down from that into a feet elevated plank. Other moves in the pike will also help, such as pike handstand pushups or shoulder taps.

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