Do you need gym equipment to get stronger and fitter? Not exclusively. Check out the only 8 bodyweight exercises you need to build muscle fast.
Although gym machines and fitness gear were created to maximise how effectively we can target the muscle while working out, you don’t necessarily need to join your local gym to build muscle fast.
That is the beauty of bodyweight exercises. They are effective, free, and you can do them virtually anywhere. And while some people might argue that you can’t get jacked with only bodyweight exercises, they don’t know how to apply progressive overload to these movements. Think of it this way, there is always a variation of an exercise that will be more difficult and challenge you more.
So where does this list of the only 8 bodyweight exercises you need to build muscle fast? It was created by coach Max Posternak. Max Posternak is the founder of Gravity Transformation, a website focused on giving tips and training guidance for people looking to improve their fitness and lose weight. His YouTube channel has over 5 million subscribers.
Check it out.
The Only 8 Bodyweight Exercises You Need to Build Muscle Fast
Below are the only 8 bodyweight exercises you need to build muscle fast according to Max Posternak.
Bodyweight exercises are also referred to as Calisthenics and there are many fit-looking people who do only calisthenics for their physique and health. So, of course, you can build muscle by doing only bodyweight exercises.
If you don’t know how to perform one or more of the movements mentioned, see the video below where Posternak explains each one of them and why they are great for hypertrophy.
Pros of Doing Bodyweight Exercises
There are also many other reasons to start doing calisthenics besides a leaner, but strong physique:
- Do it anywhere – as it usually utilises bodyweight, you can do most of the movements anywhere, even while on vacation.
- Joint strength – when you start progressing to other movement standards, you will require your joints to do extra work to hold your body weight. That is simply not used during normal gym exercises.
- Strength everywhere – you will work out your entire body. No more “skip leg” days.
- Impress anyone – this can sound a bit pathetic, but you will definitely impress people around you if you can perform some of the more advanced movements.
- Inexpensive – you can do many exercises with nothing but your sheer will, or you can find a bar at a playground or buy your own and incorporate even more exercises into your routine.
- Great for weight loss – as this type of training involves multiple muscle groups, it usually burns more calories than common cardio and adds to your overall energy expenditure.
Cons of Doing Bodyweight Exercises
The good thing about calisthenics is that there are not many downsides to doing it. After all, since when is doing bodyweight workouts bad for you? It is not. So what are the disadvantages of doing calisthenics?
- No bulking – if you are looking to get ripped with giant muscles, your best bet is to do powerlifting and stick to the gym. Bodyweight exercises will get you fit, but a more lean-looking physique.
- Not great if you are recovering – if you had surgery or are doing physical therapy, calisthenics will not help you, and could potentially injure you even further. Bodyweight exercises are fundamental, but you are still lifting a lot of weight, whereas in a gym you can strengthen your leg by lifting literally any weight you want.
- You can hit a plateau – when you start training, you want to keep progressing, and that can be tricky or disappointing when doing calisthenics because you will only use your body weight. Weight training is easier, you just add more weight, but with calisthenics you need to find ways to challenge yourself more utilizing the only weight you have available.
When it comes to bodyweight exercises, there are several principles that you should definitely follow to maximize your results and ensure safety:
- Proper Form and Technique: Focus on maintaining correct form and technique throughout each exercise. This helps target the intended muscles effectively and reduces the risk of injury. Start with proper alignment, engage the targeted muscles, and execute each movement with control and stability.
- Progression: Progression is key to continuously challenge your muscles and stimulate growth. As you get stronger, gradually increase the difficulty of your bodyweight exercises. This can be achieved by adding variations, increasing repetitions or sets, adjusting leverage or range of motion, or incorporating advanced progressions.
- Full Range of Motion: Perform exercises through their full range of motion, aiming for a complete extension and contraction of the muscles involved. This ensures that you engage the muscles fully and enhances flexibility and mobility.
- Balanced Routine: Include a variety of bodyweight exercises that target different muscle groups to create a well-rounded routine. Balance upper body, lower body, and core exercises to avoid muscle imbalances and promote overall strength and stability.
- Consistency and Frequency: Consistency is crucial for progress. Aim to perform bodyweight exercises regularly, ideally 2-3 times per week or more, depending on your goals and fitness level. Consistency over time leads to improved strength, endurance, and muscle development.
- Proper Warm-up and Cool-down: Before starting your bodyweight workout, warm up with dynamic stretches or light cardio to increase blood flow, loosen up the joints, and prepare the muscles for exercise. Afterward, cool down with static stretches to improve flexibility and promote recovery.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust the intensity or modify exercises as needed. Respect your limits and avoid pushing yourself to the point of pain or excessive fatigue. Gradually progress while being mindful of any discomfort or signs of overexertion.
- Rest and Recovery: Allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover between workouts. Muscles need time to repair and grow stronger after exercise. Incorporate rest days into your routine and prioritize sleep and proper nutrition to support recovery.
- Adaptability: Bodyweight exercises can be adapted to various fitness levels and settings. Whether you’re a beginner, have limited space or equipment, or prefer home workouts, bodyweight exercises offer flexibility and versatility.
- Enjoyment and Sustainability: Choose bodyweight exercises that you enjoy and can sustain in the long run. Find variations and progressions that challenge you while keeping your workouts engaging and fun. Enjoying your workouts increases adherence and helps you stay motivated.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified fitness trainer before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions or injuries.