10 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Building Muscle

Contrary to the popular belief, you don’t always need added resistance for building muscle mass. If you’re just starting to workout, you’d be better off starting with bodyweight exercises. Your own bodyweight is enough to shape your muscles.

With the growing popularity of calisthenics, bodyweight exercises have become even more popular. Performing bodyweight exercises are way more convenient than using dumbbells and barbells. You can do the bodyweight workouts in the convenience of your homes.

The 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises

1. Pushups

Pushups are one of the first exercises people learn to perform for building muscle mass. This exercise helps with building size, strength, and definition in your chest. You can perform different variations like diamond, close-grip, wide-grip pushups to target your chest from different angles.

2. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are the ultimate test of your upper body strength. If you are a beginner, it might be hard for you to perform bodyweight pull-ups. Ask someone for a spot or use an assisted pull-up machine until you build strength in your arms.

3. Squats

Squats are one of the most important exercises. It is a compound (multi-joint) exercise which targets multiple muscles. Squats help in building overall strength and will make you stronger at other exercises as well.

4. Dips

You can perform the dips on parallel bars if you have an access to them at the park near your home or at your gym. You could also use a chair at your home or a bench in a gym to perform the dips. Dips target your chest and triceps.

5. Walking Lunges

If you like going for walks, you might want to add walking lunges to your routine. Lunges target your lower body and will help in getting your legs in shape. You could also perform standing lunges if you plan on performing them indoors.

6. Step-Ups

We are not limiting ourselves to upper body exercises and are taking an overall approach to bodyweight exercises. Your legs are the foundation of your body. Step-ups help in developing your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

7. Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are the ultimate glute exercise. This exercise isn’t only for women, men can use some booty gains as well. Assume the starting position on all fours. Begin to lift your right leg, knee staying bent, foot staying flat, and hinging at the hip. Use your glute to press your foot directly toward the ceiling and squeeze at the top. Ensure your pelvis and working hip stay pointed toward the ground.

8. Calf Raises

Calves are one of the most stubborn muscle groups. You don’t need to use added resistance for developing your calves. Mimic the motion of a ballerina, stand on your toes, hold and squeeze your calves at the top of the movement for the best results.

9. Handstand Pushups

Broad shoulders are the epitome of a chiseled physique. Only a few other exercises target the shoulders like the handstand pushups. If you can’t perform a handstand pushup, use a wall for support or ask someone for a spot.

10. Planks

No physique can be deemed complete without a ripped midriff. Planks are the perfect exercise to target your core. A strong core can help you lift heavier weights as it stabilizes your body. Make sure you don’t let your crotch hang lower than your body or form a bridge while performing planks.


Which other bodyweight exercises should be on the list?

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