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The Best Bodyweight Exercises

bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight exercises are an essential part of any well-rounded fitness routine. They provide the perfect balance of strength, flexibility, and endurance training, all without requiring any equipment. In fact, they’re an excellent option for those who want to build muscle, improve their physique, and challenge themselves in new ways. In this blog, we’ll delve into the best bodyweight bodybuilding exercises to help you achieve your dream physique.

The Best Bodyweight Bodybuilding Exercises

  1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a classic bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. They’re simple yet effective in building upper body strength and endurance.

How to do it:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows while keeping your core tight and your body in a straight line.
  • Push your body back up to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Wide push-ups, diamond push-ups, and decline push-ups.

  1. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise for developing a strong back, biceps, and forearms. They require a horizontal bar or sturdy branch to perform.

How to do it:

  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
  • Pull your body up towards the bar, bringing your chin above it.
  • Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Chin-ups, mixed-grip pull-ups, and wide-grip pull-ups.

  1. Dips: bodyweight exercises

Dips are a powerful exercise for targeting the triceps, chest, and shoulders. They can be performed on parallel bars or between two sturdy surfaces, like chairs or countertops.

How to do it:

  • Position yourself between the bars or surfaces with your arms extended.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping your torso upright.
  • Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Bench dips and straight bar dips.

  1. Squats

Squats are a lower body staple, targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. They’re excellent for building leg strength, stability, and overall lower body development.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or extended in front of you.
  • Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, as if sitting in a chair.
  • Push through your heels to return to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Jump squats, single-leg squats, and sumo squats.

  1. Lunges

Lunges are another lower body favorite, working the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. They’re great for improving balance and coordination.

How to do it: bodyweight exercises

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Take a big step forward with one leg, lowering your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Push through your front heel to return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Variations: Reverse lunges, lateral lunges, and walking lunges.

  1. Planks

Planks are a core-strengthening exercise that works the abs, obliques, lower back, and hips. They’re essential for building a strong and stable core.

How to do it:

  • Start in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Keep your body in a straight line, engaging your core and glutes.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can maintain proper form.

Variations: Side planks, extended planks, and plank up-downs.

  1. Leg Raises

Leg raises are fantastic bodyweight exercises for targeting the lower abdominals and hip flexors. They can be performed lying down or hanging from a pull-up bar.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your hands under your glutes or beside your hips.
  • Keep your legs straight and lift them towards the ceiling until they’re perpendicular to the floor.
  • Slowly lower your legs back down, stopping just before they touch the ground, and repeat.

Variations: Hanging leg raises, bicycle crunches, and flutter kicks.

  1. Inverted Rows

Inverted rows are an effective bodyweight exercise for the back, biceps, and shoulders. They can be performed using a bar, rings, or a suspension trainer.

How to do it:

  • Position yourself under the bar, rings, or suspension trainer, holding it with an overhand grip.
  • Keep your body in a straight line, with your heels on the ground and your toes pointed upwards.
  • Pull your chest towards the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Wide-grip inverted rows, underhand grip inverted rows, and one-arm inverted rows.

  1. Bulgarian Split Squats: bodyweight bodybuilding exercises

Bulgarian split squats are a unilateral lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while also improving balance and stability.

How to do it:

  • Stand a few feet in front of a bench or step, facing away from it.
  • Place the top of one foot on the bench behind you, keeping your front foot flat on the ground.
  • Lower your body by bending your front knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Push through your front heel to return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Variations: Rear foot elevated split squats and jumping Bulgarian split squats.

  1. Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand push-ups are an advanced upper body exercise that targets the shoulders, triceps, and chest. They require a strong foundation in handstands and push-ups.

How to do it:

  • Kick up into a handstand against a wall or perform a freestanding handstand.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the ground, keeping your body in a straight line.
  • Push through your hands to return to the starting position and repeat.

Variations: Pike push-ups, wall-assisted handstand push-ups, and elevated handstand push-ups.

Bodyweight exercises offer a versatile and effective way to build muscle and improve your physique without the need for gym equipment. Incorporate these exercises into your workout routine and reap the benefits of bodyweight bodybuilding. Challenge yourself with various progressions and variations, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your dream physique.

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