Weightlifting is an effective and quick method to build muscle. It creates micro-tears in the muscle and the muscle then repairs itself becoming stronger, which means you build more muscle. But this is not the only option to build muscle. Performing proper bodyweight exercises will help build muscle mass in all body areas. Apart from helping to build and sculpt muscles, bodyweight training can also help you improve functional strength for everyday life.
Here are bodyweight training exercises that fitness experts recommend to build muscle mass:
- Push-Ups: Doing push-ups can build muscle size and strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps. Start with regular pushups, and then change to pushups with your feet elevated. Keep your hands closer together to work the triceps and shoulder muscles. Widen your hands to work the chest.
- Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups: Also referred to as “the upper body squat”, the combination of pull-ups and chin-ups help build the back, forearms and biceps muscles. Pull-ups are performed with your palms facing away from you whereas chin-ups are performed with your palms facing you.
- To perform a pull-up, start with your arms all the ways down until they are fully extended, then pull up. Continue for 10 total repetitions and then pause at the top of the bar for three to five seconds.
- To perform a chin-up, keep your arms in a fully extended position, hands about shoulder width apart, chest up, and your shoulders back and tight. Pull yourself up toward the barbell, clearing the bar with your chin and lower yourself in a controlled motion, and repeat the process.
- If you find hard to perform a pull-up then you can do a negative pull-up, where you have to jump above the bar and try to lower yourself slowly and in control until you’re at the bottom of the movement. This is a great way to build some strength that will prepare you for the real deal.
- Dips: This effective compound exercise helps lift your entire body weight and build upper body mass and strength. You need either a dip bar or two chairs to perform this exercise. Start by first raising yourself on two dip bars with straight arms. Lower your body until your shoulders is below your elbows and pushes yourself up until your arms are straight again. Dips work your chest, shoulders, back and arm muscles.
- Burpees: This tough exercise trains virtually every muscle in the body, including the core, chest, and legs. To begin, get in a crouched position with your knees bent, your feet on the ground and your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Kick your feet backward into a pushup position, perform one pushup, jump back into the original crouched position, and then jump upward, reaching as high as you can with your arms.
- Squats: This exercise mainly builds leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, and also creates an anabolic environment which promotes body-wide muscle building. To perform a squat, start by standing with your feet just over shoulder width apart and keep your back in a neutral position. Keep your knees centered over your feet and slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position and breathe in as you lower yourself and breathe out as you return to the starting position.