Bodyweight Bodybuilding - 4 Body Weight Exercises
For Maximum Muscle
few years ago I gave up the iron game. 15 years of lifting heavy
stuff in gyms made me bigger and stronger, but it was also causing
5 to 6 nagging reoccurring injuries and mental burnout. In a desperate
attempt to alleviate my pains I turned to bodyweight style exercises
for a solid month. At first, my goal was to lose as little strength
and muscle as possible while I let my body and mind heal. I figured
that if I worked really hard I might even be able to maintain my
strength levels through such calisthenics training.
You can imagine how surprised and pleased I was to discover that
I was bigger and stronger at the end of that month of doing nothing
but bodyweight exercises! My injuries were almost all gone and my
mind was flooded with fresh motivation, but never had I experienced
such a rapid growth in strength and muscle.
It's now 3 years later and I'm still doing bodyweight style bodybuilding.
I'm bigger, faster, stronger and far healthier than I ever was while
worshiping the iron. This article isn't about how weight lifting
is bad or that you should not do it. I have nothing against weight
lifting and don't wish to discourage anyone from it. My goal is
to spread my enthusiasm for these bodyweight muscle building exercises
which are far more potent than people often give them credit for.
The heart of bodyweight bodybuilding consists of these 4 potent
- Lat pulldowns can't hold a candle to the exercise that is
the first choice for military and law enforcement personnel.
The real beauty of the pull-up is that it's extremely functional
and requires lots of stabilization, unlike using machines.
It's also very friendly to your spine and lower back since
your lower body just hangs in the air unlike using free weights.
It's powerful, functional, and easy on the spine. What's not
- What, no pushups? Hey pushups are great, but when it comes
to really blasting the heck out of your pushing muscles in
a safe and effective way, I highly recommend dips. Some folks
are afraid of shoulder issues with dips. Yes, you do have
to be careful but later on I'll discuss some ways to help
make dips super safe and comfortable.
- Squats are great, but the fact of the matter is that your
legs were largely designed for mobility. In fact, most of
the work your major leg muscles perform will be to move you
from point A to point B. Lunges work your whole lower body
in a mobile fashion. They are also great for making your heart
rate sky rocket and improving stability in the hips and knees.
Leg Squats - Squats rule, we know that, but the basics
of leg strength isn't doing squats with a million pounds on
your back. It's squatting down and standing back up on one
leg with rock solid control (while holding a million pounds).
All 4 of these bodyweight exercises share common traits that make
them insanely effective at helping you build lots of muscle and
- Each exercise pits your entire body against gravity.
The most functional strength you can ever build is the ability
to move your entire body in relation to the earth. If you can
do that you can do anything as far as mobility and sports performance.
It also ensures that every ounce of your body weight is used to
create as much tension in the target muscles as possible.
- These exercises require minimal equipment and time. One
of the secrets to building a lot of strength and muscle is to
use methods that you can maintain a consistent program with for
as long as possible. Many muscle building programs are great,
but they require so much time and effort that the person only
sticks with it for about 6 months to a year. These 4 exercises
only require a set of gymnastics rings and maybe a pair of cheap
adjustable dumbbells. This simple setup ensures that you'll be
able to workout almost anywhere at any time thus making it far
easier to stay consistent for years to come.
exercises are easy to load with extra weight. A little extra
weight can go a long way with these 4 moves. Even an extra 30
pounds can feel like a ton when doing single leg squats. The dips
and pull-ups are easy to load up with just a simple dip belt.
You can even just use a length of rope or chain if you like. The
leg exercises are easy enough to load up by simply holding onto
something heavy. Weights, rocks, sandbags, chains, and even small
children can work well for weighted lunges and squats.
- All 4 exercises require a lot of stability and control.
You don't need stretch bands and balance disks to make exercise
functional. All of these moves require balance and stability at
every joint in your body. This is especially true for your power
joints like your hips and scapula. This stability is also what
helps to protect your joints and surrounding tissues. If you feel
like something is tight or an issue, move slowly and spend a little
extra time isometrically holding the weak points of the move.
This will help ensure stable and healthy joints for years to come.
- These exercises will endlessly challenge your skill levels.
Adding volume and intensity is fine, but the bulk of strength
comes from learning to do your exercises with a higher level of
skill and proficiency. You could do nothing but pull-ups and dips
for the next 20 years and still learn how to improve your technique.
There is no limit to how far you can go!
- These exercises evenly work the entire body through a satisfying
range of motion. I have nothing against focusing on a few
areas of the body. However, if you want as much muscle and strength
as possible, then compound moves are where it's at. These moves
work your entire body without leaving a single stone unturned.
All of your major joints are flexed and extended in a large range
of motion ensuring optimal muscular development and strength.
- Building a routine around these exercises is a piece of cake.
You can do a full body routine with 3 sets of 10-12 reps of each
exercise. You can do upper body and lower body splits with 2 exercises
in each workout. You can even do a simple 3 day split routine
between push, pull and leg workouts.
So if you've ever wondered if you can make your strength training
super simple, yet still very effective then I highly recommend these
4 bodyweight exercises. They work great on their own and can even
be incorporated into a traditional weight lifting routine as well.
Make sure to visit my
profile page on ShapeFit.com and let me know if you have
any questions and I will help you out with any concerns about bodyweight