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Top-ten-bodyweight-exercises-that-make you-look-good – everyone can do it at home!

Updated on December 19, 2013

What is bodyweight exercise?

Bodyweight exercise is training exercise that does not require any free weights. Instead, one exercises by using his or her bodyweight as a resistance for the workout. Bodyweight exercises are good no matter what are your fitness goals – looking good, losing fats, building strength and etc.


Bodyweight exercises

Pros

  • Completely natural movement
  • Use stabilizing muscles – reduce injury
  • Very functional in daily activities
  • Can be done anywhere

Cons

  • Can be hard for beginners – exercises like dips and pull-up are hard for beginners
  • It can be dangerous IF you are not doing it in a correct form

Machines

Pros

  • Easier to learn and do
  • Generally machines are safer
  • Can add weight anytime when you have already adapted to the current weight

Cons

  • Not really functional in daily life
  • It targets at some certain muscles group only
  • Have to go to the gym – unless you have a home gym

Which is better?

So, which types of exercises you should carry out? Well, it all depends on your goal. If you desire to increase strength, improve sports performance, or even just building some muscles so that you do not look skinny, you definitely should focus more on bodyweight exercises. On the contrary, if your goal is looks related, you should go for both types of exercises. I mean, why not both if you are able to?

However, I will be talking about top bodyweight exercises today. Check out the top four exercises that make you bigger fast here.

1) Pushup

Pushup is a classic bodyweight exercise and it is probably the first exercise you ever learned. You can target your chest, shoulders or triceps depending on your hand position and various variations. The key here is to embrace and perform all of the variations of this exercise. For example, plyo-pushups, diamond pushups, handstand pushups, clapping pushup and one arm pushups are some killer exercises that will build you great strength and muscles.

The exercise seems to be easy, yet many people do not know the correct form of performing a pushup.

2) Dips

Dips are great exercise that trains your chest, shoulders and triceps and even abs.

However, if you cannot perform the standard version, you can always try bench dips or using a chair in your house/office. You can also use the machine called ‘assisted dips’ in the gym and it makes the exercise easier.

It is a highly recommended exercise for those who are too busy for gym but want to build some muscles as it can be done anywhere as long as there is a bench.

3) Plank

Plank is an ideal exercise if you hope to build hard solid abs, but it is always underrated by people. This exercise helps to develop strength in your core, abs, shoulders, arms, and glutes. If you do not have enough strength to do a regular plank, you can start practicing by doing a bent-knee plank which means you will have your knees on the ground and help to support your bodyweight. Once you get used to it, you can do it the regular way, or even with various variations such as side plank, one arm plank, one leg plank etc.

4) Mountain climber

Mountain climber is a plyometric exercises which will strengthen different muscle groups and increase your stamina as well. In this exercise, you will get to train your core abdominal muscles, hips and legs. In fact, this exercise is often used by athletes to increase their performance in sports.

5) Body weight Squat

Squat develops your legs and lower back as well. This exercise seems to be easy without adding any weight. Still, it can be challenging if you increase the repetition to more than 15 each set. However, be cautious with this exercise if you have any knee injury. Once you feel pain at your knee during the exercise, stop it immediately. If your knee is in good condition, you definitely should include this exercise into your daily workout as it may strengthen your knee joints over time.

Some people say that squat hurts your knee, and that is true IF you are not doing it the right way.

6) Lunges

The lunge is an extremely functional bodyweight exercise. Lunges build strength, balance and flexibility. There are some people saying that you can choose either lunges or squat since they are the same. However, I suggest doing them both. Since you are focusing and training one leg at a time during the lunges exercise, you can achieve great ranges of motion and it is totally different when you are performing a squat. Besides, lunge is essentially good for inner thighs, the glutes, and quads. It also helps to increase knee stability too!

7) Burpees

Burpee is one of my personal favorite exercises. Basically, burpee combines pushup and squat and it works your muscles in the entire body, build endurance and stamina. Believe it or not, even the toughest athletes feel sore after performing this exercise for sets. You don’t believe it? Try doing 12 repetitions x 5 sets with 30 seconds rest in between each set, right now!

8) Crunches

Needless to say, I think everyone knows about crunches. It is popular and simple (but not easy) exercise and it trains your core abdominal muscles. There are many different types of crunches.

  • Standard crunch
  • Reverse crunch – you move your legs and knees to contract your abs muscles instead of moving your upper body.
  • Bicycle crunch, same as reverse crunches except that you peddle your legs in the air like how you peddle your bicycle.

9) Hanging Leg Raise

Hanging leg raise is an advanced abdominal exercise. If you are a beginner, it may take time and effort for you to master this exercise. You can work your way up to it by doing other exercises that work on your abs such as plank and various crunches variation as mentioned above. This exercise works all the muscles in your middle section and it is perfect to build a good looking six packs. (with the condition that you have low body fat percentage)

10) Chin/ Pull Up

I put this exercise at the last of my list because it is one of the most difficult bodyweight exercises and it demotivates beginners. This exercise builds your lats, back, triceps and biceps very effectively. It is pretty impressive if you can work up to 20 full range, perfect repetitions and everyone should make this one of the goals of your fitness lifestyle.

Pull-ups and chin-ups are absolutely perfect exercises to build up a V-shaped back and it also helps to develop your grip strength. However, you need to train progressively so that you can perform at least 15 reps per set.

Here is a video showing how to increase pull-ups and chin-ups strength.

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Words of advice

No matter what are your fitness goals, it takes time and hard work. Do not give up easily and happy training. 'Rome wasn't built in a day'

Kindly leave your comment below if you have any other opinion or question.

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