How Bodyweight Exercises Can Help You Build Muscle
When it comes to building muscle, barbells and dumbbells get most of the attention. However, bodyweight exercises are a very useful muscle building tool and something that should definitely be part of your muscle building arsenal. In this article I’m going to be explaining why you should learn some bodyweight moves and discussing how they can help you build muscle.
Why Should You Learn Some Bodyweight Moves?
If you’re a regular at the gym, you’ll probably be thinking you don’t need to learn bodyweight moves because your current workouts do a great job of targeting all the muscles in our body. However, even if this is true, there are plenty of reasons you should consider bodyweight exercises and I have outlined some of these below:
1) Bodyweight Exercises Are Flexible: Unlike traditional muscle building workouts which require you to make time in your schedule, bodyweight workouts can be performed anytime and anywhere. This means if something unexpected comes up in your schedule and you can’t get to the gym or you don’t have long to workout, you can still challenge and build your muscles with a quick bodyweight workout whenever you have a few minutes to spare during the day.
2) Bodyweight Exercises Require No Equipment: Another great thing about bodyweight exercises is that they require no additional equipment. This means even if you can’t get access to the equipment you usually use at the gym or your gym closes unexpectedly, you can still target those muscles with bodyweight moves.
3) Bodyweight Exercises Are Low Impact: One final benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they place much less pressure on your joints and muscles. Therefore, they’re a great alternative to dumbbells and barbells which you can use to occasionally have a low impact muscle building workout.
Bodyweight Exercises You Should Learn
Now that you know why it’s important to learn some bodyweight exercises, I’m going to be listing four of the main exercises you should learn. Collectively, these exercises will target all the muscles in your body and allow you to enjoy a full body workout in just a few minutes:
1) Push-Ups: Push-ups target your chest, triceps and shoulders. To perform them, kneel on the floor, place your hands on the floor so that they are parallel with your chest, then bring your knees off the floor and balance on your hands and toes. Once you’re fully balanced, tighten your core muscles, slowly bend your arms and lower your body down towards the floor, stopping when your nose touches the floor. Once your nose touches the floor, slowly straighten your arms and raise your body back up to the starting position, then repeat for as many reps as you can manage.
2) Pull-Ups: Pull-ups target your upper back, biceps, forearms and shoulders and they require either a pull-up bar or sturdy frame. To perform them, stand under the pull-up bar or sturdy frame, grab it with both hands, then bend your knees and take your feet off the floor. Once your feet are off the floor, slowly bend your arms and raise your body up towards the pull up bar, stopping when your chin is above the bar. Then slowly straighten your arms, lower your body back down towards the starting position and repeat for as many reps as you can manage.
3) Bodyweight Squats: Bodyweight squats target all the muscles in your legs. To perform them, stand with your feet a shoulder width apart and bring your hands together in front of your body. Then slowly bend your knees and lower your body down, stopping when your butt is in line with your knees. Once your butt is in line with your knees, slowly straighten your knees, raise your body back up to the starting position and repeat for as many reps as you can manage.
4) Planks: Planks target all your core muscles. To perform them, kneel on the floor and place your forearms on the floor so that they are parallel with your chest. Then bring your knees off the floor, balance on your forearms and toes, tighten your core muscles and hold this position for as long as you can.
As you can see, bodyweight moves are a great muscle building exercise in their own right. Even if you prefer training with barbells and dumbbells, it’s still a great idea to have some bodyweight moves in reserve for the times you can’t get to the gym. So start practicing the core bodyweight moves discussed in this article and then whenever you have to skip a scheduled workout, put them into practice.
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