A man doing push ups in his lounge

Bodyweight Exercises To Build Muscle & Gain Weight

The rise of gym culture has meant a number of pioneering technologies in the workout space – machines built to help us get strong and fit, safely.

What’s more, that same culture has made sure that there’s a gym on every corner and in every popular centre. The convenience we now get to enjoy when exercising, is vast in both the equipment we’re exposed to, and the spaces in which we get to conduct our workouts.

And then the pandemic arrived.

Now, heading to a crowded gym everyday is less than ideal – it can be an act fraught with potential hygiene issues. And what’s more, there are a couple of other inconveniences that are now returning: waiting for equipment or queuing for machines.

We know that all the fine fitness institutions have set in place every hygiene contingent possible, to make gymming safer for us all. And we’re all for heading there once or twice a week. But there are also a number of great bodyweight exercises to build muscle, that you can try in the safety and convenience of your own home. So, it’s possible to beat the crowds and safely distance – the only piece of equipment you need is your body.

Let’s have a look at some of the best body weight exercises to build muscle, you can try at home.

Best Bodyweight Exercises To Build Muscle

So, you’re trying to build muscle, but you don’t have the range of equipment the gym does. We have great news. You don’t need to lift heavy, to get gains.

It’s just about engaging the right muscle group, with the right exercise, and keeping that muscle group working, by building rep counts, and using consistent timings and intensity.

Let’s detail a few of those bodyweight exercises here:

1. Deep Squat

Hold your arms straight up above your head and keep your chest up.

Bend your legs slowly, with your knees wide apart. When your hamstrings touch your calves, slowly come back up. Repeat this for ten minutes, doing 12 reps at the start of each minute.

Top tip: Holding a towel taut above your head can improve your form here.

2. Bridge Kick

Get into a sitting position with one leg bent, one leg straight and your fingers pointing at your feet.

Pushing into the floor with your hands, squeeze your glutes. This should cause your hips to raise slowly. When they’re level with the bent knee, ‘kick’ your other leg out and up until it’s at 90 degrees to your centre mass. Repeat on both sides, 12 reps each.

3. Wide Grip Press Up

Get into the standard press up position.

Now, move your arms double your shoulder width apart.

Lower yourself until your chest touches the floor, and then press yourself back up to the starting position. Try 5 sets of 15 and see how you go.

4. Straight Arm Super Plank

Get into the plank position, only with your palms on the floor and your arms straight.

Keep your body aligned along its length and hold for as long as you can.

The straight-arm method helps to engage your chest and increases your heart rate. Try and repeat for 5 sets.

5. Burpee Tuck Jump

The burpee tuck jump will help increase your heart rate, so that you’re burning as much fat as possible.

From the press up position, bring your knees up to your chest and perform an explosive jump. As you do, tuck your knees towards your chest in mid-air. Land, and reverse the positions until you are back in the press up pose. That is one rep. Try 4 sets of 25.

6. Jump lunge

From the classic lunge position, perform an explosive jump. Swap your legs in mid-air, to land back in the lunge pose, just with the other leg in front. Try 10 sets of 20.

Learn more on what bodyweight exercises for legs and your back

Building Muscle To Gain Weight

Can you build muscle without weights?

With these examples, it’s easy to see that you certainly don’t need expensive equipment and heavy weights. So, on your off days from the gym, try these great dynamic bodyweight exercises to build muscle, and get the gains you want from the comfort and space of home.

And after the workout, don’t forget to freshen up with any of Shield’s range of pioneering anti-perspirants, for 72-hour protection that keeps you smelling great all day.