6 BEST Bodyweight Exercises for Building Muscle

If you have just started working out, you may have heard that you need to lift weights because you can’t build muscle with bodyweight exercise. Well, this is actually FALSE! A common misconception is that bodyweight exercise does not stress the body enough to stimulate the body enough to promote muscle growth. However, this is actually very far from the truth, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

This is even further from the truth especially if you are a beginner! With most beginners, generally, body weight exercises will be enough to stimulate muscle growth and promote weight loss as well! This can help you feel more confident in a real gym if you ever decide to switch to weights.

So here are 6 of the BEST Bodyweight Exercises for Building Muscle!

The Pushup

Now I know what you’re thinking…“Duh, I know what a push up is, give me something good.” Push-ups are extremely popular and for a better reason, than you may think. When it comes to most movements in the gym, there are two categories.

  • Pulling
  • Pressing

As you may have expected, the push up is a pressing movement like the bench press! The beauty of bodyweight exercise is variation. For example, if a regular push up is too hard for you, then you can start on your knees and work your way up to a regular pushup!

If a regular Push up is too easy for you, then you can try a harder variation like the Archer Push Up, or the Pike Push Up.

Bodyweight Rows

Bodyweight Rows, otherwise known as inverted rows are an amazing exercise to build back strength! If you cannot do a Pull Up yet, then this will surely build your back strength enough until you are able to do one.

If you want the exercise to be easier then just raise the bar, that way you are standing more upright, therefore making the exercise easier. If you want the exercise to be harder then try a different variation like the Archer row. You can do this anywhere from a bar to just pulling up on your table, and that is why it is such an amazing exercise!


Now you all saw this one coming and for good reason. If Rows are way too easy for you, then a great place to start for back strength is a Pull-Up! When doing this exercise it is extremely important to keep a good range of motion as that will build a lot more back strength!

Pull ups are extremely popular as they are a practical movement and are absolutely amazing for building muscle! If Pull Ups are too hard for you, then you should stick to rows until you build your strength.

If Pull Ups are too easy for you then you should move onto other variations like archer pull ups or even weighted pull-ups using a weight belt! Again, the beauty of these exercises is the variation to make them easier or harder.


When most people think of squats, they usually question them because of joint-related issues like Knee Pain and ankle problems. However, if you are doing the bodyweight squat with correct form, then you shouldn’t experience any knee or joint pain whatsoever. Squatting can actually be good for your knees if anything.

On top of this squats can help build strength in your quads and your glutes, giving your body a more sturdy base and building muscle at the same time. Anyone should be able to do a regular bodyweight squat but if you really want a challenge then try a harder variation like the sumo squat or the pistol squat.


Again with dips, most people generally think they it will cause some sort of long term joint pain, or mess up their elbows but that is just not the case. If you have proper form, it should help strengthen the tendons in your elbows rather than deteriorate them.

Dips are an amazingly good exercise for your push strength and for building Tricep strength. Depending on the grip you use, you may even be able to stimulate the chest a bit as well.

When it comes to dips, if you need an easier variation then you should use an assistance band to help take some of the load off. If the exercise is too easy for you, then you should try a harder variation like weighted dips.


Credit: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a25628831/plank-exercise/

The awesome thing about planks is the fact that anyone can do them and the can almost be done anywhere! Planks are absolutely amazing for stimulating your core, even if you can only hold one for 15-30 seconds, you can always build on your time. The best core workouts involve planks along with other mobility ab exercises as well!

Even if you can hold a plank for more than 3 minutes, you still have the option to build on your time, or use something to make your plank harder like an Ab Rollout Wheel! Planks are more than enough to stimulate your core and promote muscle growth, even if you are a beginner!

So there you have it! There are tons of wonderful workout routines out there that incorporate these exercises, or you can even create your own. The best part is that you can do them all almost anywhere, and even in the comfort of your own home. These exercises will have you feeling great and confident in no time, best of luck!

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