So many new fitness “gurus” have mushroomed, and with them the different “styles” of fitness. We completely understand if you feel like you just have to try out the “newest” and “coolest” exercises all the time. FOMO is real, man! We feel you.
But what about the basics?? Don’t they have an equally – if not more important role to play?
Believe us when we say we have seen it time and time again: Dudes joining the gym, hopping on to the bench press (or even worse—Dear Lord!—the machine chest press), and just start pushing away. But sad thing is they can’t even do a proper pushup!
Here’s the lowball – If you don’t spend time building up your foundation then you WILL max out your results. Why do think all trainers incorporate pushups into every single upper body routine? A pushup – done correctly, will work your body right from your fingertips to your twinkling toes. So listen up when we say – bodyweight exercises aren’t just for beginners. Do not – I repeat do not make the mistake of dismissing them just because you can do straight 15+ reps.
Whether you’re a “newbie” or a seasoned gym veteran – there are many variations for the body weight exercises to build that solid foundation you dream of. So, the next time you hit the gym and the bench is taken by a couple of kuckleheads – find a corner and do these bodyweight exercises.
Top 10 bodyweight exercises for men
#1. (Pretty Simple) Push Ups
The pushup is a timeless bodyweight exercise. So if you want that big, huge chest, cannonball delts, and triceps – you need to start doing pushups from today. Pushups increase your strength and has the double benefit of engaging your core as well as lower body. It can be done just about anywhere!
Why Do It: Push Ups increases functional strength by activating your full body. It enhances the cardiovascular system by engaging the large muscle groups.
How to do it: Place your hands down on the floor under the shoulders. Stabilize your lower half by grinding your toes into the floor. Make your body neutral and straight by bracing the cores, engaging the glutes, and flattening the back. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe.Then slowly bend your elbows and lower the chest towards the floor. Now, press upwards back to the initial position.
How Many: 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
#2. Pull Ups (And Pick a Nose Pose)
After push ups, Pull ups are another great bodyweight exercise that hit every muscle in the body. Though they are highly underrated in the context of development of the arm and abs –
Pull Ups are definitely one of the best things you can do for your arms.
Why Do It: With Pullups, one can strengthen their back and core muscle which leads to a better posture. It provides better-looking physique.
How to do it: You’ll need a Pullup bar to do the Pullups. First, hang onto the Pullup bar of your power rack. Grip it about shoulder-width apart, with the full grip of your palms. Now, bend your knees and lift your feet straight from the floor. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbow down. Pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Finally, lower yourself down until your arms are straight.
How Many: 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
#3. (Walk The) Plank
Any fitness expert can tell you that the ability to hold a plank for more than a minute is the prefect test of a man’s fitness.The plank is a great body weight exercise because it requires shoulder stability, top-notch muscle endurance of the abs, lower back, shoulder, neck, and feet. What’s more? It works well to develop those dreamy six-pack abs.
Why Do It: It helps build a toned belly by making the abdominal muscles stronger. Planks strengthens your core that helps to reduce back pain. It also increases flexibility in your posterior muscle groups.
How to do it: Place your hands under the shoulders (just like you do in for a Pushup). Stretch your toes on the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize your body. Do not close your knees or hyperextend. Look at a place to neutralize the neck and backbone. Your head should be in line with your back. Try to hold the position at least for 20 seconds. With time, try to hold the position for longer periods of time.
How Many: 7 sets of 8 repetitions.
#4. (Build That) Glute Bridge
Having strong glutes is essential for your fitness and having a great set of glutes helps you with the ladies as well!! Glute bridges are one of the best bodyweight exercises to target your glute muscles and build strength.
Why Do It: Correctly doing glute bridges will make you feel the burn in your glutes – helping them become stronger. Especially for the desk-bound people – it works great in improving hip mobility and strengthening the lower back.
How to do it: Lie on the floor facing up with bending the knees and feet flat on the ground. Keep the hands on each side. Then lift your hips off the ground to make a straight line of knees, hips, and shoulders. Now, squeeze those glutes and draw your abs in. Stay in this bridge position for a few seconds and then repeat.
How Many: 3-4 sets of 12-16 repetitions.
Also Read: 15 Killer Glutes Exercises You Need to Try Today!
#5. Inverted Row (Are We In Geometry Class?)
Inverted Row is a key exercise for building wide shoulders and big arms.This bodyweight exercise has great opposing motion to work with pushups.
Why Do It: This bodyweight exercise leads to a stronger pair of shoulders that promotes thoracic extension. It helps your posterior muscle stay functional and active and also strengthens your grip. Some fitness experts even consider it as a great anti-aging exercise.
How to do it: Place a bar at about waist height in a rack or use a Smith machine. Position yourself underneath the bar in a hanging position by holding the grip on the bar. Your heels should be on the ground and body straight. Now, start the exercise by flexing your elbows. Pull your chest towards the bar. Reaching the top of the motion, pause for a second and get back to the initial position.
How Many: 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
#6. Burpee (Bad manners, great exercise)
For burning fat, no exercise is better than the burpee which has become a staple in programs from boot camps to hardcore crossfit training sessions. A full bodyweight exercise, it is used as an aerobic exercise as well as in strength training programs. Burpees are a high-intensity workout as its works the arms, chest, glutes, legs, and core.
￼Why Do It: In every sense, it is a full body workout. It raises your heart rate, builds strength and endurance, burns lots of calories, improves balance and coordination in the body.
How to do it: Place your arms at your sides, put your weight on your heels and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, push the hips back, and gain a squat position. Now, place your hands on the floor inside your feet. Jump the feet back and land softly. Make sure to form a straight line from head to toe. Jump the feet back to land just outside of your hands. Take your arms overhead and jump up into the air. Then, immediately land and get the squat position back.
How Many: 8 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
#7. Dip (And Say No To Those Chips)
Dip bodyweight exercise is more than just a triceps exercise as it hits the chest and shoulders as well. It helps build core strength as well as upper-body strength. Primarily, it is an intense and effective exercise that develops powerful and defined triceps.
Why Do It: Dip is a muscle engagement exercise as it involves not only triceps but forearms, chest, shoulders, and lower back also. It builds upper body mass and improves your lockout strength. It increases the flexibility of the body and reduces the risk of injuries by making the joints stronger.
How to do it: You will need two Dip bars or a power rack to do Dips. Firstly, hold the bars and jump up. Lock your elbows and balance yourself. Now, start lowering the body with bending arms. Move the torso forward slightly. Keep going down till your shoulders are below your elbows. Then, lift your body up to the initial position. Balance on the starting position with your shoulders over your hands.
How Many: 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Also Read: Do These 5 Moves To Track Your Progress
#8. Bulgarian Split Squat – Don’t Ask Questions
The rear foot elevated split squat is called Bulgarian Split Squat. The challenge of single leg squatting motion is that it can be very difficult. Also, the hip flexor stretch and activation of the back leg makes the preparation of an ultra-effective bodyweight drill that improves strength and mobility at the same time.
Why Do It: It improves the core strength as it is a powerful leg workout which involves the quads, calves, and hamstrings. If you want to perfect your posterior, this exercise works best as it involves the glutes heavily.
How to do it: You need a bench or a step to rest your foot on to perform Bulgarian Split Squats. You can wear a good weightlifting belt for a better workout. Take a forward lunge position, get your torso upright, core braced, and hips square to your body. Your back foot elevated on the bench, with the leading leg on the front of the bench. Now, lower your body to get the thigh position horizontal to the knee length. Then, move up through your front heel to get back the starting position.
How Many: 5 sets of 5 repetitions with each leg.
#9. Swiss Ball Rollout – And We’re Almost Done!
Swiss Ball Rollout bodyweight exercise provides more tension than any other ab moves out there! More tension means more muscles, right? It leads to the release of anabolic hormones like testosterone, HGH, and IGF-1, which are responsible to help speed up muscle development of the body.
Why Do It: This exercise is great for building core strength. Swiss Ball Rollout training has the ability to place stress on different points on your strength curve.
How to do it: Plant your knees on the floor and kneel in front of a Swiss Ball. Keep the hands in a triangle position to touch the surface of the Swiss Ball with fingers. Now, start rolling out the Swiss Ball by pushing out with arms. At the bottom position, the legs and arms should be extended. Keep the lower back aligned with your upper back and hips by maintaining a straight back position. Then, start rolling in the Swiss Ball to the initial position.
How Many: 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
#10. Bodyweight Squat (Like You Mean It)
Bodyweight Squat or Air Squat is an important exercise to maintain lower-body strength throughout your life. It can be performed anywhere with no equipment. This exercise is a highly functional movement in which all the major muscles of the leg are worked. For beginners, it is important to learn Bodyweight Squat before progressing for other kinds of squats.
Why Do It: The exercise improves your hip mobility and strengthens your legs and the tendons in the knees. The bodyweight squat hits the legs hard while requiring multiple muscles to work together.
How to do it: Place your feet at shoulder-width apart with toes turned out slightly. Look in a straight direction and pull your lower abs in. Start bending your knees slowly and drop the hips to lower your body. Make sure to keep the heels flat on the floor. Reaching the bottom point, pause for a while then push back up to the starting position strongly.
How Many: 5 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
What’s your favorite bodyweight exercise when you hit the gym? Share below!