Reviewed by Hana Medvesek
What comes to mind when you see the term “building muscle”? If you’re like most people, you immediately think of free weights and weight training with machines.
But what about total body training without the use of weights? can do Bodyweight exercises build muscle?
Let’s take a closer look at how muscle growth works, how total body training with bodyweight exercises can help you build muscle, and why bodyweight exercises are best for muscle growth.
What is body weight training?
Bodyweight training is a form of strength and conditioning exercise in which the primary resistance against gravity comes from one’s own body weight. This type of training uses exercises that don’t require any additional equipment or weights, making it an accessible option for anyone looking to get in shape.
Some common bodyweight exercises that can be used for total body training include the following:
How does muscle growth work?
First things first, what the heck There is Muscle growth? Your muscles are made up of fibers that fire together to produce an action or move a load. The more these muscle fibers work together, repeating the same movement, the more efficient they are.
But what happens when your muscle fibers are met with a heavier or more intense load than they are used to? It is the process of muscle hypertrophy – Muscle growth – takes place.
Muscle hypertrophy is the process of increasing muscle size. To achieve this, one must subject their muscles to a stimulus that encourages them to grow. This can be achieved through an increase in weight, intensity or repetitions. In other words, you want to overload the muscle fibers, pushing them past their comfort zone.
During your exercise, you cause microtears to the fibers. Don’t worry, it’s worse than it sounds. These microtears are essential for muscle growth. Proper rest, nutrition and Exercise recoveryThe fibers rebuild larger and stronger than before, allowing you to gradually get used to the stimulation you’re using. 
Muscles are broken in the gym and built in the kitchen. Nutrition is just as important as working out if you want to see consistent muscle building results.
Eventually, you’ll need to move on to another stimulus, something more challenging to stimulate further growth.
Can you build muscle with bodyweight?
Although you can use additional weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells, bodyweight exercises during total body training can produce the necessary stimulus for muscle growth. There are a few things to keep in mind:
The most important thing to remember is that you must constantly push yourself beyond what you know you are capable of during a bodyweight workout. Often, people who do bodyweight exercises stop seeing results because they don’t challenge themselves further.
Some good ways to make your bodyweight exercises more challenging are to use slower tempos (eg, three seconds up, three seconds down), shorten your rest periods, and increase the number of overall repetitions and sets.
Master the form
As with weight Strength training, form is everything. Bad form doesn’t rob you of your muscle growth gains, but it puts you at risk. Make sure you take the time to learn and master proper form before increasing the intensity of your bodyweight exercises.
Finally, don’t stick to the same total body training workout for months. Make sure you add variety to your workout program. Aside from manipulating reps and sets, rest periods, and tempo as we mentioned above, you can try new exercises or progression versions of the exercises you’re doing now.
How long does it take to build muscle with bodyweight exercises?
Along with this is the time it takes to build muscle Body weight exercises It can vary from person to person, and depends on several key factors, including:
- Gender: Men gain muscle faster than women due to higher levels of testosterone.
- Age: Younger individuals build muscle faster than older ones.
- Genetics: Some people build muscle more easily than others.
- Activity Level: People who are more active see faster results.
- Previous fitness experience: People with a history of working out often have an easier time returning to where they were before – this is called muscle memory.
That said, a realistic timeline for building muscle with bodyweight exercises is about 8 to 12 weeks. Of course, this will vary depending on the individual and their fitness level, but as long as you push yourself and challenge your muscles in new ways each session, you can expect to see results within that time frame.
An exception to the rule is beginner’s luck. If you’ve never worked out before, you’re likely to experience the gift of being a beginner when gains seem to come quickly, but as you train, you’ll notice your results slow. This is completely normal and requires adjusting your workout program.
Is bodyweight training better than weights?
Although one is not better than the other, one type of training is suitable for different types of people.
For example, people who are brand new to fitness or going through exercise rehab start with bodyweight exercises and total body training.
One of the most unique things about bodyweight exercises is that they do more than touch muscle growth. Bodyweight exercises challenge your muscles by demanding coordination and balance.
For those new to fitness, bodyweight exercises and total body training are fantastic ways to build the neuromuscular connections you need to excel in foundational movement patterns like the hip hinge.
What are the disadvantages of body weight training?
While bodyweight training is a great way to build muscle, burn fat, and gain strength, there are also some downsides.
For starters, you can push your muscles with just bodyweight exercises. That’s why many people turn to kettlebells and other weights to generate the stimulus needed for more muscle growth.
Also, progress can be difficult to measure with bodyweight exercises. Weights allow you to easily track the amount of weight lifted, but it’s a little more difficult for bodyweight exercises. Progress can be tracked by measuring total reps and sets, as well as manipulating variables such as rest periods and tempo. But keeping track of overall intensity while making sure you’re pushing each workout a little harder can prove tricky.
Despite these disadvantages, bodyweight training is still an effective way to build muscle and gain strength. Make sure you’re challenging your muscles in a new way each time and add other tools for extra stimulation.
What are the best bodyweight exercises for muscle?
The best bodyweight exercises for muscle growth focus on targeting multiple muscle groups at the same time. These exercises are called compound movements. If you’ve ever performed a squat or bench press, you’ve performed a compound exercise.
For example, with a squat, you’re targeting your lower body — the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes — as well as your core muscles.
By stimulating multiple muscle groups at once, you can achieve several things at once:
- Strengthen neuromuscular connections – mind and body work together more effectively
- Build strength while supporting lean muscle growth
- Maximize your effort in less time
So, what are the best bodyweight exercises to get you started? Here is a list to consider starting with total body exercises followed by lower body and finally upper body exercises.
Total body weight exercises
- Mountain climbers
- Plank Jacks
Lower body body weight exercises
- Jump squats
- Calf Raises
Upper body bodyweight exercises
- Shoulder taps
Ready to put together your full body workout routine? Find all these exercises And many more Adidas training app. Also use it to log your reps and track your overall fitness progress.
Body weight training for muscle growth
Let’s take the exercises from above and throw them into a program you can use today to start your total body workout.
How to exercise
For the following bodyweight workout, you must complete all repetitions for one exercise before moving on to the next. Once you’ve completed all repetitions for all exercises, take an extended break and complete the list two or three times.
If you want to focus on fat burning and muscle growth, don’t take breaks between workouts. Instead, save your break for last, once you’ve completed the entire list. Take a three minute break then start again. As before, save your breaks for last. If your goal is to build muscle, you can incorporate short rest breaks between exercises.
Total Body Training: A workout of body weight exercises
Complete the following three exercises as a practice. These exercises do not count towards your work sets.
- Mountain climbers: 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions (warm-up)
- Jumping Jacks: 1-2 sets of 15-20 reps (warm-up)
- Bear crawl: 1-2 sets of 15-20 yards (warm-up)
Once you’re done with your warm-up, do some dynamic stretching movements and then move on to the workout below.
- Squats-to-overhead-reach: 15
- Pull-ups: 10 (or as many as you can with good form)
- Lateral lungs: 10
- Push-ups: 10 (or as many as you can with good form)
- Crunches: 10
- Glue Bridge: 10
- Sit-ups: 10
- Burpees: 5
Again, after you’ve completed all the reps, take an extended break, then start at the top of the list. Repeat this list of exercises two or three times.
The bottom line
There is no question that you can build muscle without equipment. Bodyweight exercises challenge your coordination, stability and endurance and help you build solid lean muscle tissue. Best of all, they can be done anywhere, anytime, without the need for fancy gym equipment.
Are you looking for a complete collection of bodyweight exercises for your next total body training workout? The Adidas training app Offers a wide range Bodyweight exercises, training plans and workout programs, make exercising at home or at the gym easy.