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10 Bodyweight workout to gain muscle + FAQ

Bodyweight workout to gain muscle. Not everyone has the opportunity to train in the gym, but they do want to perform muscle-strengthening exercises. A bodyweight workout offers a solution. With such training where you only do bodyweight exercises, you do not need a gym.

In this blog, we explain the pros and cons of a bodyweight workout and we cover the 10 best bodyweight exercises you can do. In addition, we answer any questions you might have after reading this blog.

Benefits of a bodyweight workout

We'll start with the benefits that bodyweight workouts have. Below we have listed each benefit separately, with a brief explanation of why it can be seen as an advantage.

You don't need an expensive subscription

A subscription to the gym can sometimes be very expensive. If you choose to only do exercises with bodyweight, you don't need a gym at all. You can do almost all the exercises at home or at another desired location. In some cases, you have to be a little creative, but it is absolutely possible.

You are not tied to a time or location

Do you know that moment? You want to exercise at the weekend and can only do it in the evening. Then your gym is of course closed. This does not matter if you opt for a bodyweight workout. You can of course do these workouts whenever you want, no matter what time or what day it is. It also doesn't matter where you are, so you are completely free to train where and when it suits you.

There is no social pressure

Because you can do bodyweight workouts in almost any place, you can choose a location where there are no other people. As a result, you will not experience social pressure, which you may experience in a (busy) gym. You can just do your own thing, without other people being able to distract you.

It saves time

The final benefit of a bodyweight workout is that it saves time. First of all, you don't have to travel for it, since you can do the training at home. In addition, you do not have to lug weights or clean devices after use. Because you don't have to do a wide range of actions, you can save a lot of time compared to training with weights in the gym.

Bodyweight workout to gain muscle

Disadvantages of a bodyweight workout

There are of course not only benefits to a bodyweight workout. For this reason, here you see the most important disadvantages of doing bodyweight exercises.

It is difficult to increase the resistance

When you train with a machine, barbell, or dumbbells it is very easy to increase the resistance. This is of course different from a bodyweight workout. The resistance you experience is from your own body weight. Of course, you can't just make your body a few kilograms heavier.

Do you want more resistance? Then you will have to think of ways to make the exercise harder. This can be done, for example, by extending the time that your muscles experience tension. Of course, this cannot be compared to adding more weight, but it will make the exercise a bit heavier.

Less possibility for variation

A bodyweight workout certainly offers variety, but that cannot be compared to the variety of exercises you can do in the gym. Here you can choose not only from all kinds of exercises with free weights but also from the huge range of machines that you can use. Because you have less variety with bodyweight exercises, it can become monotonous in some cases.

It can be demotivating

In line with the last mentioned disadvantage, doing only bodyweight exercises can be demotivating. Not only is the possibility of variation in exercises limited, but you are also more limited in increasing the resistance. This makes it more difficult for you to make progress, which can have a demotivating effect.

10 best exercises for a bodyweight workout

Below we have worked out the 10 best bodyweight exercises that complete your bodyweight workout. By doing all 10 exercises you have training that trains the entire body. Of course, you can leave out certain exercises or supplement with other exercises that you like.


The squat is a fantastic exercise that can help you build strong and toned legs. A bodyweight squat is easy to learn, allowing anyone to master it quickly, regardless of level. The aim is to sink so deep that your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.

Bulgarian Split Squat

A variation on the regular squat is the Bulgarian split squat. This bodyweight exercise is a lot more difficult than the normal squat, but for that, you get a very effective exercise for your thighs. All you need is a chair or bench to put your back leg on and off you go.


Pull-ups are undoubtedly one of the most well-known bodyweight exercises out there. You can basically do the exercise anywhere, provided you can hang on to something. If it is not possible to perform a pull-up initially, you can use an elastic to make it easier. In addition, you can also choose to practice only the downward movement first. You can do this by using a step, for example.

Inverted bodyweight rows

An inverted bodyweight row is similar to a barbell row, but inverted and without a bar. Instead of holding a bar, hang yourself down on a bar. You do this fairly close to the ground so that you can keep your body fairly horizontal. When your arms are fully extended, your back should not touch the floor. Now pull yourself up, pushing your shoulder blades in.

If you don't have a rod to hang from, you can also do this on a table or other sturdy object, for example.

push ups

Push-ups are without a doubt the most well-known bodyweight exercise. There are many different ways to perform the exercise and it is quite easy to master the basic movement. This exercise can hardly be missed in a full bodyweight workout. With this exercise, you train the chest muscles and your triceps. It also contributes to a stronger core.

Pike Push Up

Training the shoulders is often a bit more difficult if you opt for a bodyweight workout. The most obvious exercise is often the handstand push-up, but this is too difficult for many people. Fortunately, the pike push-up offers a solution. With a pike push-up, you put the largest part of the resistance on the shoulders, without having to do a full handstand.

When you have finally mastered the pike push-up, you can of course always practice with the handstand push-up.

Hanging leg raises

The hanging leg raise is not an easy exercise. For anyone who already has a trained core, it is a nice addition to his or her bodyweight workout. All you need is a rod or other object to hang from. Make sure you hang high enough so that you can let your legs hang down completely straight.

It is very difficult to stay still during this exercise. The more often you do it, the easier it will become. So don't give up right away, but keep trying!


According to many one of the most annoying bodyweight exercises: planks. This is often a good sign since the exercises that people find annoying are in many cases very effective. This also applies to planks. This static exercise is effective for a strong core. First try to keep it up for, for example, 3 sets of 30 seconds. Then build it up further and further.



In chin-ups, you hang from a bar or other object with the insides of the hands facing yourself. This is unlike pull-ups, where your hands are facing away from you. Because of this, you will find that you do a chin-up a lot from your biceps. This allows you to train your biceps with bodyweight exercises.

Triceps Dips

The last exercise we'll cover for your bodyweight workout is triceps dips. All you need is a chair, side table, or bench. You can then train your triceps with this. Make sure you make a full movement and that you keep the arms close to your body.

Triceps Dips Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions About Bodyweight Workouts

We conclude this blog with a number of questions about training with your body weight. Do you still have questions after reading and is yours not yet described below? Leave a message at the bottom of this page and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Is a bodyweight workout effective?

This of course depends on what your goal is, but a bodyweight workout is certainly effective to get stronger, fitter, and more muscular.

Bodyweight workout vs weight training?

Both workouts have pros and cons. In particular, training with weights will make it a lot easier to increase resistance. This makes it easier to make the exercises harder. Our personal preference, therefore, goes out to training with weights, but this is, of course, different for everyone.

Can you train all muscle groups with bodyweight exercises?

Yes, it is possible to train all muscle groups with a bodyweight workout. In some cases, you have to be a little creative, but it is absolutely possible. Do the exercises from this blog and you have a schedule with which you can train the entire body.

Want to read more such blogs? Check out the strength training category for more tips and articles.

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