Most people write off bodyweight training as a way to achieve conditioning, fat loss, and not much more. While bodyweight moves are good for conditioning and burning fat, you can use bodyweight workouts to build muscle as well. To do that, you need to mix the right movements with the right amount of volume.
The seven bodyweight workouts below will help you do it. Each of these workouts focuses on building muscle in a specific part of the body, and they can be completed in 30 minutes. For these workouts, all you’ll need is a TRX system or gymnastic rings, a pullup bar, benches and blocks, resistance bands (and a stable object, like a squat cage, to anchor them to), floor space, and some good old fashioned gusto. These are the best bodyweight workouts to build muscle—grab your gear and get to it.
The 7 Best Bodyweight Workouts to Build Muscle
Directions: These workouts contain a mix of straight sets, supersets, and compound sets. Straight sets are listed as A, B, or C. Perform the set and immediately take the prescribed rest. Supersets and compound sets involve pairing two movements back to back. They’re listed as A1 and A2, B1 and B2, etc. For these, perform one set of each movement and then take the prescribed rest.
Workout 1: Arms
- A1. TRX/Ring Dip x Max reps: Use a pair of gymnastic rings or TRX straps hung at waist level. Place a hand in each ring/strap and get into a dip position. Be sure to keep the straps close against your body—any gaps between your arms and the straps will cause instability. Perform the dips by leaning forward slightly and lowering yourself while keeping the straps close as described above.
- A2. TRX Rocker x 12: Hold a gymnastic ring or TRX