5 Gym-Free Body Weight Exercises to Help You Gain Muscle


If you’re looking to increase your muscle mass, it is important to have  consistent exercise regimen. There is really no magical secret to muscle gain. The key to getting to your fitness goals is consistent training and constantly challenging yourself to intensify your workouts.

If you are a beginner, you might think that the only way to do this is by signing up for a costly gym membership or buying complicated gym equipment. So if you don’t have the time or the budget, this might eve deter you from starting on your fitness journey.


However, you can actually gain muscle just by doing body weight exercises. This form of training is called calisthenics. By adopting a regular training routine, you can definitely build muscle with calisthenics without the need for a gym or machines. The only resistance you will need is your own body weight.

The benefits of calisthenics in muscle building

While many people underestimate calisthenics, it actually has a lot of benefits. Because you don’t need any equipment, you can start the practice anytime and anywhere. This makes it a very convenient choice when starting a fitness regime.


Aside from being cheap and practical, calisthenics exercises enable you to build muscle in a more balanced way. This is because calisthenics exercises use compound moves that target multiple muscle groups in the body. Unlike most machine exercises that only train one isolated muscle, these compound exercises work out different muscles simultaneously. This means that you can get a muscular yet leaner, more visually balance form.


The simultaneous way calisthenics trains your muscles also mean that you are also saving time because you can improve your overall body strength by just practicing a few moves.

Here are the five calisthenics exercises you should definitely master.


The push-up is one of the most classic exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in your body. What is surprising is that even though this is one of the more popular calisthenics exercises, there are still a lot of people who are unable to perform this exercise correctly.


If the regular push-up is still too hard for you, what you can do is to scale it down by either lowering your knees or elevating your arm onto a raised platform. This way you can build strength on your upper body until you are able to do a regular push-up correctly. After you master this, you can proceed to other push-up variations to increase the intensity of your move.


The squat is another powerhouse workout that targets your abs and your lower body. In squatting down, you should always keep your back straight, your knees not going over your toes, and your core engaged to get the optimum benefits of the move.


Like the push-up, it also has many variations that makes it easier or more difficult. For example, you can add an explosive jump as you go up from your squat in order to put a cardio element in your workout. You can also progress to pistol squats or


While this is a stationary workout, this is an amazing choice if you want to tone your core muscles. What planks do is that they build isometric strength which can result to a tight abdomen, better posture and stronger back muscles.


You can do the basic plank or variations like side planks in order to target different muscles in your abdomen. Keeping your form accurate while doing the plank is important so you’re not sacrificing your posture.


Lunges can help you build your lower body strength and endurance. It also helps improve your balance and flexibility as well as increase your functional strength. Because this exercise targets one leg at a time, you have to make sure you are working out both legs equally. You can also walk when doing this move to convert it into a walking lunch for an added cardio element.


If you’ve never done this exercise before, be forewarned that it will be something that will literally make you catch your breath. While it is a strength-training exercise that will help you build muscle, the plyometric element in this move makes it challenging. Just a few reps of this exercise will make you sweat and burn!

How to do these exercises?

You can perform these exercises in a circuit-style workout. You can either use a time- based workout wherein you do the maximum number of exercise at a given time frame, or you can also do a rep-based routine wherein you target a certain number of repetitions (except for the plank).


Here is an example of a time-based routine:

60 sec push-ups

60 sec squats

30 sec plank

60 sec lunges – alternate leg

60 sec burpees

Rest for 30 sec and repeat the circuit 4 times.


Here is an example of a rep-based routine:


10 push-ups

10 squats

30 sec plank

10 lunges – alternate leg

10 burpees

Rest for 30 sec and repeat the circuit 4 times.


Perform this exercise at least 3 times a week, with a rest day in between. You can increase the intensity of this workout by adding more rounds or doing a more challenging variation of each move.

About the Author:


Rebecca Smith started calisthenics at age 26 as a means to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.



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