The 10 greatest home exercises you can do to build muscle at home and hit your entire body are laid out here on one comprehensive video. Some tough choices had to be made, but what you have here are the best home exercise options for hitting the back, chest, legs, arms, shoulders and even your rotator cuff. The criteria for the selections of these was that they were primarily bodyweight exercises that could be done without a large home gym or expensive equipment.
HOME EXERCISES FOR BACK
We start the list with the two best home exercise routines for the back. Here we can’t look anywhere else but to the pull-up. This amazing back builder is one of the kings of all upper body movements regardless of whether you’re training at home or in the gym. All that is needed is a simple doorway pullup bar, which is a rather inexpensive piece that you’ll want to grab.
Because the back is so important and often undertrained when it compares to the anterior chain muscles like the chest and shoulders, I’m including a second exercise. This one is called the human pullover. The key to performing this one is to not let the abs do the work but rather the arms. This is similar in appearance to the human flag but it works the lats if you do it right. Instead of lifting with the pelvis, think of pulling the lower body up towards the ceiling by driving your hands into the fixed anchor point.
HOME EXERCISES FOR CHEST
Next we hit the chest and the best way to do that is with a variation of the pushup that includes the all important adduction of the shoulder to maximize chest contraction. Normally, with your hands fixed on the ground during a push-up, you are unable to drag your hands closer together as you come up to complete the squeeze on the pecs. If you rotate your body however, you can get more adduction at the shoulder on every rep. This can be done as an incline if you need a slightly beginner home exercise option instead.
HOME EXERCISES FOR BICEPS
The biceps are easily worked in the home gym with nothing more than the pull-up bar we already mentioned. Perform the biceps chin up to build bigger biceps at home. Instead of pulling your body straight up and down however you want to slightly lean yourself back and pull close as you come up. This is basically to simulate the curling of the bar during a barbell curl except this time you are curling your body up to a fixed bar.
HOME EXERCISES FOR TRICEPS
The triceps are hit with the upright dip. This can be done with a pair of chairs. Maintain an upright torso to keep your arms held tight to your sides and maximize the contraction of the long head of the triceps. When your arms are out in front of you during a traditional chest dip, you are unable to get this complete contraction of the long head making this variation invaluable when building triceps at home.
HOME EXERCISES FOR LEGS
The legs can be trained quite effectively in a home workout if you are willing to invest in a resistance band. The extra resistance is something that is often needed to overload the stronger muscles of the quads when access to barbells or extensive gym setups is not an option. The Bulgarian Split Squat with a band is an amazing way to train the quads, simulating around 40-50 pound dumbbells with one single piece of resistance tubing.
The glutes and hamstrings are hammered quite well with the combination of the glute/ham raise and the slick floor bridge curls. Remember to keep both the glutes and hams engaged and firing together to enable them to assist each other, as they desire to perform, throughout both of these exercises.
HOME EXERCISES FOR SHOULDERS
Finally, the shoulders are easily able to be overloaded via the handstand pushup. This is one brutal upper body builder and can fit into any workout program for building big shoulders at home. Take the set to failure and watch as your shoulders grow practically before your eyes. If you can’t do this quite yet however, you can always do the dive-bomber pushup alternative shown here as well.
This showcases what I believe are the 10 greatest home exercises of all time. Your picks may be different. The key is this, no home workout program can be complete with just 10 exercises. You need to hit your body from more angles and with more exercise variation to get the most out of what you are capable of in terms of muscle growth. The XERO program at athleanx.com is designed to do just that without requiring any equipment at all. Check it out at the link below.
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Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.