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do body weight exercises actually do anything? watch

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    since joining the gym i've realised the importance of lifting heavy in order to progress/grow muscle. before the gym i had very little knowledge of lifting and would just do at home workouts following youtube videos. there are SO many videos on youtube like "grow your glutes workout (no equipment)" that i used to do for months and now i'm realising what a waste of time those videos were as you can't gain muscle mass from just body weight.. so do body weight exercises (such as lunges, squats, kick backs, glute bridges etc) actually do anything? i feel bad for all the girls that follow these videos at home for ages thinking that they're going to grow a butt from it :/
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    Whoever told you that you cannot gain muscle mass from just using your body weight is mistaken. You can.
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    You can. I do boxing and bodyweight exercises are extremely important. They are done in an effort develop lean, hard muscle and avoid the bulky mass associated with "hardcore gaining." As a boxer you want to have ideally a lean physique. We do combine weights with these exercises such as lunges with kettle-bells or jumping squats/sit-ups with a medicine ball. High repetitions are vital.
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    Correct OP. A huge part of 'gains' is the concept of progressive overload and this overload should ideally take place between 6-12 reps (depending on training style) so bodyweight exercises quickly become too easy.

    Once you can smash out 40+ pushups it won't give you that much extra muscle, you need to be benching.
    BW squats do v little, you need to be using a barbell and adding weight etc etc.

    That said, the exercises you mention are good ones, just use weights with them. Hold DBs when doing lunges. Barbell for squats, barbell or plate for glute bridges etc. Track how many you do and overtime lift more.

    Pullups would be the only bodyweight exercise that most people don't need to add weight to in order to see significant progress but eventually just wear a belt and add a plate when you get past that stage
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    Correct OP. A huge part of 'gains' is the concept of progressive overload and this overload should ideally take place between 6-12 reps (depending on training style) so bodyweight exercises quickly become too easy.

    Once you can smash out 40+ pushups it won't give you that much extra muscle, you need to be benching.
    This isn't really true really. Even with the simple pushup you can adjust the angles/how you're doing the excercise to put the vast majority of the load on specific muscles to make it a massively better training stimulus for those muscles. Or in general just start using one side of your body unevenly to make any bodyweight exercise vastly more difficult (eventually resulting in one armed pushups/chinups etc).

    There's literally no one in the world who could claim one armed chinups where insufficiently difficult to them to promote solid muscle gains, and 99.9% of people can't even do one.

    Even with one armed pushups if you can't do 20 quality reps per side you can't complain the pushup is too easy, they're still plenty enough for me to maintain/make horizontal pushing gains on and i can bench 100kg*10 (@80kg) and probably do 15-18 one armed pushups/side depending on the day. Then things like pseudo planche pushups with a strong lean put immense overload on the shoulders, all sorts you can be doing with very little technical skill really.
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    You guys need to use your imagination more. Pistol squats are great for strong thighs. They won't give you that puffy look bodybuilders have but I don't know why you'd want that anyway. For glutes and lower back, yeah, you will definitely need weights in order to grow. I do 240 hip extensions just as a warmup and I can easily bang out 100 supermans. For harmstrings and the soleus, you can do arse-kicks (this one's quite noisy btw) or you can put your feet under a heavy object (a barbell, a piece of furniture) on your knees with the soles facing upwards and lower yourself up and down using the knees as the pivot while keeping the back straight (this also trains glutes and back). Be sure to pad your knees. Calves are dead simple; do calve raises. You should aim to do more than 12 reps, even if you do them one-legged. I'm focusing on the lower body because I'm assuing you're a girl.
    When it comes to pecks, triceps and shoulders, there's loads of bodyweight exercises that are extremely effective or though I personally supplement my tricep workout with some weighted tricep extensions and my delts with lateral or overhead movements. People ask me how much I bench all the time and they don't beleive me when I tell them I built my pecs by doing wide pusshups on my fists. As for abs, a standard pilates workout should suffice. You just have to be creative and open to new information. The internet is full of advice
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    This isn't really true really. Even with the simple pushup you can adjust the angles/how you're doing the excercise to put the vast majority of the load on specific muscles to make it a massively better training stimulus for those muscles. Or in general just start using one side of your body unevenly to make any bodyweight exercise vastly more difficult (eventually resulting in one armed pushups/chinups etc).

    There's literally no one in the world who could claim one armed chinups where insufficiently difficult to them to promote solid muscle gains, and 99.9% of people can't even do one.

    Even with one armed pushups if you can't do 20 quality reps per side you can't complain the pushup is too easy, they're still plenty enough for me to maintain/make horizontal pushing gains on and i can bench 100kg*10 (@80kg) and probably do 15-18 one armed pushups/side depending on the day. Then things like pseudo planche pushups with a strong lean put immense overload on the shoulders, all sorts you can be doing with very little technical skill really.
    You can with pushups but as you note you do that alongside benching.
    For most people who do just bodyweight exercises they don’t sufficiently overload their muscles.

    I should have added chin ups to pull ups. I agree they are very difficult for most people and are a good exercise to have in any routine

    Again, yeah you could do one-legged squats etc but the majority of people just do actual squats with no weights, on two legs. This isn’t going to give you significant muscle gains. Nor will glute bridges without weights nor will kickbacks on their own, nor will lunges without some kind of extra resistance (all of which OP mentioned).

    So yes, if you do advanced versions of ‘some’ bodyweight exercises they can be extremely beneficial but on the whole, the much advertised ‘bodyweight’ routines (no equipment needed, do it in your room) are insufficient to transform one’s physique.
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    You can with pushups but as you note you do that alongside benching.
    For most people who do just bodyweight exercises they don’t sufficiently overload their muscles.

    I should have added chin ups to pull ups. I agree they are very difficult for most people and are a good exercise to have in any routine

    Again, yeah you could do one-legged squats etc but the majority of people just do actual squats with no weights, on two legs. This isn’t going to give you significant muscle gains. Nor will glute bridges without weights nor will kickbacks on their own, nor will lunges without some kind of extra resistance (all of which OP mentioned).

    So yes, if you do advanced versions of ‘some’ bodyweight exercises they can be extremely beneficial but on the whole, the much advertised ‘bodyweight’ routines (no equipment needed, do it in your room) are insufficient to transform one’s physique.
    Agreed. The bodyweight cirucuit training advertised on YT channels like Blogilates and SixPackShortcuts are *******s. But as for whether or not they are beneficial, that depends on what level you are and whether or not you are willing to upgrade to bodyweight exercises that require more skill and strength to perform. I had to strengthen my deltoids before I was even able to perform wide pushups on my fists thanks to an old Rugby injury (my shoulder kept disengaging). It's a slow, methodical process but it's fun. Depends on what one is trying to get out of working out
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    (Original post by Zelex)
    You can. I do boxing and bodyweight exercises are extremely important. They are done in an effort develop lean, hard muscle and avoid the bulky mass associated with "hardcore gaining." As a boxer you want to have ideally a lean physique. We do combine weights with these exercises such as lunges with kettle-bells or jumping squats/sit-ups with a medicine ball. High repetitions are vital.
    Really wanted to get into boxing for this reason. I made a plan but doesn't look great, what do you do for abs and cardio and for how many days a week etc.
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    You can grow muscle from body weight but once your muscle have grown stronger you will need to add in more weight to get the tone and shape that you want it works at the start but if you want that definition I would just start out but taking 2 2kg dumbbells to start and then work your way up. Good luck on your training!!
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    You can with pushups but as you note you do that alongside benching.
    For most people who do just bodyweight exercises they don’t sufficiently overload their muscles.

    I should have added chin ups to pull ups. I agree they are very difficult for most people and are a good exercise to have in any routine

    Again, yeah you could do one-legged squats etc but the majority of people just do actual squats with no weights, on two legs. This isn’t going to give you significant muscle gains. Nor will glute bridges without weights nor will kickbacks on their own, nor will lunges without some kind of extra resistance (all of which OP mentioned).

    So yes, if you do advanced versions of ‘some’ bodyweight exercises they can be extremely beneficial but on the whole, the much advertised ‘bodyweight’ routines (no equipment needed, do it in your room) are insufficient to transform one’s physique.
    Agreed about legs, even pistol squats aren't that challenging to someone with decent strength so without holding some extra dumbbells or something (which would obviously no longer count as easy equipment free bodyweight training) you aren't gonna get mad leg gains.

    But in terms of the push-ups I do honestly mean in isolation they are enough. I've gone weeks without touching a weight and come back stronger at benching than before just through one armed pushups/other bodyweight pushup variations. I was just quoting what I could bench to give an idea of my strength level.

    I do honestly believe if you have a bar you can hang from (and enough head-space to clear it safely) you can adequately train your entire upper body with nothing but body-weight even at an advanced level. A few resistance bands of various tensions helps if you want to target specific smaller muscles that are a bit trickier to train with bodyweight (biceps/side/rear delts etc.) but those take no space/weigh nothing so are easy to take around with you if you are travelling or something.
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    Mixed bag, really, depends on the size of the muscle and the proportion of your weight you're able to use.

    E.g. pull ups and chin ups are magnificent exercises, pretty much all you'll need for back and maybe even biceps.

    But then for chest etc, push ups are useful but a little weak compared to the exercises you can do with a decent set of weights.

    And then for legs, pretty much forget it.
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    That’s incorrect, you can gain muscle from just your own body weight, I’ve grown my own booty from excercises like squats, lunges e.c.t. A healthy diet contributes too.
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    (Original post by jdddd)
    Really wanted to get into boxing for this reason. I made a plan but doesn't look great, what do you do for abs and cardio and for how many days a week etc.
    Sorry for the delayed response. I go boxing 4 times a week. Lets say for an hour session, for 10-15 mins of either skipping/jogging to warm up. Then another 10 mins of some technical work. Then 20 mins of intense work on pads or bag. Then exercises to finish. Ab exercises would include situps, leg-raisers, crunches, mountain climbers and finish off with a minute plank. It depends really, out of my 4 sessions, I tend to have one where I focus more on the technical aspects (footwork, defensive movements).
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    (Original post by Zelex)
    Sorry for the delayed response. I go boxing 4 times a week. Lets say for an hour session, for 10-15 mins of either skipping/jogging to warm up. Then another 10 mins of some technical work. Then 20 mins of intense work on pads or bag. Then exercises to finish. Ab exercises would include situps, leg-raisers, crunches, mountain climbers and finish off with a minute plank. It depends really, out of my 4 sessions, I tend to have one where I focus more on the technical aspects (footwork, defensive movements).
    No problem! I guess you go to a boxing club then? I was trying to come up with a routine for home as no boxing clubs near me really, might try to go to one next year at University. Is the club expensive? You focus on the most important thing then. People think its all about punching, punching wouldn't even be in my top five most important boxing skills, footwork, movement, stance, gameplan and defensive blocks are all more important, anyone can throw a crap punch and still manage to knock someone over or out haha.
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    (Original post by jdddd)
    No problem! I guess you go to a boxing club then? I was trying to come up with a routine for home as no boxing clubs near me really, might try to go to one next year at University. Is the club expensive? You focus on the most important thing then. People think its all about punching, punching wouldn't even be in my top five most important boxing skills, footwork, movement, stance, gameplan and defensive blocks are all more important, anyone can throw a crap punch and still manage to knock someone over or out haha.
    Have you done boxing before? Nothing wrong with devising a routine at home but you want to make sure you are executing the proper form etc. Have you looked at youtube possibly? Yes, I go to a boxing club. It's £5 a session. £40 monthly and you can use the gym whenever as well aside from the lesson (this includes the weight room). I agree as well Footwork and executing the fundamentals properly are key.
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    I seem to recall Kohei Uchimura indicating in an interview some time ago that he only trains bodyweight exercises, so...demonstrably yes, if that is in fact true.

    The "effectiveness" and "speed" relative to other methods of training may vary somewhat however...
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    (Original post by Zelex)
    Have you done boxing before? Nothing wrong with devising a routine at home but you want to make sure you are executing the proper form etc. Have you looked at youtube possibly? Yes, I go to a boxing club. It's £5 a session. £40 monthly and you can use the gym whenever as well aside from the lesson (this includes the weight room). I agree as well Footwork and executing the fundamentals properly are key.
    Nope. Yes, but I agree home is nothing like a gym with coaches. No space to work on movement and footwork drills and no-one to spar with which is important to put what you've learnt into practice. Thats cheap for all the coaches etc, but if you can afford it!
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    I seem to recall Kohei Uchimura indicating in an interview some time ago that he only trains bodyweight exercises...
    for 30-odd (plus) hours a week. we part-timers are only looking for a quick fix that'll make us look half-decent, rather than fine tune us to Olympic standards.
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    yeah try doing wide-grip pull ups
 
 
 
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