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The Best Muscle Workouts


A Trainer Shares 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Building Muscle

Strength coach and Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. consistently incorporates calisthenics principles into his workouts as well as weight training….

By admint10m , in Arms , at September 28, 2021

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Strength coach and Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. consistently incorporates calisthenics principles into his workouts as well as weight training. In a new video, he breaks down exactly how bodyweight exercises can be used to create resistance and stimulate muscle growth, ranking the 10 best moves for equipment-free gains.

First up is the human pullover, an “effective but hard” exercise which targets the lats. Cavaliere demonstrates how to perform this in the video, lying on his back with his hands fixed overhead, lifting his lower body. “We’re overloading, because we’re using our entire bodyweight,” he explains. “This is not an ab-driven exercise… Instead of curling your trunk up using your abs, you drive the body up by pulling your arms down.”

The second move is the classic chinup, which hits the lats and biceps. “It’s got that flexion of the shoulder, supination of the forearm, and flexion of the elbow,” says Cavaliere. “What’s key is maintaining the right relationship of your body to the bar when you do the exercise… Maintain some distance at the top to keep the focus more on the biceps.”

Next up is the handstand pushup. “This is one of the few opportunities you have to do a shoulder exercise and overhead pressing motion where your hands are still in contact with the ground, which activates the kinetic chain in a different way,” he says.

Fourth is the glute/ham raise, which activates both the glutes and hamstrings in concert. “If you can allow the glutes to drive the function of the hamstrings by contracting and stabilizing first, you’re going to get not only a better contraction of the hamstrings, but a safer one where they’re not overloaded.”

The fifth exercise is a bodyweight staple: the pushup. When it comes to getting the most out of this move, Cavaliere emphasizes that form matters, with full extension on each rep a must. He also advises not sticking to the version of the move where you can churn out reps with ease, but instead to try variations that challenge you to do 10 or 15 reps at most.

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To hit up the abs, Cavaliere recommends the hanging leg raise, and then suggests dips to build the chest, shoulders and triceps. The eighth move on the list is another bodyweight go-to, the pullup, which can function as a total back-builder as well as a stabilizing exercise.

The ninth exercise is something that Cavaliere has recommended multiple times before; the face pull, which can be performed anywhere without the need for equipment, simply by utilizing a doorway. And finally, because skipping leg day is a huge nope, Cavaliere closes out the list with the levitation squat, which creates overload as it places the full bodyweight on a single leg at a time.

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