Pullups help develop upper-body muscle.
Working out and building muscle doesn't always require a fully equipped weight room. You can use a body-weight training routine to build lean muscle tissue and develop increased strength, but the regimen will differ in a few ways from a traditional weight-lifting routine. For example, the sets and reps will be higher and you'll have to forgo the idea of вЂњbulkingвЂќ up. The muscle mass you develop with body-weight exercises will be lean and strong, but not necessarily voluminous. Work out three to four times each week and perform all exercises in each session.
Mass Versus Bulk
The first step to developing your workout is to understand and clearly define your goals. The muscle you build using body-weight exercises will be toned and able to apply functional strength in a variety of athletically competitive situations. It won't allow you to significantly increase the volume of your muscles because you won't be able to use progressive overload. To bulk up like a body-builder, you need to incorporate free-weight exercises into your program.
Pull It Up
The pullup is a body-weight exercise that targets numerous muscle groups in the upper body, and its one of the few body-weight exercises that utilizes 100 percent of your body's weight throughout. The exercise hits the lats, traps, delts, biceps and triceps. To start, it may be difficult to do many repetitions. If necessary for the first few weeks, use a pullup machine that utilizes weighted counterbalance to help you develop sufficient upper-body strength to perform unassisted pullups. Start with three sets of five pullups - assisted if necessary - and work to increase the number of reps you do for each set in successive sessions.
Push It Out
Pushups, like pullups, target the upper body but they don't place as much stress on engaged muscles because the exercise uses only the resistance provided by your torso. Pushups are effective for developing the pecs, biceps, triceps and delts. To start out, do one set of pushups to failure to gauge your baseline. In successive workouts, subtract three pushups from that number and attempt to do two sets of the new figure. For example, if you do 11 pushups initially, attempt two sets of eight. Work to increase your reps per set in each workout. Your body should adapt quickly, allowing you to increase pushups each session.
Two important lower-body exercises to include in your routine are the lunge and the squat. Both exercises target the hamstrings, quadriceps muscles, calves and gluteals. Like the pullup, each exercise uses most of your body's weight for resistance, giving a thorough engagement. Each exercise should be easier to perform than pullups and pushups since your lower body is already somewhat accustomed to moving you around. Begin with two sets of 10 reps for each exercise. For the squat, simply lower yourself down while bending at the knees, then raise yourself back up. For the lunge, stretch yourself outward so that your body's weight rests on one leg, return to the standing position and then repeat with the opposite leg. You should be able to increase the number of reps and add more sets in successive weeks.