If you want to get very strong with bodyweight training only, in this guide you will see how. Here are the best bodyweight exercises for strength that will get you incredibly strong.
Strength is very important if you want to increase your muscle mass. The stronger you are, the more potential you have to build muscle. So strength should be one of your priorities and goals when it comes to training.
You don’t have to go to the gym or lift weight if you want to get stronger. And the best thing is that you can increase your strength with simple bodyweight exercises.
In this article, you will see a list of the best bodyweight strength exercises for every body part. You will also see how to increase your full body strength from the legs and abs to the total upper body, arms (biceps and triceps), chest, shoulders, and back.
So, let’s see how to increase strength and how to train to get stronger with bodyweight exercises.
How to Get Stronger with Only Bodyweight Exercises?
By now you probably know that if you want to increase strength, you need to train in the range of 1-8 reps.
You can see that in the picture below:
It’s easy to train for strength when you go to the gym or lift weights. But what should we do when we want to get stronger only with bodyweight training, where our body weight will remain the same more or less?
The answer is simple.
You need to do a harder variation of the same basic exercises like pull ups, push ups, and squats. So your goal should be to progress from mentioned basic exercises to more one-handed and one-legged exercise variations.
Ideally, you should choose exercises that you can do in the range of 3-8 reps. And when they get easier, then you should move on to more difficult variations.
With that approach, you will increase your strength gradually and consistently. And that is the most important. But remember, don’t rush the process!
So you must first master the basics. Basics are 80% of bodyweight training (and almost everything else that you want to master). Rushing the process will more likely lead to an injury than faster progress.
If you want a customized bodyweight workout program for you personally and your goals, you can apply here for a personalized bodyweight program.
10 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Strength
These bodyweight exercises are not just great for total body strength. By mastering these exercises you will also master your body and mind.
In the gym, everyone can do a deadlift, bench press, or squat. The only difference is the weight you lift.
But when it comes to bodyweight training, only a FEW are able to perform hard bodyweight exercises for pure strength. Most people will stay stuck with basic exercises like pull ups, push ups, and bodyweight squats, and will not progress from there.
So if you have mastered the basics and if normal pull up, push up and squat variations are no longer a challenge for you, you can try the following bodyweight strength exercises.
1. Wall Handstand Push Ups
This is the best bodyweight shoulders strength exercise.
Everything you need for this exercise is the wall and floor.
Place your hands on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart and carefully place your legs on the wall. Make sure your whole body is straight from arms to legs. After that, slowly lower yourself down just before your head touches the floor. Then return to starting position and that is 1 rep.
2. One Arm Push Ups
One arm push ups are one of the best bodyweight push strength exercises.
This is probably one of the most popular bodyweight exercises that demonstrates pure strength. With this is complete push movement, you will primarily hit your chest, triceps, and shoulders. But your total body strength and control is crucial here.
To perform one arm push ups properly, lower yourself on the floor in a push ups position, then spread your leg position and place one arm behind your back. Start slowly lowering your body, then push it up with one hand.
And when normal one arm push ups become easy, you can try elevated one arm push ups.
3. One Arm Triceps Dips
One arm triceps dips are the best bodyweight triceps strength exercise.
Put your arm on a bench or something high enough (like a bed), spread your legs a little wider, and with one hand slowly lower yourself down to the floor. Then push yourself up carefully and it is one rep.
4. Planche Push Ups – Best Bodyweight Push Exercise for Strength
Compared to previous exercises, this is the most difficult push exercise for strength. It’s because planche push ups require total body strength and control.
5. One Arm Pull ups / Chin Ups – Best Bodyweight Pull Exercise for Strength
After 4 push exercises now it’s time to see pull exercises. And here is the ultimate bodyweight exercise for strength. One arm pull up/chin up is the most difficult bodyweight strength exercise.
Before you master one arm pull ups/chin ups you will have to do A LOT of multiple variations of archer pull ups/chin ups, assisted oap/oac (finger or towel), one arm negatives, holds, etc.
If you want to hit biceps more, do more of chin up variations. And if you want to hit back more, do more of pull up variations.
Be extra careful with this exercise. You can get elbow pain (tendonitis) very very fast. So, slowly move from easier to slightly harder variations!
6. One Arm Inverted Rows
This exercise is similar to one arm pull ups/chin ups, but it’s much easier.
You can also change the position and grip of your hands, depending on whether you want to hit more biceps or back.
7. Pistol Squats – Best Bodyweight Leg Exercise for Strength
Pistol squats are the ultimate lower body strength exercise. This is the only exercise you need to master for the total strength of your lower body and legs. The hardest part of pistol squats is your body coordination and balance.
8. Toe To Bar Raises
Toe to bar raises are great exercise for your total core strength. But the good thing is that this exercise is not so difficult to master compared to others.
9. Front Lever Raises
Front lever raises exercise is harder compared to toe to bar raises. You will need a lot of core and total body strength as well to perform this exercise properly.
10. Dragon Flags – Best Bodyweight Ab Exercise for Strength
And here we come to the most legendary bodyweight core exercise for strength invented by Bruce Lee.
Compared to the previous 2 core exercises that require a bar, for dragon flags, you only need a floor and something stable to hold with your hands.
What do You Think is the Best Bodyweight Exercise for Strength?
As you can see, you don’t need a gym or weight to get stronger. You can gradually increase strength with simple bodyweight exercise variations. Don’t forget to start easy and slightly increase the difficulty.
To start, select a few bodyweight strength exercises from this list, for example one arm push ups, one arm pull ups and pistol squats, and work on them consistently.
Be patient, stay persistent, and you will achieve that superhuman strength!