Bodyweight Exercises for Building Muscle Mass with Arms


Body weight training is merely a mode of resistance training in which the resistance is delivered by the body rather than by an external weight such as a barbell or the weight stack of a machine. In cases in which no gear is available or if the individual prefers this type of training, body weight training is a feasible option. It is important to note that the ability to develop maximal strength or power (or both) with body weight training will be eradicated because it cannot provide the intensity necessary to develop these physiological adaptations. To gain maximal benefits from this type of training, the emphasis must be on executing each exercise in a slow, controlled manner with perfect technique.

#1: Parallel Dips

These are great for shaping and building mass in all three heads of the triceps musculature. For considerable training emphasis on your triceps, hold your torso as upright as possible (leaning forward puts primary resistance on your chest). Grasp the handles of a dip apparatus and hold your body up in the air between them and inhale as you lower yourself as far down as you can comfortably descend and then exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.

#2: Seated Triceps Dips

Seated triceps dips are another great triceps builder. To do this exercise, sit on a bench with your legs together and stretched out on the floor in front of you. Your arms should be completely extended and shoulder-width apart behind you. Slither your body a tad forward to suspend yourself so that your arms are bearing your bodyweight between the bench and the ground. With your arms drawn-out and your hands behind you, gradually lower yourself as though to sit on the floor and then push back up by extending your arms and returning to the preliminary position. This exercise, when executed correctly, will add remarkable shape and definition to your triceps musculature.

#3: Chin-Ups

This bodyweight exercise is excellent for adding muscle mass to your biceps. Simply grasp the chin-up bar with an underhand-grip and your arms shoulder-width apart, proceeding to inhale as you pull your body upward as far as possible. Afterward, exhale as you lower your body to the starting position.

#4: Pull-Ups

This is also another great bodyweight exercise for adding density to your biceps musculature. Simply grasp the pull-up bar with an overhand grip and your arms spread at a comfortable distance. Inhale as you pull your body upward as far as possible, then proceeding to exhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.



Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2008.

Siff, Mel Cunningham, and Yuri Vitalievitch Verkhoshansky. "Classification of Exercises." Supertraining. 6th - Expanded Version. Denver: Supertraining International, 2009.

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