Is it possible to build more size with body weight exercises only? Well if you just do endurance workouts with endless reps of sit-ups, jumping jacks or bodyweight squats, you should not be surprised if the results are not satisfying. To build more muscle you have to work with harder exercises and progressions while sticking to proper rest times. Of course you have to keep an eye on your nutrition as well. An appropriate diet is as important as the right workout routine. Here we show you how to start your body transformation at home.
What you will learn in this article:
Body transformation at home: Pre-workout
Before we start with the training of our body transformation at home, it’s time for a pre-workout meal. The pre-workout meal is important because you need enough energy to perform as good as possible. It fills your bloodstream with nutrients, which are then easier to use during the workout. There are different substances that can have positive effects for your following workout so that you can maximize the outcome.
One thing is caffeine. Taking caffeine before your workout can increase your focus, your strength output and even the ability to burn fat. It doesn’t really matter if you get it from coffee, green tea or supplements. Green tea has a lower amount of caffeine which makes it a good choice if you’re not used to it. Supplements make it easy if you don’t like the taste of coffee and it lets you consume a precise amount. The only thing we don’t recommend are energy drinks. They have a lot of other ingredients that may have negative effects in the long term.
Another thing to spice up your workout are simple carbs. They give you the fast energy that you need, especially if you work in the strength and hypertrophy area. You should use high gi (glycemic index) carbs pre-workout that also increase your insulin levels for a higher anabolic effect. You could eat rice cakes with honey for example.
The last thing on our list is beetroot. It has the so-called nitrates which support dilating your blood vessels to improve oxygen transportation and the pumped up feeling. It doesn’t matter if you eat beetroot or drink beetroot juice. Because of practical reasons we recommend to drink beetroot juice about one to one and a half hours prior to training.
Careful with quantity!
A last very important tip: don’t eat too much! On a full stomach, you won’t be able to train well. Use small amounts 30 to 60 minutes before you’re working out. Of course you can also profit if you ate a good meal about three to four hours before you train.
Body transformation at home: Workout routine
All right now it’s time to start the workout of our body transformation at home. The routine consists of many different exercises but you can split them into three different categories. Push, pull and legs. All exercises are complex multi-joint movements and require core stability to do them. If your abdominals are your weak point you could add one to two ad focused exercises at the end of the workout.
Pike Stand with Planche Lean
The pike stand with a planche lean is a shoulder focused exercise. Here you place your feet onto an object and move your upper body into a handstand like position. From there you move yourself into a regular push-up position, but lean forward so that your shoulders travel in front of your wrists. The more you lean forward the harder it gets. So only lean that far that you are able to stabilize your shoulders, elbows and wrists. A good indicator is your spine and shoulder blade position. Don’t let your spine or shoulder blades collapse and aim for a scapular protraction and a rounded or neutral spine. For one repetition you hold the pike stand for about 2 seconds, then switch to the planche lean and hold it for 2 seconds as well.
Diamond Push Ups
Diamond push-ups are the second variation and are triceps dominant. Here you focus on the elbow flexion and extension in the first place and not the shoulder and shoulder blade movement. In the lowest point of the push-up your elbows don’t move behind your back and are on the same height as your torso. To make this even harder, you can completely eliminate the shoulder movement and only push from your elbows. This is the purest triceps push-up variation and is called sphinx push-up.
Regular Push Ups
This brings us right to the next push-up variation: the regular chest focused push-up. This exercise is a good mix between shoulder, chest and triceps activity. But if you want to focus more on your chest, here are a few tips:
- First: Focus on your shoulder extension. in contrast to the diamond push-ups you now want to push as little as possible from your elbows. To get the perfect chest activation move your elbows behind your body as much as possible and aim for a scapular retraction at the bottom (bring your shoulder blades together as much as possible). The deeper you go and the more you retract your shoulder blades, the greater the chest stretch in the lowest position. This increases the range of motion and is perfect to activate the muscle fibers of the chest.
- Second: To really spike the tension for your chest, try to push your hands together when you are in the top position. This counteracts the reduction of the tension that occurs when you totally extend your elbows.
Now we move on to the pull category. Here you do two exercises with three sets each. First you do three sets of the victorian followed by three sets of rows.
For the victorian you need two chairs or tables. There are different ways to do this exercise but the main goal is to heavily activate your lats by doing a straight arm shoulder extension. This exercise may not look hard on the first view, but it’s a latissimus and back killer. Imagine it like a straight leg pull down or a front lever raise. Depending on your level you can do the exercise with knees tucked to your body, which is pretty hard, or with your feet on the ground, which is way easier.
The second pull exercise are rows. Here you need two chairs with the same height and a broomstick. It’s also possible to use a solid table or two high chairs without the broomstick. But this depends on how the chairs and the tables are constructed. Any kind of rowing movement is not only perfect to work your lats, traps and rhomboids but also to focus on your biceps and forearms. If you only got two low chairs and tables, it’s okay to do rows with a limited range of motion.
The last category is focused on the lower body. Here you do four sets of bulgarian split squats for each leg, followed by three sets of calf raises.
Bulgarian Split Squats
The bulgarian split squat is a good mix between quad, glute and hamstring activity, but you can modify this exercise as well. In version 1 you got a bigger focus on your quads. In version 2 you can target your glutes and hamstrings a little bit more. Since you are doing 4 sets you could do 2 with version 1 and 2 with version 2. Don’t choose a too high object to put your leg on unless you got a really good hip mobility. The higher the object, the more you increase the stretch for your hip flexors on that side. This is not wrong in general but if you’re not mobile enough it can decrease your range of motion.
You finish the workout with calf raises. If body weight calf raises with both legs are too easy we suggest the single leg version. Here you could hold yourself onto something while lifting your heel off the ground. When you are at the highest point you pause for a second before you let yourself down again with full control. If you got a book or another similar object we suggest elevated calf raises. The object allows you to increase your range of motion and gives your calves a full stretch at the bottom position.
Sets & Rest
Alright this was the complete workout. If you want to get more details here’s an overview with all exercises sets and rest times. If some of the shown exercises and their progressions are too easy for you, it’s possible to add some extra weight with the backpack. You can do this with the push ups, the bulgarian split squats and the calf raises. In general you should adapt the exercise so that you are able to do about 6 to 15 repetitions.
Body transformation at home: Post-workout
After the workout it’s time to eat and give your body the nutrients it needs to grow. You want to fill up the glycogen stores with a good amount of carbs and give the body what it needs to repair broken muscle tissue, which is protein.
But even fat can help you to support your regeneration. To benefit from that you can use different foods. You could create a post-workout shake by putting one banana, four eggs, some blueberries and almond milk in the mixer. You can also add some honey for the taste. If you don’t like a shake, you can prepare another food which contains oats, greek yogurt and some mixed berries. If you want to add some carbs you can add agave nectar or applesauce.
Oats give you lots of carbs and some protein and in addition many other important minerals and vitamins like especially some b vitamins. Greek yogurt gives you a good amount of protein and fat which can improve your regeneration. After a hard workout berries contain antioxidants and some important minerals that can support your regeneration. If you are a vegan you can adapt this meal by leaving the yogurt away and use almond milk and some nuts instead cashews for example have a high amount of fats, proteins and some carbs.
Looking for a structured training program?
If you like this routine and want different workouts exercises and more variety in general you should head over to calimove.com. Our step-by-step workout programs are designed as an online course you can follow easily. Every program can be done at different levels and comes with high quality videos, animations and additional content. To maximize your gains we have developed a new nutrition guide for each of our training programs. This guide includes a calculator to individualize your nutrition to your goals.
So no matter if you want to gain muscle lose weight or change your nutrition habits, we have you covered. Of course we also included meal samples consistent with a vegan, a vegetarian and or a ketogenic lifestyle. In addition you get a food table supplement recommendations and much more nutrition related content. Every guide fits the schedule of the training program of your choice, so you don’t have to worry about what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.
Watch the video to learn how to do a body transformation at home
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