Full-Body Exercises

3 Super Impressive Bodyweight Exercises

Push, pull and squat your way into a stronger, leaner, healthier physique...and do it without any weights.

pullup back exercise

No matter what equipment you have available or even no equipment at all, you can still build muscle, burn fat and sculpt the physique you have always wanted. Not being able to get to the gym is never an excuse not to get a workout in. You can always use your own body. Utilizing just your bodyweight for a workout can sometimes be even more demanding than if you had all the equipment in the world.

The reason why is because many bodyweight exercises can be hard. If you take the time to master certain bodyweight movements, you will unlock some new muscle and strength.

Just look at gymnasts, and guys who swing around on monkey bars and climb mountains. They may not be super huge, since this would not be good for them in their chosen sport, but they are shredded to the bone and have the strength capacity to go along with it.

SEE ALSO: It's a HIIT: The Unilateral Bodyweight Circuit

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The key to designing a great bodyweight workout is to utilize all of the major 3 movements such as pushing, pulling, and squatting. We are not talking about a basic pushup or squat here. We are going to take it a bit further. Behold the big 3 bodyweight exercises:

  • Tactical Pull-up
  • Pistol Squat
  • 1-arm push-up

Tactical (hallow position) Pullup

The best upper-body pulling exercise is the pullup hands down. For some people, it takes a boatload of strength to do just a few full ranges of motion pullups. It hits almost every muscle in the upper-body and even demands your core to work hard. The 1-arm pushup is the true test of upper-body pushing strength and is the perfect complement to the pullup. 

Now, let's take the pullup a little further and do the tactical pullup. What's the difference? First, you need to master what is called the hallow position. This is position is a posture from gymnastics designed to maximize your strength;

·      Tensed and shortened abs

·      Tensed glutes

·      Tucked-in-pelvis

·      Flared shoulder blades

·      A slightly concave body shape.

The cool thing about the hallow position is that it also will carry over to the two other bodyweight moves in this article (1-arm pushup and pistol squat). So, get a hold of a solid hallow position before you do any of the 3 demanding bodyweight movements.

Once you have this nice hallow position, you simply keep that position as you perform a pullup. To get the most bang for the buck on this exercise, keep your vision straight ahead and neck neutral. Start at a dead-hang position (arms totally straight at the bottom portion of the rep), and then pullup until your neck is even with the bar, pause and then lower with control.

While grip strength and back strength are key for a good tactical pullup, it starts with the hallow position.

Quality is key here so, you don’t need a ton of reps in one set. I like sets of 1-5 reps. A total rep count of 15-25 should be plenty of good pulling work.

The hollow posture sets up a lat synergy with the anterior muscles pecs, serrates, abs, and obliques. This type of position is used in many athletic feats such as punching in fighting sports and wrestlers. It is a powerful position.

Traditional bodybuilding type pullups have their place in training. They help improve muscle hypertrophy but are secondary in strength building. If you want to get stronger, master the hallow position and switch to the tactical pullup.

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