It took me 8 years of looking for workouts for skinny people to gain muscle to find the answers to my problems. You see, I wasn’t just skinny, I was scrawny. People would tell me that I had a concave chest. Guys in high school would clamp their hand around my wrist and laugh about how skinny I was.
To put this into perspective, I was 6’ 1”, and I weighed 135 lbs when I first weighed myself. I know for a fact that I was skinnier than that previously. With that being said, I was desperate for answers. I wanted to put on weight, and I was willing to do whatever it took to gain muscle.
For me, the answers did not come until I was 25 years old. I had spent the past 8 years working out, and trying to put on size. Nothing was working. It wasn’t until I discovered the best combination of workouts and eating right, that I was able to rapidly gain muscle.
Gaining Muscle is Not Rocket Science
You can workout your whole entire life without gaining much muscle. Nutrition is everything, and if you are skinny, you probably aren’t eating enough calories. Check out our article 3 Tips for Going From a Thin Body to Muscular Body. You will find the perfect formula for gaining the right amount of muscle. Spoiler alert, your body needs calories to build the muscle that you are working out.
I want to mentioned the app I created based on what helped me gain muscle. Stop guessing what workouts you need to make gains. All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). We have 9 built-in workout plans, 10 HIIT workouts, over 100 exercises, the ability to create unlimited custom workouts, and more.
Shockingly, the workout plan that helped me gain the most muscle in the shortest amount of time was only 3 days per week. In the app, it is called 3 Day Overload, and it will overload your muscles with gains. With that being said, the best workouts for skinny people to gain muscle are called compound exercises. These are exercises that workout more than one muscle group, and almost require your whole body to make happen.
Let’s explore these compound exercises.
Barbell Bent Over Row – The best back exercise
The barbell bent over row not only workouts out the majority of your back, but it also hits your arms, core and glutes.
Start with feet shoulder width apart, and the barbell out in front of you. Bend down so your back is parallel with the floor. You want to keep your core engaged and your back flat here. Grab the barbell, and pull up towards your chest, squeezing your back together at the top.
If you find that your back is curving, you might want to step down in weight until you are strong enough to step up the weight.
Squat – The most classic of the exercises
Walk up to a squat rack, or power rack, and set up your barbell so that it is a little bit lower than shoulder height.
Duck under and put the bar on your shoulders. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Step back from the squat rack, and squat down as low as you can go. A quick note here, if your knees are hurting, you might be going too low. I like to go a little bit below parallel for my upper legs.
When you come up, squeeze your glutes together. Keep your core engaged the whole time.
Pull Ups – All you need is your body weight
Pullups can be performed almost anywhere, and if you don’t have access to a gym, or somewhere else, you can easily buy a door frame pullup bar from Amazon for cheap.
Find a pullup bar and grab it a little bit wider than shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar, and squeeze your back together at the top. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat.
Pullups can also be done with a weight belt or weighted vest for maximum muscle gain.
Barbell Bench Press – The best chest exercise
Find yourself a barbell bench press setup. Set yourself up so your chin is about right under the bar. You want to give yourself room so you can pull it out.
Create a comfortable grip for yourself. Usually about shoulder width apart. Pull the bar off of the rests, and come to a position where your arms are straight up and down, and the bar is directly above your chest.
Slowly lower the bar to your chest, and push up with force. You want your arms/elbows to be at around a 45 degree angle from your sides.
Deadlift – The king of all of the exercises
The deadlift is a beast, and probably one of the best workouts for skinny people to gain muscle. If you could choose one exercise to do for the rest of your life, it would be the deadlift. It covers every muscle group.
Most people think the deadlift is just a leg exercise. Not so fast! It works out legs, glutes, back, arms, and core.
To perform a deadlift, simply place a barbell in front of you, preferably with some weight plates on each side. Step up to the center of the barbell, with your shins no more than 4 inches from it. Make sure your feet are slightly less than shoulder width apart. Reach down, and grab the bar. Keep your arms and back straight. Gripping tightly, pull up the bar until you are standing up straight. Squeeze your glutes at the top, and then lower back down slowly. Repeat.
If your back is arching, you are probably using too much weight. Step it down, practice proper form, and then work your way up.
Main Point – You only need 5 exercises to go from skinny to muscular
Really, what it comes down to, is that you don’t need a ton of exercises to get started. The best thing to do is just get started. The workouts for skinny people to gain muscle are not rocket science. All it is going to take from you is eating enough food, working out at least 3 days per week, and consistency.
I know some people don’t have access to a gym, which is why we put together an article titled 20 of the best exercise equipment Amazon has to offer. You can essentially build a whole entire home gym in your home if that is what you desire.