It’s a well-known fact that being physically active has a plethora of benefits. And one of them is that exercise boosts testosterone levels. But if weightlifting isn’t your thing or if you simply want to do bodyweight movements? Then you’ll totally love the top 5 testosterone boosting exercises without weights:
- Split jumps
And no, training without equipment doesn’t mean that it won’t lead to any results since bodyweight exercises can still have a positive impact on your testosterone levels.
That’s because they incorporate multi-joint movements that provide a bigger hormonal response than single-joint (i.e. isolation) exercises.
How Exercise Increases Testosterone Levels?
The effects of exercise on hormone production have been thoroughly studied for many years now.
So let’s take a closer look at what science has to say about the impact of physical exercise on testosterone levels!
Also read – 5 best exercises for a flat tummy
1. Exercising Regularly Increases Testosterone and GH
That’s what a 2004 study courtesy of the International Journal of Neuroscience claims (1).
This particular research focused on how and what kind of effects working out has on older men and the results were truly amazing!
Not only did the men who were engaging in regular physical activity talking around with more testosterone and growth hormone, but their reaction times were decreased meaning they could react faster.
Another great potential benefit associated with the elevated GH and serum testosterone levels that these researchers cited was related to improving brain functions.
2. Physical Activity is Very Beneficial for Improving T Levels in Obese Men
The results in a 2016 study by the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition point out that physical activity has a major impact on serum T levels in overweight men (2).
Now, this particular study examined these effects in relation to lifestyle modifications that were supposed to help them lose weight.
Thus, it seems that regular physical exercise is more effective at boosting testosterone in obese men than simply losing excess body fat.
3. Men who Work Out have Higher Testosterone Levels than Sedentary Folks
Although this one’s quite logical, men who workout have more T coursing through their veins than sedentary men according to the European Journal of Applied Physiology (3).
It appears that guys who are physically active not only have a better anabolic hormonal environment in their bodies, but their semen production is healthier as well.
Additionally, physically active guys had higher concentrations of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH follicle-stimulating hormone.
4. Weightlifting Increases Testosterone by 21.6% for up to 30 mins Post-Workout
Most guys know that lifting heavy weights provides a great hormone stimulation and relevant scientific data supports it (4).
Apparently, they found that the men observed experienced a 21.6% increase in T levels immediately post-workout.
Another interesting, yet unsurprising find in this study shows that weightlifting has a much greater impact on our (men’s) testosterone levels than women.
5. 12 Months of Exercise Boosts Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by 14.5%
A 2001 study from the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal shows that engaging in regular exercises for 1 year can boost your DHT levels by 14.5% (5).
The test subjects in this scientific research were men from 40 to 75 years old and they engaged in a more frequent exercising protocol than what they were used to.
And while the increase in the DHT hormone (a more potent form of testosterone) is quite fascinating, their sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels were elevated as well.
Does this Mean that Working out More Increases Testosterone Even Further?
No, since training too much can lead to overtraining, which in return can have a detrimental effect on your hormones.
And is there any science-based evidence related to overtraining and its negative effects on one’s hormone profile?
Yes – a 2012 systematic review from the Sports Health journal examined relevant data associate with overtraining and its effects(6)!
This research suggests that overtrained athletes can experience changes in various hormones including testosterone and cortisol as a result of overtraining.
- Also read: Does working out increase testosterone?
Apparently, this is directly related to overtraining syndrome (OTS) that how our bodies react to working out too much without getting enough rest.
And for preventative measures, this research states that training load and mood are to be observed when it comes to preventing OTS.
It seems that when your mood decreases, the training load has to be decreased as well to avoid getting in the dreaded overtraining state!
Is Working Out Without Weights Even Worth It Then?
Not having access to weights or exercise equipment doesn’t mean that it won’t have a positive impact on your hormone profile!
A great example of this is the highly popular high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise protocol that you can do with only your bodyweight.
HIIT has been scientifically-validated to increase testosterone levels in men (7).
Basically, alternating between bursts of high-impact movements with short lower-impact exercises is a superb way to stimulate T production.
So, yes – you can effectively and efficiently train at home and do various exercises and workouts (including HIIT workouts).
Also read – How to exercise at home with no equipment
The 5 Best Testosterone Boosting Exercises Without Weights!
Without further ado, here are the top 5 T-boosting movements without weights that we’ve hand-picked for you and that you can do with just your bodyweight.
Sample workout: 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to start small (1-2 repetitions) and slowly build from there… pull-ups are hard!
Even if you have no access to barbells or dumbells, pull-ups are always there to help as they’re already quite challenging without even adding any extra weight.
This will always be the go-to exercise for building muscle, strength and boosting your hormones if you don’t want to (or have no access to) fancy gym equipment.
Note that pull-ups and chin-ups are two different variations of the same exercise!
Yep – and here’s what the difference is to avoid any future confusion:
- Pull-ups – You do them by pulling yourself up with your palms are facing away (in an overhand grip)
- Chin-ups – Here you’re pulling yourself up with your palms facing you (underhand grip)
Although most people find chin-ups easier, they’re not as stimulating for your body and hormones.
That’s because they target your biceps more, which is a smaller muscle compared to your back muscles – so stick to pull-ups!
Sample workout: 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions
Pro tip: For the most optimal squatting stance, try placing your feet at shoulder width.
The squats are the bread and butter of just about any workout plan out there and for good reason.
Also read – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s workout routine
This incredible exercise is a true multi-joint movement as it involves a plethora of muscle groups, most notably the quadriceps, hamstrings and abdominals.
And guess what?
Squats primarily activate the biggest muscles in your body that are located in your legs, which provides a massive stimulus to T production.
Albeit not as effective as weighted squats (i.e. barbell squats), doing bodyweight squats can still be quite effective!
On top of that, squats will help you get stronger on other exercises too as they’re quite good at strengthening your core, which is directly related to your overall strength.
3. Split Jumps
Sample workout: 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions (per leg)
Pro tip: Don’t do these on a carpet or any movable object as you might hurt yourself.
Split Jumps are kind of similar to squats in the sense that they primarily target the major muscle groups in the legs.
But that’s where all the similarities end since Split Jumps aren’t simply a strength exercise – they’re a plyometric exercise.
As such, this exercise combines aerobic and anaerobic benefits as they carry both strength-gaining and cardiovascular advantages.
Split Jumps is an explosive plyometric movement that improves strength and conditioning of your muscles and heart.
Thus, this awesome explosive bodyweight exercise is great for stimulating your muscles, heart and hormone production.
Sample workout: 4 sets of 10-25 repetitions
Pro tip: Try alternating between different hand stances to target different parts of your chest and triceps.
Push-ups don’t need any introduction as there’s hardly any man out there who hasn’t done at least a dozen of them in his lifetime.
They are a great way to increase your strength and muscle mass mainly in your chest and arms.
Push-ups are a brilliant multi-joint bodyweight exercise that can help you get stronger, more muscular and simply manlier.
However, apart from the pectoral and triceps muscles, many other muscle groups are also involved as support, such as your abs and quads.
Also read – 5 best chest exercises for men
And apart from building strength, push-ups are also a very good conditioning builder, especially if you go for really high reps (50 and above)… if you’re that strong that is.
Sample workout: 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
Pro tip: Always bend your arms until your shoulders go below your elbows (anything else is doing half-assed dips)
Dips are that cool looking exercise that you see ripped guys doing at beach gyms.
But dips don’t only look cool and manly – they’re actually a great way to build your arms and chest.
Dips involve several main and supporting muscle groups that act as a great stimulus for your muscles and hormones!
And the best thing about drips is that you don’t need a dip rack or a weight belt to do them and for them to be effective.
You can do dips on a plethora of different things including a chair, table, bench, sofa etc.
Are There Other Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Production?
Yes, there are plenty of other methods that you can use to naturally boost your T levels aside from (or in addition to) exercises.
And here they are:
- Try to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night
- Get a quality, proven and reputable T booster like TestoGen (my personal favorite)
- Decrease cortisol and stress levels
- Spend more time under the sun to stimulate vitamin D production
- Avoid xenoestrogens and chemicals like BPA
Note that all of these factors can have a positive impact on your testosterone levels.
However, your best bet would be to combine all of them (including exercises) so that you would stimulate your body to produce even more testosterone!
Staying in shape and keeping your hormones at optimal levels isn’t strictly restricted to weightlifting.
And this is where the best testosterone boosting exercises without weights come into play.
From pull-ups to squats and split jumps, you’ll be giving your body plenty of stimuli to ramp up that T production!
Now – have you already tried one of our recommended movements that don’t require weights?
And what’s your favorite exercise among our top 5 picks?
Let us know by dropping a comment below!
I’ve been fascinated by natural male hormone optimization since 2016. And ever since I’ve been going through boatloads of different meta-analyses and scientific data associated with increasing testosterone levels naturally. Currently, I’m working on my Ph.D. dissertation titled ‘The Informed Choice of Dietary Supplements as a Problem of Health Literacy and Health Promotion”. Thus, in my collective work here you’ll find helpful tricks, natural remedies, detailed product reviews (including stuff I’ve personally tried)… and more!