Too Skinny? 10 Exercises to Gain Weight at Home

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If you are underweight, it has a weird effect on people.

They assume you are younger than you really are, which in most cases should be considered a good thing. However, if you are in your 20s and you look like you are 16, it stings.

I passed through this painful phase when I was in middle school. Even though I was just as old as everyone around me, my classmates looked more mature and were way bigger than me.

So, I increased my calorie intake to gain weight, to make myself just like everyone. However, no matter how much I ate, nothing seemed to make me gain weight.

My parents even got me tested to ensure that I didn’t have any digestive disorders. The result: I was just skinny for no reason.

If you are struggling with the same problem, I understand how you feel. The good thing is there is a way to solve this problem. There is a way to gain weight. And The way is to build lean muscles by exercising.

In this article, I have provided a list of 10 exercises and a workout routine that you can utilize to build muscles at home and gain weight over time:

fit women

10 Best Exercises to Gain Weight

Here are two things you need to keep in mind before performing these exercises:

  1. You will not bulk up instantly: You will not bulk up instantaneously just because you are performing these muscle-building exercises. Chances are you will build lean, toned muscles sticking to the routine mentioned below (like the fitness model shown above) in few months.
  2. Proper form: Before you start exercising, learn how to perform each exercise properly. You may think you know how to do it, but it’s better if you stick to expert advice. Keep in mind; A single rep performed rightly is more beneficial than 100s of reps performed with bad form. So, learn and then execute.

1. Squats

For a beginner, squats are the best exercise to build toned leg muscles.

Moreover, it’s also very easy to raise the difficulty level. All you need to do is carry a barbell rod on your back or carry/hold a water bottle while performing squats to improve faster.

Muscle Targeted: Glutes, Hamstring, Quads, Calves

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max (perform as many as you can in a minute)

2. Push-ups

If you are not able to perform simple push-ups, then start by performing assisted push-ups.

Muscle Targeted: Pectorals (chest muscles), deltoids (shoulders), triceps, abdominal muscles

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max (perform as many as you can in a minute)

3. Tricep Dips

Muscle Targeted: Triceps, Pectorals (chest muscles)

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max (perform as many as you can in a minute)

4. Assisted Pull-ups

You need a resistance band to perform assisted pull-ups. You can also utilize more than one band to decrease the difficulty level even further.

As a substitute, you can perform pull-ups by using a desk/table. This way, you can increase or decrease the difficulty by using your legs.

Muscle Targeted: Biceps

Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps

5. Crunches

This is one of the simplest, most effective exercises to build six-pack abs.

Muscle Targeted: Abdominal muscles

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max (perform as many as you can in a minute)

6. Deadlifts

The Deadlift is the only exercise that can help you in building most of the muscles of your lower and upper body. By deadlifting twice a week, you can also increase core stability, strength, and improve your posture.

However, You need a barbell rod and weight to perform a deadlift. If you are training at home, I would recommend using a straight wooden log as a substitute.

Muscle Targeted: Glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back muscles, upper back muscles, quads, core.

Sets: 3 sets of 5 reps (Max/comfortable weight)

7. Bench Press

You need a barbell rod to perform this exercise. However, You can also perform this exercise by utilizing two water bottles of the same size.

In case water bottles feel too light, fill them with sand to increase the weight.

Muscle Targeted: Pectorals, deltoids, and triceps

Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps (Lift weight you are comfortable with)

8. ATG Split Squat

I recommend performing this exercise with bodyweight only.

Muscle Targeted: Quads, hamstrings, calves

Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps

You can perform lunges instead if you find this exercise too challenging. Here’s a complete guide on Lunges you can use.

9. Bicep Curls

To perform bicep curls, I would recommend using lightweight dumbells (< 10 lbs). As a substitute, you can utilize water bottles of the same size. You can also fill water bottles with sand if the water feels too light.

Muscle Targeted: Biceps

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max (Perform as many as you can in a minute)

10. Overhead Press

You need dumbells to perform overhead press. However, you can also utilize two water bottles of the same size.

Muscle Targeted: Triceps, pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders), upper back

Sets: 3 sets of 1-minute max ( Perform as many as you can in a minute)

7-Days Weight Gain Workout Routine

Workout 1

Perform jumping jacks for warm-up!

  1. Push-ups: 6 sets 5 reps
  2. Triceps dips: 3 sets 15 reps
  3. Crunches: 3 sets 30 reps
  4. Squats: 4 sets 20 reps

Workout 2

Perform jumping jacks for warm-up!

  1. Assisted pull-ups: 3 sets 10 reps
  2. Bicep curls: 5 sets 10 reps
  3. ATG split squat: 5 sets 5 reps
  4. Overhead press: 5 sets 10 reps

Workout 3

Perform jumping jacks for warm-up!

  1. Deadlift: 5 sets 5 reps (max weight)
  2. Bench press: 5 sets 15 reps
  3. Overhead press: 5 sets 10 reps


  1. Monday: Workout 1
  2. Tuesday: Workout 2
  3. Wednesday: Workout 3
  4. Thursday: Break
  5. Friday: Workout 1
  6. Saturday: Workout 2
  7. Sunday: Break

You can increase the difficulty by increasing the number of sets or by performing two different workout routines on the same day, for instance, workout 1 & 2.


Even if you were unable to gain weight by increasing your calorie intake, chances are you will be able to build lean, toned muscles easily by working out.

However, it will be a slow and steady process. Since on average, a man can gain about 1-2 lbs of muscle per month and a woman up to one pound per month.

The best thing you can do is stay consistent and consume a protein-rich diet.


P.S Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article on Exercises to Gain Weight, feel free to share it. Moreover, leave a question down below in the comment section if you have any

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Hi, I am Rudra, a computer engineer, and a certified procrastinator. I started FitnessGained in 2018 to help me stay fit despite all my desk time. Now I run this blog as a hobby. Here at FitnessGained, I will share what I do to stay fit & more. Our motto is "Reaching True Potential with Effort."

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