No gym membership and no home gym? No problem! Here are some no equipment workouts that build muscle. These exercises can be in the comfort of your own home or at your local park.
What really works about body weight exercises is not how convenient they can be, where you can workout anywhere and at anytime. Using your bodyweight as the main form of resistance often times requires other areas of your body to be engaged.
For example, when doing a basic exercise like push ups. Most of the work you will be doing impacts your arms, that is the main focus. But at the same time, you’re stabilizing your body to keep perfect form and you’re engaging your core.
These little things add up over time, and it’s typically not something you get out of other types of workouts.
Can You Build Muscle Without Weights
Although stocking your home gym with nice equipment or getting a premium gym membership is typically the popular choice for fitness folks. You may be happy to know that saving your money and using what you already have is also a viable choice.
When looking to increase muscle size, the muscle needs to encounter higher levels of resistance or weight. The muscles in turn get damaged and after the workout begin to repair and the muscle fibres become bigger.
What this means is that you can build strength and gain muscle in many different ways. Not only with expensive weights and equipment. As long as you are doing an exercise that provides enough resistance and challenges your muscles.
Something to note about this is that with weights, when your muscles are accustomed to the level of resistance that you typically use during a workout. You would simply increase the heaviness of the whichever exercise you are doing.
With bodyweight exercises, you may see that you don’t have that same luxury. Sure, adding a weighted vest or attaching extra dumbbells to your belt should do the trick. Items like these may not be as easily available for some.
Solutions to this could be increasing your repetitions and length of your work out. But adding time to your workouts might not be the best answer.
Bodyweight exercises or also known as calisthenics, there are various progressions that the purpose is to increase resistance and bodyweight, without any extra equipment. Instead, performing a variation of the exercise that still uses only bodyweight but amplifies the intensity.
You can see progressions for push ups and pull ups here.
Workouts That Require No Equipment
As mentioned before, calisthenic and bodyweight exercises have progression to make certain workouts more challenging. When performing any of the next few exercises, if you’re finding it hard to complete your repetitions, or its a bit difficult in general.
Do not hesitate to cycle back to one of the workouts that fits your style more. If you’re a beginner, starting with the basic push ups and pull ups is always the best way before progressing to the more advanced exercises.
Elevated Push Ups – this is one of the first progressions from a regular push up. The purpose of this exercise is to add extra weight on the top of your body and causing a greater resistance. With your feet elevated on a stable item like a chair, couch or even steps of your stairs. Go through the regular motions of a standard push up. The added resistance makes this exercise more difficult and makes it more challenging on the upper body.
Walking Planks – expanding yourself from the regular plank with this great stabilizer exercise. While performing the standard plank, you can add on some upper body strength workout by first starting in the plank position. And throughout the exercise drop to your elbows one at a time and back to your hands in the same fashion. Remember to keep the core engaged and your body as stable as possible.
Dips – it would be ideal to have dip bars for this exercise but there are also work arounds as well. Other options for you is finding a local park or public area that would allow you to safely perform dips. Or you could simply use two chairs from your home. Just remember to make sure they are stable and strong enough to manage your weight and exercise.
Pull Ups – if you do not have a chin up bar easily accessible there are other methods to get this workout in. The neighbourhood is actually a great resource with monkey bars that can double as your pull up equipment. You could also try doing a slightly modified pull up with high tables and chairs. Your feet would remain on the ground but getting the pulling motion exercise is still effective.
Burpees – get the heart racing with this exercise. Personally I like this workout as part of a warm up before I actually get into it. With burpees you’re engaging various parts of your body from top to bottom.
Squats – a great lower body exercise. Not only does squats strengthen your legs and glutes, this exercise also helps grow joint strength in your knees. Something to consider if you’re sitting for most of the day, try taking a break and do a couple of squats to keep the joint loose.
Hand Stand Walks – this one is one of the more advanced workouts on the list. Starting if with your back close to the wall. Bend over and place your feet on the wall and stabilize with your hand to the ground. From this position you can begin to walk up the wall with your feet and hand stand walk with your hands until you’re up against the wall in the hand stand position.
Spiderman Push ups – When performing a regular push up. You can try this variation for increase weight to the upper body. The motion is exactly the same as a standard push up but with the variation of raising one knee to the elbow on the same side, alternating between the two with every repetition.
Adding these no equipment workouts together will give you an effective and strength building routine. For some, these exercises may take some getting use to. But when done consistently and with good form, you can expect to find some amazing results.