How to Build Muscle Without Weights: A Complete No-BS Guide


Working out from home can bring a lot of freedom to your workout routines.

You’re free to do them on your time and switch up workouts when you think you need to. Especially with concerns about going to gyms during the pandemic. The problem comes up when looking at the workout equipment that you don’t have in your home. 

When moving your workouts to your home, you may realize that you’re lacking some equipment. Especially weights. If your goal is to build muscle during your workouts, you may think that not having weights available would be a major hurdle for your goal. 

It is possible to use items around your house to build muscle. This requires knowing how much these items weigh and being consistent with weights. And knowing how to use those items properly to build muscle. There is a simpler way.

The most effective way to build muscle without weights is to use your body weight. Using your body weight as resistance can build muscle effectively and quickly. There are a lot of workouts that are possible at home that will build muscle without using weights. Many of these workouts are easy to do in multiple ways to add variety to your workouts. 

Body Resistance Workouts

Using your body weight as resistance to build muscle is the best and simplest way to build muscle without using weights. Many bodyweight workouts will work for you as you work towards your goals. It is easy to remain consistent and as you build muscle the weight you’re working against will increase. Some very easy workouts will add muscle no matter if you’re a beginner or advanced muscle builder. 

Chest Muscles

It is possible to build chest muscles without having to do chest presses. The simplest workout to build chest muscles without weights is to do push-ups. There are many kinds of push-ups you can do to add variety to your chest workouts 

Besides the typical push-up with your hands just outside the shoulders, you can also set your hands wide outside of the shoulders or put your hands together for more variety. Placing your hands in different places will also help build arm and shoulder muscles in different ways. 

For more of a challenge, one-armed push-ups are also a great way to shake up your workout routine. Be sure to use both arms equally so muscles are built up the same across both sides and arms. Stair push-ups and clapping push-ups also add variety to your chest workouts. 

Arm Muscles

Bodyweight workouts are also a great option for building arm muscle. Arm muscles are a common focus in muscle building and using your body weight is a straightforward way to add bulk to your arms. Some simple yet effective arm centered workouts will add resistance and build muscle. 

Push-ups can also be used to build arm muscles. The push-up workout to focus on the arms is incline pushups. Just set your arms just outside the shoulders and lower your chest to the bench, or whatever you’re using for the incline. Then push back up to the starting position. 

A body-up is another great way to build arm muscles with your bodyweight. Start in a plank position with your hands and forearms on the ground, directly under the elbows. Plant your palms on the ground and push up. Then lower yourself back into the starting position. 

Simple dips can also help build arm muscles. Be sure that your feet are planted and that your arms stay steady throughout the movement. Dips are the best way to add focus to the back of your arms during workouts. 

For more of a challenge, a handstand wall walk is an excellent way to focus on your arm muscles while also working on balance. Position yourself in a handstand with your feet against a wall, then walk with your hands until your feet are on the ground. Wall walks are a great way to add dimension to your workouts and show that bodyweight workouts can be challenging. 

Leg Muscles

It is important not to forget about leg muscles while working out. Most bodyweight workouts that focus on the legs are simple yet effective. They are easy to switch up and make harder by placing your feet at different angles. 

Squats are among the most straightforward of workouts. You can keep it simple with some basic squats or you can spread the feet out to work on different muscles. Doing jumping squats, jumping up from the squat, and landing in a squat position before returning to the start position, or squat pulses, before rising into the start position pulse in the lowered squat position a few times, can also go a long way into building leg muscles

Lunges are also a great and simple workout that builds leg muscles. Simple walking lunges, by walking one foot forward and lowering yourself with your back knee touching the ground at 90 degrees, is the simplest lunge option. It is easy to add more dimensions to lunges by adding pulses and jumps as well. 

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Calisthenic Bodyweight Workouts

Besides doing simple bodyweight workouts, some calisthenics will also create more resistance to your workouts and add variety to your home workout routines. These workouts focus on adding flexibility, endurance, and strength. Originating in Ancient Greece, they have surged in popularity again. 

Calisthenics is designed to focus on building strength without the use of weights. They can all be done at home with minimal equipment. They can be added to any workout to create variety and build muscles at home. Calisthenic bodyweight workouts are a must for anyone looking to add muscle without weights.  

Pull-ups are a common form of calisthenic exercise. It does require having a bar of some sort that can support your weight as you pull yourself up. It doesn’t have to be a fancy bar, something around your house will do. Once you have the bar set up horizontally, pull yourself up, with your feet off the ground, and get your chin above the bar. Repeat.

You can adjust where your arms go to focus on different muscles and mix up your workout routine. Pull-ups are when your arms are spread out past your shoulders and your palms are facing away from you. Chin-ups are when your arms are at shoulder-width and your palms are facing towards you. Both types are necessary to build weight. 

It is also important to build ab muscles when working out. Some crunches will go a long way in focusing on the ab muscles. Start laying on the ground with a flat back and feet planted on the ground, your knees should be pointing up. Then, using your ab muscles, lift yourself to your knees. Lay back down and repeat. 

Some simple calisthenics will add life to your workout routines. Since calisthenics focus on building muscle without using outside weights, they are perfect for at-home workouts for building muscle.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Building Muscle Without Weights

What else should I focus on to build muscle?

Making sure that you’re eating enough protein is crucial to building more muscle. You want to be sure that you plan your meals to get enough lean proteins and complex carbs to add to your muscle mass. You cannot build muscle without the protein in your system.  

I’m doing the workouts and I’m not making any muscle gains, what’s happening?

When planning your workouts you want to be sure that you change your routine every few days or once a week. When you do the same routine every day, your body gets used to the routine and it stops building muscle. Muscle is built when your body is challenged and challenges are added with new workouts, or more difficult workouts. Be sure that without using weights, you’re doing different kinds of workouts to keep your body guessing. 

How do I make a workout routine?

Making a workout routine is crucial to working out, especially when you’re working out at home. You will need to establish a baseline and work from there. Once you know where you’re starting, you can add more challenges that will challenge your muscles. You want to be sore after your workouts!

It is also important while working out that you eat enough calories and protein to build muscle and stay healthy. Planning your meals should also be a factor in your workout plans. It does not have to be complex, but even planning a few meals, and having some snacks ready will make building muscle much easier. 

Can I add weights to these workouts?

Yes! Even though these workouts are designed to be completed without extra weight, it is very easy to add more weight as needed to add more resistance. Squats, lunges, and even crunches can be done with additional weights. It is not necessary though and there is no need to add outside weight if the workouts you are doing are working for you. Getting in shape and building muscle does not need to cost money. 

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Energetic Lifestyle Team

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