Build muscle without weights at home
Feeling the effects of the economy? Have too little time to hit the gym — or too few bucks to join one? Here, then, is some guidance on how to build muscle without an expensive weight set or gym membership, and all from the comfort of home.
Most people who want serious muscle gain — bodybuilders and powerlifters — pump iron to achieve results. If your goal is to be like Ahnold (the former California Governator), lifting heavy weights would be the way to go.
Have more moderate goals? Then, machines and free weight equipment are not necessary to build muscle. These three surrogates for machines, dumbbells and barbells will help you get your body into shape.
- Elements from the natural world (think: rocks, stones, tree branches, dirt)
- Heavy, everyday household items (water-filled laundry detergent bottles, water jugs, gallon-milk containers)
There's a good chance you don't have boulders in your apartment, but you can do two out of three on the list.
Doing the squats
Squats are an easy-to-do exercise outside of the gym. (Photo: Artem Varnitsin/Shutterstock)
You can use your own body's weight and use household items to perform variations of the following three exercises:
- Bench Press
A large contingency of weight lifters refer to these exercises above as the holy trinity of muscle-building exercises.
Before you squat with household item weights, learn how to perform a squat correctly with your own bodyweight. There are over one million Google entries on how to squat correctly, so you won't have a problem learning how. The gist of the squat:
- Feet about hip-width apart;
- Keep a flat back as you stick your booty out and pretend you are about to sit on a low toilet;
- Knees remain over ankles; chin stays parallel to floor
- Squat down as low as you can maintain a flat back
- Activate (gently squeeze) your quads (front of thighs) and buttocks as you come up, exhaling
Doing 5 sets of 20 will give you 100 squats. Getting enough rest and protein in your diet combined with 100 bodyweight squats will help you gain muscle.
After you get used to doing the squats, grab your water-weighted detergent bottles. Go hardcore and hold on to a 5-gallon water jug with each arm.
Doing the deadlifts and presses
Pushups work many different muscle groups. (Photo: nullplus/Shutterstock)
As for deadlifts, try the stiff-legged variety. The regular version often gets too confused with squats. Most people who sit at a chair typing away all day have stiff hamstrings from not stretching enough. The stiff-legged deadlift will not only stretch the hamstrings, they strengthen the back of your thighs as well.