Exercises to Build Muscle Without Weights

Often when we people talk about building muscle, they are usually referring to training with barbells or dumbbells.

However, what most people don’t know is that you can also build muscle without weights. You may be wondering, “what kind of sorcery is this?” What people don’t understand is that the only goal of building muscle is to break down muscle fibers. Your body doesn’t know if you’re using weights or your body-weight. 

Below are simple exercises that you can do to build muscle without weights. Since they are “simple” exercises, it means you can also do them at home. Most of these exercises are compound movements, which means they use more than one muscle group.

With that said, here are twelve body-weight exercises you can do at home:

Exercises to Build Muscle Without Weights

Pectoral Exercises

Decline Push-Ups

Works the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps.

  1. Place both of your feet on a stable chair while your hands are placed on the floor.
  2. Ensure that your body is in a declining position.
  3. Lower your chest so that it nearly touches the floor and raise it back up to the initial starting position.
  4. Keep your body straight and breath through each repetition. Exhale on the way down, inhale on the way up.
  5. Do three sets of ten reps.

Push-Ups Between Two Chairs

Works the middle and outer chest, shoulders, and triceps.

  • Place both of your feet on a stable chair while your left hand is on the left chair and the right hand is on the right chair.
  • The chair your feet is on should be aligned in the middle of the two chairs where your hands are on while being spaced out to the length of your body.

In that position, your body is now off the floor on three chairs.

  • Lower your chest so that it’ll go down between the two chairs.
  • This technique allows you to better stretch your outer chest muscles.
  • Do three sets of ten reps.

Reversed Push-ups Between Two Chairs

Works the lower and outer chest, shoulders, and triceps

Note: It’s similar to the exercise above, but this time, your body is facing upright with your back facing the floor.

  • Place your hands on each chair and both of your feet on one chair.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows to about 90 degrees then raise your body up again.
  • Incline your chest in a forward manner to build muscle solely on your chest.
  • Do three sets with ten reps.

Biceps and Forearm Exercises

Close Grip Chin-Ups

Requires: Barfix for you to hang up

  • Get a close grip about 10 cm with your palms facing towards you.
  • Raise your body along with your arms where your head is raised higher surpassing the barfix.
  • Lower your body back to its initial position.
  • Repeat as many times as you can.

Triceps Exercises

Dips on Two Chairs

Requires: Two chairs

Works the triceps.

  • Place your feet onto a chair in front of you and your hands on a chair in back of oyu.
  • Ensure that your arms are positioned about 30-50 centimeters apart.
  • Do the same thing as you would do with reversed push-ups. The only difference is that your hands are not placed on two separate chairs.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Diamond push-ups

Works the triceps, inner chest.

Note: This exercise can be performed just like normal push-ups, but you position your arms and hands differently.

  • Ensure that your hands and fingers are close to each other, forming a diamond where your index fingers and thumbs almost touch.
  • Do push-ups as you normally would.
  • Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Back Exercises

Close Grip Chin-ups

This exercise requires your palms to face away from you. It works the middle back and forearms.

Wide Grip Pull-ups

Works your upper back and lats. It also works the biceps, rear shoulders, and forearms.

Abdominal Exercises

Crunches

Works the upper abs.

  • Lay on the floor with your knees bent while keeping your feet on the floor.
  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Raise your chest slightly upwards until you feel that your upper abs are beginning to contract.
  • Lower your chest back to your initial position.
  • Do four sets of 25 reps.

Leg raises

Works the lower abs.

  • Lay on the floor with your hands on the side of your body while your legs are slightly inclined on the floor.
  • Raise your feet 45 degrees until you feel your lower abs contacting.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Do four sets of 25 reps.

Thigh Exercise

Squats

Works the thighs, glutes, legs, quadriceps, lower back, hamstrings.

  • Stand straight with your hands placed behind your head.
  • Lower your body by bending your knees to 90 degrees.
  • Slowly get back to the starting position and repeat.
  • Do four sets of 25 reps.

Calves Exercise

Standing calf raise

Works the calves.

  • Stand straight while raising your heels off the floor.
  • Keep your toes and balls of your feet on the floor.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Do four sets of 25 reps.

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