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7 Exercises to Build Muscle Without Weights

7 Exercises to Build Muscle Without Weights

Jan 21, 2017

You don’t necessarily need access to workout equipment in order to build your muscles. These 7 exercises only use your body’s weight as a source of resistance. If you do enough sets and repetitions of these exercises, you can build all the muscle groups in your body without ever having to use weights.

Push-ups

The push-up is the ultimate bodyweight exercise because it works out multiple muscle groups at the same time. Push-ups can help you build muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, and even legs. Push-ups will improve your upper body muscle definition, strengthen your core muscles, and improve your whole body’s muscle density. In order to reap the maximum benefits from push-ups, you need to ensure that you do them correctly. When you get into the push-up position, you should ensure that your head, your neck, your hips and your legs are all in a straight line, and they remain so throughout the push-up. This will help ensure that all the muscle groups get the resistance that they need in order to develop.

Dips

Dips are mostly used to build the triceps, but they also work out the deltoids and the pectoral muscles. A narrow stance is good for the triceps while a wider stance is good for the pectorals. Typically, dips are either done on dip bars or on a piece of furniture. To perform a dip without the bars, place both hands on a piece of furniture, say a chair, and stretch your legs outwards (your body should be facing upwards, and your fingers should cup the edge of the chair). Straighten your arms so that your shoulders are directly above your palms. Lower your whole body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, then push back upwards and repeat the process.

 

Pull-ups

Pull-ups are very effective in building back muscles, arm muscles, and core muscles. A pull-up is a compound exercise. This means that it works out more than just one muscle group. Apart from building the muscles in your upper body and abdominal area, pull-ups can improve your posture, and alleviate back pain. To properly perform a pull-up, you have to use an overhand grip to hold onto an overhead bar with both hands. You should then pull your body upwards using your arms while retracting your shoulder blades downwards and towards each other. The upward motion engages your lats, biceps and forearm muscles, while the downward motion engages your triceps and shoulder muscles.

Squats

Squats are compound movements, so they engage numerous muscle groups at the same time. Squats can help you build your quadriceps, your hamstrings, and your calve muscles. To perform a squat, you need to stand with your feet at a stance that’s slightly wider than your hips, and your toes should be pointed slightly outwards. Put your arms out straight ahead so that they are parallel to the floor. Once you are in the correct position, bend your hips, and push your butt backward. As you squat, you should ensure that you focus the bending motion on your hips and not your knees. Lower your body as far down as you can, and then rise back again, all while keeping your spine in a neutral position.

Lunges

Lunges are lower body exercises that work out the thigh muscles, the gluteal muscles, and the hamstrings. They also help improve the strength of your core muscles. Lunges are pretty easy to perform. You have to step forward with one leg and lower your hips up to a point where both of your knees are at 90 degrees. The leg at the front should be flat on the ground, and the knee should be straight above the ankle. As for the leg at the back, the knee should not touch the ground. You should then return to the standing position, and repeat the process with the opposite leg in front. Remember to keep your upper body straight throughout so as to engage your core muscles.

Planks

Planks help to build your abdominal muscles, especially your deep inner core muscles. Unlike the other exercises, planking doesn’t require repetitive movement. There are several variations of this exercise. One common variation involves getting on a push-up stance and holding that position. In another variation, you get on a similar stance, but with your forearms lying flat on the ground. Whichever variation you pick, you have to tighten your core muscles and try to hold the stance for about 20 to 30 seconds. You should then rest for a minute and repeat the process.

Crunches

Crunches are primarily used in building abdominal muscles, but they can also contribute to the strengthening of the oblique muscles. To perform a standard crunch you need to lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Put your hands behind your head, and hold your elbows out slightly. Pull your abdomen inwards and curl your upper body forward, slightly lifting your head, neck, and shoulders. Hold that position for a moment, then slowly lower your back to the ground, and repeat the same process.

 

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