How to build up your body without gym

You can try other options to build muscle. For instance, body-weight exercises can be an effective way to strengthen your muscles, especially if you’re a beginner.[1] If you just don’t want to buy weights or go to the gym, you can also substitute household items for standard weights in your weight-training exercises. However, weight exercises are not the only way to bulk up. Doing plyometric and calisthenic exercises over time can also help you create muscle.

Method 1 of 4:Doing Body-Weight Exercises

  1. 1Work out a routine that rotates among strength-training exercises. When you’re not using weights, your body becomes the “weight” that you use to build muscle. For instance, a pushup, where you’re pushing your body off the floor, uses your body’s weight to build muscle. However, you can’t just stick with 1 exercise. You need to rotate through exercises to build up muscle across your body.[2]
    • Try exercises like squats, handstand pushups, pull-ups, dips, and body rows.
    • You can also try things like sit-ups and 1-armed handstands up against a wall for balance.
    • It can help to rotate through types of exercises. For instance, on your first round, do body weight squats, standard pushups, alternating lunges, and side planks. On the next round, try squat jumps, pause pushups, split-squat jumps, and front planks.[3]
  2. 2Alternate between limbs. Many exercises call for you to use both arms or both legs at once. However, if you only use 1 at a time, you work the muscles in that limb harder, helping you build up muscle. Alternate which limb you use on exercises that use both, such as doing pushups with just your left arm and then just your right arm.[4]
    • To mix things up, try a push up with your feet close together. If that’s easy for you, try lifting one foot off the floor for your pushups. Alternate so you perform the exercise equally on each leg.
    • If you try one-arm pushups, attempt to hold the other arm behind your back. If you’re ready for an added challenge, place the free hand forward or out to the side. Again, perform any one-sided exercises equally. There are tons of way to vary your pushups to increase their difficulty.
  3. 3Increase the difficulty. When you’re doing a body weight exercise, push until you can’t do another rep. However, once you’re able to do 15 reps each time, it’s time to move up to a more difficult exercise. More difficult exercises challenge your muscles more than repeating a less difficult exercise over and over.[5]
    • For instance, maybe you start off doing wall pushups because you’re not quite ready for floor pushups. Once you get the hang of those, try doing pushups from your knees, and eventually move on to typical pushups.
    • Once that seems easy, try pushups with an arm or foot raised to increase difficulty.
  4. 4Workout at least 3 times a week. If you want to build muscle, try setting a schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for workouts. When doing exercises, aim for 5 to 12 reps per set to build muscle. Aim for working through each exercise until you’re just short of the most you can give. You don’t want to go all out because that can hurt your muscles. However, you do want to push yourself each time.[6]
    • You can try rotating through the 4 types of exercises 3 times, so you hit 12 different exercises. Do each exercise for 30 seconds each and then rest for 30 seconds. Do all 12 exercises again, repeating 3 to 5 times.
    • Change up the speed of an exercise to work your muscles in a different way. For example, perform a squat by lowering yourself slowly for a count of 6 and then burst up to standing. Explosive muscle contractions work your body differently than slow and steady movements. This is a great way to add variety and intensity to your workout.
    • Body-weight exercises can get you far, but you may eventually need to start using weights so your workouts are more challenging.[7]

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