Sun 12 Oct 2008
Yep, no doubt about it. You can indeed build muscle without weights, and it’s not as primitive or as barbaric as you might imagine. No, you don;t have to get into hurling, (though that would definitely do the trick!) In fact, people have been doing this for centuries!
For many people the thought of hitting the gym gives them a great deal of unease. Perhaps it’s a physical limitation, injury, transportation, time, money or even a small dose of self-consciousness; whatever the reason, there’s a number of exercises you can employ that will enable you to build muscle without weights.
Let’s look at some of these.
- Pushups - An old standby, now aided by tools that can isolate chest muscle efficiently. You absolutely don’t need any tools, and there are many varieties of this kind of exercise to choose from.
- Pullups - There are many variations on this theme too, where you cannot only work your shoulders and arms, but add an abdominal element as well.
- Bench Dips - This one is as simple as finding a convenient bench, and start dipping!
- Regular Dips - Find two handles short distance above your waist, and employ this technique to develop your arms, shoulders and chest.
- Reverse Dips - Or tricep dips. Do this one backwards, and you’ll work out your triceps, upper back and shoulders.
- Squats - Doing these either quarter, half or full, sometimes adding difficulty by increasing your load, will definitely strengthen your quads and knees.
- Stairs - Okay, now we’re getting evil here. Running, or even walking briskly several hundred stair steps can not only help build muscle, but can bring an added cardio benefit to the table as well.
- Bands or Isometrics - Using rubber bands designed to deliver resistance training can add a great strengthening element to your training without having to use weights. Other isometric exercises also deliver these benefits.
- Gymnastics - If you are fit enough and limber enough, and have access to gymnastic equipment these can provide terrific results. Who hasn’t admired the strength of athletes who use rings, parallel bars, pommel horses and other gymnastic exercises.
- Crunches - Also available in many flavors, these work out the smaller but socially vital abdominal muscles!
- Boxing workouts - Shadow boxing, or working against a heavy bag are very tough workouts indeed!
- Scissor Kicks - another tough ab exercise.
Finding the best combination of exercises to build muscle without weights is one of personal choice and convenience. All of these have their benefits, and there are many, many more to choose from, but this list will give anyone a great start. All you need is time, a bit of space, and a lot of imagination!
Make sure you combine these moves with a sensible eating plan and other fitness activities to get a total body benefit!
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