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Many people find it challenging to work out because they don’t want to join a gym as it can get really expensive. An alternative would be to purchase the equipment needed, such as weights, but that is an investment you may not want to take on right now.

sport, fitness and healthy lifestyle concept - man making bicycle crunch on exercise mat and flexing abs at home

So, can you build muscle without weights? It’s a question that many people ask themselves, especially if they’re on a tight budget or don’t have the luxury of space for a home gym. Well, the answer is yes! And you may be surprised at just how many ways you can build muscle without any equipment.

Focus on Bodyweight Only Exercises

You can use your body weight to build lean muscles. For example, you may do push-ups where you are required to use your strength to carry or support your body weight. Although the plan is not to focus on just one exercise. You should rotate between a variety of exercises to build muscle throughout the body. You should also make the exercise more challenging as you get fitter, so you keep seeing results.

You should also work out three times a week or more; consider working out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Try to pick four different exercises for each muscle group. For example, do arms one day, legs another day, and focus on the core on the last day.

Arm workouts can include push-ups, tricep dips, pull-ups, and side planks. Meanwhile, leg workouts can consist of squats, lunges, and glute bridges. Core workouts can involve bicycle crunches, burpees, dead bug, planks, and mountain climbers; various core workouts also work the legs and arms.

Take the Challenge to the Next Level

The first few tries could be challenging as you should focus on the proper form when learning the moves. However, with time, you will find it too easy to perform the same movements over and over. It’s essential to keep challenging your body as you get fitter. The good thing is that many exercises have variations that make these moves more difficult. Thus, you get to continue challenging yourself.

For example, the basic squat may already be challenging for beginners. But once you’ve mastered the form and technique, it’s going to get easier for you. When that happens, you can try balancing on one leg and then do the same squat movement.

Balancing on your foot makes this simple exercise more challenging to do, and you will have to work your way up to that. Most people start by lifting one heel and completing the same amount of repetitions on each leg. Test the waters before you do a whole routine with just one foot.

can you build muscle without weights

Can You Build Muscle Without Weights Through Cardio?

Most people think that building muscle is all about strength training. Strength training is essential, but you can also develop and build muscles through cardiovascular activities.

Regardless of the movement, you should always tighten your core as if bracing to be punched in the stomach. This way, you are engaging the core, strengthening its muscles and helping build the muscle fibers for more endurance later. It can also help you feel like you’re in control of the movement you’re doing.

Running is a good cardio exercise that can also help you build muscles, especially in the legs. Running and walking help you burn fat so that the muscles are more visible. You should vary your running or walking routine with faster and slower paces throughout the week for best results.

Swimming is also a great cardio workout to build muscle, and it works the entire body. Make sure to start slowly and build progress with time. You might begin with a 15-minute swim session and add five to 10 minutes each week as you get fitter.

Use Household Items as Weights

If you’d like to try a workout video that involves weights, then you may choose to do the exercise without weights at first. This will allow you to learn the moves and proper form better. However, as you progress, you may want to add more to the mix for a challenge.

You can use a variety of household items as weights. For example, you may hold an unopened soup can or 16-ounce water bottle, or even filled milk jugs or laundry detergent bottles in each hand. Just make sure that you can safely hold the item for the exercise you’re performing.

It might also be a good idea to talk to your doctor about your planned workout routine. Your doctor may recommend that you do not use weights for a variety of reasons. If you get the all-clear to use weights and don’t have them yet, then household items are an excellent alternative.

If your doctor agrees, then you may also want to try weighted clothing, which can give you more challenge while doing cardio workouts. You can wear a backpack filled with potatoes or make homemade weighted straps for the ankles and wrists. You’ll add resistance to your normal routine, which can help build muscle.

Consider Your Diet

Diet alone won’t help you build muscle, but it is important to have a clean, healthy diet. At some point, your diet may probably include calories as these are used by the muscles as fuel to repair and rebuild. However, you shouldn’t consume junk food calories with little nutritional content.

Instead, you should consider eating more vegetables and protein. You should also eat fewer refined carbohydrates and stick to simple ones, such as fruits. The protein you consume also matters; it’s better to eat lean proteins, such as chicken, instead of fatty protein like those found in bacon and sausages.

It’s also essential to drink at least eight cups of water each day. Some doctors recommend drinking 12 cups of water a day because it is good for the muscles. Your muscles, as well as your entire body, are primarily made up of water, so you need to rehydrate before and after working them out.

Water also helps carry the nutrients to the muscles. You might want to talk to your doctor about your water intake needs. There is also a higher chance that you need more water if you live in a hot or dry climate or if you work out regularly.


Can you build muscle without weights? Absolutely! Just follow the tips we have previously shared in this article, and with perseverance and time, you will have stronger, more defined muscles throughout your body.

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