Back then, I had associated working out with machines and other gym related equipment. So in essence – with this perspective – it was all or nothing for me.
Which meant no gym = no workout.
It was a great excuse to be lazy, however, I paid for it.
The good news though is that nowadays, I know better.
And I’m gonna let you in on something that I wish I had known back then…
Building muscle without weights IS possible!
Turns out all you need is a little motivation and some ideas.
And I happen to be in a position to provide you with both.
The Benefits of Doing Body Weight Exercises
The truth is that we don’t all want to belong to a gym – and not everyone has access to fitness equipment.
So when you realize that you can get a fantastic workout using nothing but your own body weight, it opens up an aspect of freedom that really is quite refreshing.
There are several benefits of doing body weight exercises.
A few of them are:
- freedom from needing equipment
- no cost
- not location specific
- not time specific
Yep – all you need is you!
So the next question may be -
What type of exercises can you do – and what benefits will they offer?
So this is what the rest of the post will be about.
I’m going to share a few of my favorite body weight exercises you can do with some instructional videos to help you understand the movements and use proper form.
***Just remember that if you have any prior injuries – please consult with your physician before attempting any of these exercises.***
Squats are, in my humble opinion, one of the best exercises there is.
Not only does it work several large muscle groups at once (glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves) – but it’s functional…as it mimics the act of getting up from a chair (which is a great exercise in itself for a beginner).
The reason I chose this first video is because the instructor goes over the proper form while explaining how not to invert your knees (a common thing for women to do thanks to something called the q-angle).
She does incorporate the use of a stability ball and dumbbells in the later half of the video as an option, but it isn’t mandatory.
Now this next video demonstrates how to do a wall squat – which is another effective way to do a squat without using weights. You can progress this movement by coming down a bit lower in the squat, or by simply increasing your time.
Eventually you may decide to alternate legs to do a one-legged version of this…but ONLY once you have mastered the exercise itself and have built enough strength to enable you to do so.
The trainer also demonstrates another effective body weight exercise complete with beginner to advanced techniques – which brings me to my next suggestion…
The plank is an exercise that works the entire body. Everything gets involved in this movement, and this is why it’s so effective.
Another benefit to doing the plank is that it’s a great way to work your core if you happen to have back pain – as you are building muscle without placing any stress on the spine.
I personally feel that the above video demonstrated how to do this exercise beautifully, so I don’t see the need to use another one.
What I do want you to keep in mind, however, is that if you have any shoulder/wrist or elbow issues, please consult your physician before attempting this exercise.
Push ups are fantastic!
They can be challenging, and it’s important to keep in mind not to get down on yourself if you experience any difficulties when attempting them at first.
Everyone has to start somewhere…and it’s easy to wish you were more advanced than you may be at the present time.
Just understand that it’s wise to exercise like a beginner if you ARE a beginner and allow yourself to progress safely and naturally.
So on that note, I am going to share a video that will take you from the beginner to advanced stages of how to do a push up.
Once this gets easy, there are other variations that can challenge you – such as the tricep (or diamond) push up as demonstrated below.
The last exercise I’m going to share is the bridge.
The reason I love this exercise so much is because it’s fantastic for working the glutes while at the same time giving your hip flexors an opportunity to open and become more flexible.
Since so many of us spend a lot of time sitting, our hip flexors tend to get tight. Tight hip flexors can lead to other possible issues over time such as lower back pain and restricted gait.
Putting it All Together
So as you can see, you can build muscle without using weights.
There are numerous exercises at your disposal and can be incorporated into your daily routine at any given time – and include versions for exercisers of all levels.
Have you tried any of these before? If so, how did you like them? Please share your comments below.