How to build muscle at home without equipment

 

If you’re stuck at home and the gyms are closed, working out can be tough. It can be hard getting yourself motivated each day, especially when you have to brace yourself for a run outdoors.

After all, not everyone has access to their own dumbbells or a bench at home, and there’s only so many times you can walk up and down the stairs.

But there’s no need to let your routine go out the window, or waste your pre-workout!

We’ve got good news, so get your pre-workout at the ready and prepare to perform this three-day split, full-body workout – without the need for weights OR the gym.

Bodyweight workouts are great to get your heart pumping, improve muscle strength and heighten your cardiovascular endurance. So what are you waiting for?

MONDAY: UPPER BODY

High plank: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Start as you would usually for a plank. Get on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart directly beneath your shoulders. Don’t let your arms lock straight, keep a slight bend in your elbows to support yourself.

How to do it:

Keep your legs extended, resting the balls of your feet against the floor and keeping your body diagonal to the floor. Keep your core engaged (feel that burn!) and make sure your body is straight from your head to your feet. Be wary of letting your lower back sag to the floor or lift too high – hold this position for 1 minute, or as long as you feel you can!

Bridge: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

To start, lay on the floor and bend your knees with your heels directly underneath. Keep your arms by your side, palms downwards and your head resting on the floor.

How to do it:

To maintain a flat lower back, tuck your pelvis under before lifting your hips off the ground. As you do this, your hips, knees and shoulders should form a straight line.

Hold this position for 10 seconds while squeezing those glutes hard and keeping your abs drawn in, to avoid overextending your back. As you lower your hips, avoid touching the floor and repeat.

The Superman: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Get down on the floor and lay flat on your front with your arms extended forward and palms facing downwards.

How to do it:

Form an arch by raising your upper body and then your legs – holding for 30 to 60 seconds. Make sure your knees and chest remain off the floor, keeping your head and neck pretty neutral. Don’t overextend your neck, try to keep your chin tucked while you focus on holding the position.

If it helps to balance, you can bend your arms slightly at the elbow as you extend them in front of you. Adjust the hold accordingly by increasing or decreasing your body tension.

Quadruped limb raises: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Get on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows bent slightly and place your knees directly beneath your hips. Make sure your body is parallel to the floor, forming a straight line from your head down to your glutes.

How to do it:

This exercise may test your balance, as you extend your right arm forward and your left leg back. Keep your back straight as you move. Repeat on each side for 3 sets.

Push-up: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Get on all fours. place your hands shoulder-width apart directly under your shoulders. bend your elbows slightly. extend your legs and rest the balls of your feet against the floor. engage your core and make sure that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. in the thoracic region, pull your shoulder blades in and down.

How to do it:

Lower your upper body and your hips simultaneously. Make sure to engage your core through the whole movement. keep your elbows tucked close to your body and inhale as you lower down and exhale as you push up.

Tricep dip: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Find a secure surface (such as a step) and place your hands on it behind you. Keep your feet together out in front and flat on the floor with a slight bend in your knees.

How to do it:

To start, keep your elbows slightly bent. Dip your body down until your arms reach a 90-degree angle. Pause for a second or two before powerfully pushing your weight back up to the starting position. Keep your core and glutes tight to prevent movement in your legs. To avoid your arms locking, keep a slight bend in your elbows. Feel the burn in your triceps!

WEDNESDAY: LOWER BODY

Calf raises: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Remain standing, keeping your core right and your back straight. You can either keep your hands by your sides or use a wall to help your balance.

How to do it:

Push down on the balls of your feet, raising your heels to stretch your calves. As you raise your heels off the ground, create resistance by pushing down on your thighs. Hold the position for a second or two, pushing on your hands. Lower until your feet are flat and repeat.

You can also perform this exercise on the edge of a step, holding onto a wall or doorframe and balancing your toes on the edge for the same calf stretch.

Bodyweight squat: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

With your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, stand with your toes turned out slightly to maintain balance. Keep your core engaged.

How to do it:

Hinge at the hips, then bend your knees into a squat position. Keep your thighs parallel with the floor and press your weight downwards through your legs and feet to maintain balance. Flex your torso slightly forward, but not too far – before pressing down through your feet to straighten your legs.

Bring your hips and torso up at the same time. Bring your arms out in front of you for balance.

Bodyweight lunges: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Stand straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart.

How to do it:

As you step forward with one leg, allow both knees to bend. Lower your body until your back knee touches the floor. Push your weight through your front foot and extend your knee as you return to the starting position. During this movement, avoid leading with your shoulders and instead drive it through your lower body.

Lying L Sit: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Lay down on your back with your knees bent and your feet tucked near your butt. Keep your arms by your sides with your palms facing the floor. Tuck your tailbone under, keeping your lower back flat to the floor. Prepare your core!

How to do it:

With your legs straight, extend them overhead so your body forms an L shape. Pull your toes towards your head, resulting in a strong stretch in your hamstrings. Keep pulling those toes and keep your legs straight for 30 seconds. Don’t allow your lower back to leave the floor throughout.

FRIDAY: CORE

Bodyweight sit-up: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Get started by sitting on the ground and tucking your feet under something heavy or secure. This is when your couch comes in handy!

How to do it:

Keep your hands either behind your head or on your chest and slowly bring your torso up to meet your knees. Hold for a moment, return to starting position and repeat. Engage your core to really work those abs. To make this exercise even tougher, try slow and controlled sit-ups – counting from 5 to 10 seconds on the rise up, hold, then repeat as you return to the start.

Plank: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Start by laying on the floor – on your front – with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Keep your hands flat on the floor and engage your core.

How to do it:

Keep your forearms and knees on the floor while slowly raising yourself upwards. Keep your body in a straight line from your knees up to your head. Hold for at least a minute or for as long as you can!

Reverse crunch: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Begin by laying on the floor with your legs extended. Keep your arms by your side and your palms facing downward. Move your legs with your feet together towards your chest as if you’re sitting on a chair. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor.

How to do it:

Breathe in and pull your knees towards your chest as you roll your pelvis backwards, raising your hips and upper back off the ground. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds, exhale and move your legs to the starting position.

How long should I rest between sets?

This is entirely up to you, but to keep your heart rate up and momentum going I recommend no longer than 1 minute.

Why are rest days important between bodyweight workouts?

Rest days are important, no matter what type of workouts you’re doing. While using your own bodyweight might not seem as strenuous as lifting weights at the gym, your body still needs time to repair and build muscle.

How long should I do this bodyweight program for?

This is also up to you! You can keep using this bodyweight routine until you feel as though you’ve got everything you can out of it. Try it for at least 4 weeks, but overall, it’s up to you.

What if my bodyweight isn’t enough to make it hard work?

If you’re looking to make these exercises a bit more challenging, try adding a bodyweight vest, or try using resistance bands. If you haven’t got either of these, no problem – simply fill a backpack with some bottles of water or other items from around the house.

Can bodyweight exercises alone get you ripped?

Bodyweight exercises can help build muscle if you use the following: Increase reps, decrease resting times, perform variations, train to failure and increase time under tension.

Looking to level up your workouts?

The gyms may be closed for now, but there’s so much more your body can do during home workouts or exercises outdoors. To help your workouts pack a harder punch, why not try adding BlackWolf into your routine?

Our powerful formula supports your workout both before, during and after, helping your body repair faster while pushing your body to work for longer!

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Charlie Meister

Charlie Meister

My name is Charlie Meister and I’m an online personal trainer and content creator. I’m currently 24 years old and I started working out when I was 16 back in high school because I hated the way I looked. I quickly fell in love with the growth and for the last 3 years now I’ve been a personal trainer. I spent the first year working in a gym in central London and now only do online personal training as the results my clients get are significantly better and I can work with anyone in the world.

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