9 bodybuilding exercises without equipment for your session

You don't have access to a gym right now, and you don't have any equipment? No problem ! Here is 9 bodybuilding exercises without equipment to do anywhere, even if you are a beginner. In addition, you will see that these movements are quite unknown, but effective.

If you have trouble sticking to your training program due to lack of time, this bodyweight session can be done quickly. You can even stay at the foot of your bed to go faster 😉 But that doesn't mean it will be easy...

Why choose these bodyweight movements?

These unconventional exercises target the legs, arms, back, shoulders and abs to build muscle endurance and help burn body fat. If you do them all on the same day, you will have done a full-body workout.

Furthermore, if the burpees, squats and Jumping Jacks start to bore you, you will change your routine with new challenges. I'm not saying that these exercises are enough to gain a lot of muscle size, but they are enough to develop a toned physique.

You will find that you have to take out a good part of the menagerie to follow this bodybuilding program 😉

Here we go !

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1. Bear push-ups

The so-called bear body position is where you would imitate a crawling bear. This position is one of the most used for bodybuilding exercises without working equipment. These push-ups are less known, but more difficult than it seems, even if the movement is not very ample.

If you're looking to target triceps and shoulders, give this a try!

Here is how to do :

  1. Start on all fours with knees and palms touching the ground and wrists aligned with shoulders.
  2. Raise the knees so that they are about 5 cm from the floor, but still bent. This is the starting position.
  3. While keeping your back straight, bend both elbows until your knees touch the floor. Make sure your elbows don't move apart.
  4. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position.

Do 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.

Advice : You should feel the burn in your triceps. Don't cheat by simply tapping your knees on the ground. Your elbows should bend with the strength of your triceps.

2. Bat

Rowing has long been considered one of the best exercises for the back muscles. However, it is not easy to do this without any equipment.

Normally, dumbbells, a pulley or elastic bands to do rowing. As the origin of the name in English is linked to the fact of rowing, one can indeed also strengthen his back by using a rower.

But in the absence of equipment, the exercise that I present to you here is very effective. It will help you develop the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids and erector spinae muscles.

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Execution :

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended towards the ceiling. This is the starting position.
  2. Bring both arms down to the floor with your elbows tight against your chest. Push your elbows into the ground to lift your upper back.
  3. Keep pushing until you've created the maximum distance between your back and the floor.
  4. Return the arms to the starting position.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Advice : This is one of the few bodybuilding exercises without equipment that seriously works the back. It's a bit like what a seated rowing machine produces.

Adjustable dumbbells 24kg

3. Seal Walk

Come on, let's change animals!

Imagine a seal dragging its belly using only its front flippers. That's the concept behind the seal walk, except you're not dragging your belly to the ground since your arms are straight. The core muscles are contracted like the plank or push-ups to keep your body straight.

Normally you have to use sliders to make your feet slide on the floor. But you can replace them with pieces of fabric, paper plates or washcloths for example.

This challenging exercise will help you develop your shoulders, abs (rectus), triceps and thighs. erector spinae muscles.

How to do :

  1. Get into the starting push-up position with your arms and back straight.
  2. Place the balls of your feet on sliders or another object allowing you to slide on the ground. This is the starting position.
  3. Move your arms forward and let your feet slide on the floor. Keep your body straight all the time.

Do 3 or 4 sets by advancing at least 10 steps with your hands. Do 10 in reverse if you can.

If you run out of space in the room, go forwards and backwards several times (very good for the shoulders).

Advice : To increase difficulty on the shoulders, do the seal walk forward and backward.

4. Bicep curls with a towel

The major problem with bodyweight workouts is that the biceps are often overlooked. To build muscle, you normally need at least one pull-up bar.

But if this is not your case, I suggest a very simple exercise that just requires a little balance. To do this, you will only need a towel or a fairly strong cloth about 60 cm long.

Execution of curls:

  1. Pass the towel or fabric under one thigh near the knee, both hands close to the leg.
  2. Pull to bring your hands back to your shoulders, letting your leg rise (see photo). Concentrate on feeling the biceps contractions and keeping your balance.

Do 3 or 4 sets of 10 reps, changing legs each time.

bodybuilding exercises without equipment - biceps curl
Bodybuilding exercises without equipment: bicep curls

Advice : Do not lean forward during sets. Your leg should not land on the ground so that the tension is constant in the biceps.

5. Plank with arm movement

Planks are one of the most practiced bodybuilding exercises without equipment. In all their variations, the arms are rarely seen in motion. If you're looking to target your rectus abdominis, shoulders, lats, and spinal erectors, this exercise is for you!

ALSO READ:  How to do burpees in 5 variations for crazy people 😅

Here's how to do it:

  1. Get into a plank or push-up position with your arms straight and your palms on the floor. This is the starting position.
  2. Extend your right arm forward while steadying yourself with your left hand.
  3. Then bring your elbow back.
  4. Extend your arm in front of you again and then bring it back to the starting position. Switch arms and do the same.

Do 3 sets of 5 reps on each side.

Advice : Do not rotate the hips. Try to keep your body as straight as possible while your arms move.

6. Drop squats

Unlike classic jump squats, the drop squat combines a lateral jump with a vertical jump. Your feet spread beyond the width of the shoulders for the fall, and meet on the rise.

Performing drop squats works the quadriceps, gluteus medius and glutei, calves and hamstrings (back of the thighs).

Execution of the movement:

  1. Stand with your feet together and your knees very slightly bent. This is the starting position.
  2. Jump up, spreading both feet sideways as you squat so your feet are more than shoulder-width apart. Your thighs should end up almost parallel to the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position by jumping while bringing your feet together.

Do 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.

Advice : Keep your back straight and shoulders aligned. The arms remain bent and do not give momentum.


7. Bridge with abduction

Abduction involves moving the limbs away from the center of your torso. Keeping your knees apart during the bridge or hip raise will help you target the gluteus medius and maximus, hamstrings, hamstrings, and spinal erectors.

Way to proceed :

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms straight, palms on the floor, at your sides. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift the buttocks towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top, keeping your back straight.
  3. Now spread your legs wide apart while they are still in the air (abduction). Bring the legs together.
  4. Slowly lower your buttocks to the ground.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Advice : You can use a small yoga loop band between your knees to increase the difficulty.

8. Leg raises

Like many other bodybuilding exercises without equipment, this one comes from the Pilates method. It is very effective for the work of the abdominal strap.

It helps to strengthen the quadriceps, the gluteus maximus, the square of the loins, the rectus and the calves.

How to do :

  1. Get into a reverse plank position with your palms and heels on the floor. The whole body should be as straight as possible.
  2. Raise the right leg toward the ceiling as the lower abs work. Bring the right leg back to the ground, then do the same with the left.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps, switching legs with each rep. Stay focused to keep the body straight as much as possible.

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Advice : If it's too hard at first, just hold the reverse plank position for 30-60 seconds.

9. The Gorilla or the Frog

We have arrived at the last animals for bodybuilding exercises without equipment today. Playing the gorilla or the frog isn't just meant to make your family or friends laugh. Far from there !

When performed correctly, this move primarily targets the quads, hamstrings, rectus, triceps, and shoulders.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Get into a low squat position with your hands touching the floor between your legs. This is the starting position.
  2. Staying in a low squat position, try moving around by alternately advancing your arms and legs in small jumps.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Luckily the video is there to show you how, because it's not too easy to explain. As I was afraid of ridicule, I haven't made mine yet 😉

Advice : Stay fairly low, trying not to straighten up between each jump. Your legs should be wider apart than your arms.

Session with these bodybuilding exercises without equipment

These different movements put end to end can constitute a full-body training session. Which means all the muscles in your body will be requested in a single session. And all this without any sports equipment!

I recommend that you perform them in the order I presented them so that your session is consistent. Just blow 30 seconds between each set if possible.

If like me you like intense sessions that burn a maximum of calories in a minimum of time, you can also do the session without rest. In this case, you just have to alternate the exercises by 2. For example, you do a series of n°1 and you continue with n°2, then you come back to n°1. So on until you have done 3 sets of each.

Then you do the same with #3 and #4. And so on until number 6.

For the last 3, you do the same with the 3 exercises in a row.

On the other hand, you will see that it requires breath and heart rate! Of course, you can huff and have a drink when you feel like it's too hard...

Infographic to download in PDF

To help you not forget anything, here is an infographic of the program in PDF with all the exercises and explanations. You can download it by clicking on the button just below:

9 bodyweight exercises - full-body session

Bodybuilding exercises without equipment – Conclusion

As you can see, you can do great workouts without any equipment, just bodyweight. Of course, the objective is not to become massive like a bodybuilder with this kind of exercises, but to be sufficiently muscular and toned.

That's not bad enough, don't you think?

Write to me at stephane@sportchezsoi.com to tell me if you have tested this session and what you think. Thank you !

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