No-equipment bodyweight strength strength training has many benefits and can help you achieve the body you want.
If you're looking for information on how to build muscle without equipment at home or on the go, this article is for you.
You will discover strength training exercises without equipment that give excellent results. In addition, there are many variations, which will allow you to vary your sessions.
Further on you will see how much training time it takes for one session at home. You will learn more about rest times and tempo to progress as quickly as possible.
Advantages and disadvantages of bodyweight strength training
Here are some of its many benefits:
- No or very little investment
- Furniture can be used as sports equipment
- The ability to train anywhere, anytime
- Save time because there is no need to go to the gym
- Convincing results on his physical appearance and his health
As with any solution, bodyweight training has a few downsides:
- Difficult beginnings for overweight beginners
- Allows to obtain a harmonious muscular development, but rarely a large muscular volume
- More complicated back and biceps work without pull-up bars, dumbbells or resistance bands
Strength Training body weight in 6 exercises
You will discover in this article 6 exercises that give very good results. They are quite simple to execute, and are therefore ideal for beginners who already have a certain physical condition and those who want to quickly get back in shape.
NOTE: Attention, simple does not mean easy, far from it, as you will understand from the first exercise 😅
1. Jumping Jacks
This dynamic exercise provides an excellent warm-up . It's often the first thing I do to get my body going before a strength training .
It warms up the shoulders, core and abductors while getting your cardiovascular system going. It also acts on the glutes and adductors. This exercise is so vigorous that many people stop after 30 seconds, but it is very effective for the purpose of weight loss and muscle toning.
- Starting position is standing with feet almost together.
- Jump while spreading your legs and arms as in the picture. You will touch the ground with your feet apart and your arms in the air.
- Return to starting position in a second jump.
A repetition therefore includes 2 quick jumps. Do between 30 and 60 reps each time depending on your physical ability.
The main objective of this exercise is to work the cardio intensely while toning up.
Here is a demonstration in one of my videos:
2. Classic push-ups
We no longer present push-ups as it is the basic exercise of the strength training program of all those who train at home. It is even a pity that it is not used more in the gym because it is so effective.
Indeed, this movement works the upper body like no other without equipment. It develops several muscle groups at the same time such as the pectorals, shoulders and abdominal strap. It is probably thanks to him that we begin to gain muscle mass in life.
In general, the hands are placed on the ground or on handles for push-ups so that the hands are at the same distance as the elbows when they form an angle of 45° to 60° with the bust. This is what makes it possible to solicit the large pectorals in priority.
Execution of push-ups
- The exercise consists of placing the hands on the ground or on the supports in front of you, arms outstretched and the body straight from head to toe.
- The hands are about 10 cm from the shoulders so that the elbows are off the chest and form an angle of at least 45°.
- Lower so that the chest almost touches the ground (a little less if you use handles).
- Push while blowing to return to the initial position, arms outstretched.
Watch this video if you have any doubts about this exercise.
Variants of pumps
As with burpees, you can drop your knees if this exercise is too hard to do a set of 8.
You can also lean on stairs, a bench, a chair or even a wall at first to progress at your own pace. These are called incline push-ups. This is an even better option than knees on the floor because you can select lower and lower support as you progress.
Conversely, if push-ups on the floor are already too easy for you, you can do decline push-ups, that is to say with your feet resting on an elevated support. This will also allow you to further develop the superior or clavicular bundle of the pectoralis major (upper part). However, be careful not to put too much stress on your shoulders, which are more fragile.
3. Close-grip push-ups and diamond push-ups
This exercise also allows you to strengthen the triceps with body weight without equipment. It is really effective in building strong arms. In this case, it is a little more difficult than a classic push-up for the pecs and therefore you will not be able to do as many repetitions.
Movement of narrow grip push-ups
- The exercise consists of getting into a push-up position, with your body straight, bringing your hands together.
- First, place your hands shoulder-width apart for close-grip push-ups.
- Lower yourself keeping your elbows close to your body. You will immediately feel the greater stress on the triceps than when you do push-ups with your hands further apart.
- Push while blowing to return to the initial position, arms outstretched.
Diamond push-ups work your triceps even more. Place the hands 5 to 10 centimeters apart. They must be placed on the ground in line with the forearms, thus forming the top of a triangle (hence the name of this exercise). Descend with the strength of the arms. Normally, the burn will be even stronger on the outer side of the triceps.
4. Jump squats
Used by all strength training practitioners, squat exercises work the entire thighs and legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abductors and adductors). Adding a jump to the squat adds intensity to the exercise and makes it much more cardiovascularly complete.
It's obviously more difficult to gain a lot of volume in your thighs without strength training equipment like a barbell or loop bands, but you can still get great results.
- Starting position standing with legs hip-width apart. Never lock your knees during the set.
- Squat down with your buttocks back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. The back is leaning forward, but it must remain as straight as possible. To help you, imagine that you want to sit in a chair that is a bit far behind you. Be careful, however, to keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Come back up by pushing hard on your quadriceps to propel yourself into the air. Watch out for the ceiling 😅
You can place the fingers behind the neck as in the photos above. Do not put your whole hands so as not to pull on the neck during the exercise. If it helps, you can also start with your arms down and lift them when you jump.
This bodyweight exercise is one of the most complete, but it requires great intensity and a lot of energy. It allows, in a single and unique repetition to work the abs, the thighs, the legs, the triceps and the pectorals. It's actually a mix of the two previous ones: push-ups and jump squats.
strength training without equipment must be done in an energetic way with this movement which already requires good physical qualities and breath.
- Start in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart
- Squat until your hands are flat on the floor
- Energetically send your feet back to find yourself in a plank position with your body straight.
- Do a full push-up if possible
- Bring the feet in a jump to find yourself in a squatting position
- Jump arms outstretched to the sky and return to starting position
Variations of burpees
If you can't do a normal push-up with straight legs, put your knees on the floor to put less pressure on your pecs and triceps.
Of course, there are many other variations of more or less difficult burpees (click on the link to discover 5 of them).
6. Pull-ups under a table
The main weakness of no-equipment bodyweight strength training the biceps and back normally require minimal equipment. The best is to equip yourself with a pull-up bar or a Roman chair.
However, it is possible to have a very good session by slipping under a sufficiently solid table and hanging by your arms.
Here is a video that shows you what it is:
Of course, you can do this exercise without having a dog 😂
- Slip under the table and grip the edges of the table with your hands in an overhand position (palms facing forward). NOTE: Check that your grip is good and that you will not slip during sets.
- Start with your hands shoulder-width apart to engage your back and biceps at the same time.
- Pull to try to bring your upper chest up to the edge of the table while inhaling.
If the movement is too hard for you with straight legs, an easy version is to bend the knees 90° to bring the feet towards you. You will be able to straighten your legs more as you progress.
You can also do series with the hands further apart to solicit more latissimus dorsi or closer for the biceps.
If you have enough room around the table, it is possible to position yourself in the other direction with the head under the table and the body outside. This allows you to grip the edge of the table with your hands supinated (palms facing you). Thus, you will use the biceps much more. Just be careful not to hit your head!
Duration of a session without equipment
Your recovery times can be determined by your primary goal:
- Burn fat: Recovery times can be as short as 10-30 seconds during a circuit in the form of HIIT (high intensity). Do sets as long as possible, between 10 and 20 reps.
- Build muscle: Try the harder versions of the exercises. For example, use the declined push-ups instead of the horizontal versions with sets of 8 to 12 repetitions maximum. Or do jump squats with something heavy in your arms. The last repetition must be difficult. Take 1-2 minutes between each set for recovery.
A full session with warm-up therefore takes about 15 to 30 minutes depending on your goal.
NOTE: All of this only applies if you are already in good physical condition.
What if I don't have the physical condition yet
It is best to consult your doctor if you have not played sports for a long time or if you have a medical history.
If your physical condition is good but you lack practice , such short rest times may be too difficult for you at first. To establish yourself, start by taking your heart rate after a series of 30 to 50 Jumping Jacks. Count your pulse over 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Wait 1 minute and take your pulse the same way. If your heart rate hasn't dropped 20 to 30 beats per minute, wait another 30 seconds, and take your pulse again.
The time it takes for your heart rate to drop tells you how fit your cardiovascular system is. If it takes more than 2 minutes for you to lose 30 pulses, consult your doctor.
How to do a high intensity session
I recommend starting with the Jumping Jacks for getting started. Do 3 sets of 30 to 60 and air swings between each.
For example, watch this video which shows a warm-up in less than 4 minutes including Jumping Jacks, Air Swings and bodyweight squats with a TRX strap (you can do them without equipment):
Then do rounds or circuits for the following exercises (#2-5). Do sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of each with 10 to 30 seconds of recovery between each. Repeat 3 or 4 circuits if you succeed.
There are a multitude of exercises to do at home with a specific training method.
This article aims to introduce you to the best exercises for a top physique as quickly as possible…
Although the tempo must be high to burn calories, the movements must never be rushed. Don't confuse speed with haste 😉
A complete program must include at least 3 sessions per week to have results. Each session should last about 20 to 40 minutes maximum, including the warm-up. To lose weight and tone up faster, it is possible to do up to 5 HIIT strength training sessions per week, but you should still keep 2 days off.
NOTE: Resting in strength training does not mean slouching on the couch. You can go for a walk, hike or other less strenuous physical activity on these days.
Results of bodyweight sessions
Without equipment and free weights like dumbbells, it's hard to put on a lot of muscle. But you can still get great results and look like an athlete .
If your goal is to look like a bodybuilder, it's not going to happen… But I know that's not what most of you are looking for.
However, you can go further when you have progressed enough in bodyweight strength training without equipment. All you have to do is equip yourself with strength training resistance bands or adjustable dumbbells with a tilting bench. And there, you can load the mule or increase the resistance to create more micro tears in the muscle fibers and promote volume gain if that's your wish.
That being said, bodyweight training is the best way to lay the foundation for successful muscle building.
Conclusion on strength training without equipment
This overview of bodyweight exercises you can do at home shows basic strength training movements such as push-ups and squats. By adding extra effort in complete movements such as burpees, you will also do an extremely important belly plank to develop your strength and muscle tone. Indeed, a strong core is the foundation of a strong body.
You must also remember that the rest time must be shorter and the repetitions more numerous when you want to lose weight than when you mainly want to gain muscle volume with more difficult repetitions (loaded if possible).
And you, what are your favorite bodyweight strength training exercises without equipment? Tell me while leaving a message in the comments area below. You can also ask your questions there. THANK YOU !
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