Fitness & Exercise Fitness & Exercise Men's Health

5 No-Equipment Exercises to Build Muscle

Most teens and young adults dream of having a well-sculpted body. For this, the conventional thought process is that a lean body with well-built muscles can be achieved only with professional training, expensive gym equipment and fitness club memberships. Sadly, often, young adults lack the funds needed for gym memberships or to hire a fitness trainer. 

Does this mean one cannot build muscle or get a toned body without a substantial investment? Not at all! 

Getting a well-toned muscular body does not need to be an expensive affair and can easily be done within your comfort zone. It is also a great way to start your fitness journey as a beginner without any expenses. And most home exercises are highly effective too! 

Muscle building requires a lot of focus, dedication and some amount of creativity! A gym, or fitness can help no doubt, but you can do without one too. This can save you a lot of money, and even save you the trouble of going to the gym and back.

Things to keep in mind before starting an exercise without equipment:

  • You can use your own body weight for weight training in many exercises like push-ups, planks, squats etc. 
  • Get creative and look for things at home that can double up as weights for the exercises, like water bottles, heavy books, stretchable and sturdy ropes or rubber cords etc. 
  • Focus on each muscle group once every 3-4 days for the muscles to remain in form constantly. 
  • Try to work out in front of a mirror or somewhere where your reflection is seen, so you can keep a check on your posture while exercising. 
  • Avoid working in cluttered areas, near sharp edges or where delicate items are kept, as they may injure you. 
  • Take a break every few days as muscles need time to relax as well. 
  • Buying a couple of dumbbells or resistance bands can help with more range of exercises. 

Here are some of the most effective exercises that can bring some great results:

Push Ups

This is the basic home exercise, it targets many muscle groups and can be easily done at home. Push-ups work on your upper body and increase your strength. It helps to build muscles of the shoulders, chest and triceps and also strengthens the core. 

How to do a proper push-up?

Lie on the mat or floor, face down, and position your legs straight, arms perpendicular to the body, hands bent at the elbow and palms facing the floor. Arms must be slightly wider than the shoulders. 

Now using the upper body strength, bend your elbows and gently lower your lower body. Try to keep your hips in line with the body. 

Initially, you may not be able to go very low, but with practice and dedication, you will be able to perform the perfect push-ups. Aim to do about 3-4 sets of 10-12 push-ups each. 

If you find floor push-ups very difficult, you can start with wall push-ups, where you do the same thing, but push on a wall instead of the floor. 


Planks are yet another core-strengthening exercise, with many advantages. It helps with your overall posture, helps to improve the spinal as well as abdominal muscles, and increases your body’s endurance.

How to get the correct plank?

The position is similar to push-ups, but elbows and forearms touch the floor and forearms are parallel to the body. 

Now slowly use your elbows and lift your body, keeping your lower body as straight and parallel to the floor as possible. 

The aim is to stay in the same position for as many seconds as possible.

You can start by holding a plank for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time. Repeat the same for 3-4 repetitions. 


Yet another excellent exercise that works on multiple muscle groups of your lower body. It improves your balance, helps with mobility and strengthens your thigh muscles and hip muscles giving them tone. 

How to do a perfect squat?

The squat can often go wrong and so your posture and correct movements are very important. Stand straight, with your legs hip-width apart. 

Now slowly lower your hips and try to get your thighs parallel to the ground. You can fold your arms across your chest or hold them out for better balance. Care has to be taken not to bend the knee forward, but keep the knees perpendicular to the ground. 

Once lowered, hold in the same position for a second and return to the standing position. Repeat 12-15 repetitions for 3 sets. 


This is an effective upper-body exercise that can be easily done at home. All you need is a sturdy bench, table, or chair of about 2 feet in height. 

How to do a correct dip?

Stand in front of the bench and put your hands behind you, hold the bench firmly and slowly bring your body down. Try to hold the position for a second and come up again. Avoid putting pressure on your forearm, but use your core muscles to lower and raise your body. Repeat 3-4 sets of 15 repetitions each. 


Burpees are tough! It challenges your overall body, helps you burn calories and even is a great cardiovascular exercise. Starting with burpees may be hard, but with continued effort, you will be able to complete them with perfection. 

How to get a burpee right?

You start by standing straight, with arms beside you and feet shoulder-wide apart. Now slowly lower your body into a squat position, and drop further to touch your hands on the floor. Now kick your legs behind and get into a plank position. 

After this, try to bring your legs back to your hands. Get back into the plank position and jump in the air and stand tall again. 

You can start with 1 minute of non-stop burpees and gradually increase to 5 minutes. 

Other worthwhile home exercises:

While the above-mentioned exercises are great, some other exercises that also get great results are, abdominal crunches, leg raises and lunges. Using heavy bottles you can also try bicep curls, chest presses etc. 

Yoga is yet another form of exercise that is very effective and can be done at home. 

It is also best to pair home exercise with brisk walking or light jogging to improve cardiovascular health.

Tips to gain muscle strength

Plan a practical schedule: Stay realistic, muscles are not built overnight or not even in a week! Create a practical timetable keeping your daily schedule in mind and make space for exercise when you are mentally and physically at peace. Hurrying anything will never end well. 

Be Focused: Do your exercises passionately, stay focused and don’t give up easily. Exercising may seem tough at first, but it gets better with time. 

Start with small steps: Starting Day 1 with heavy and tough exercises will end up with cramps followed by no exercises! Start with simple exercises, with fewer repetitions. You can gradually increase the repetitions and then move forward to more advanced exercises. 

Maintain your diet: Try and include as many proteins as you can. Aim to include at least one form of protein with every meal. Reduce the consumption of high sugar and high fatty meals. Include healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, avocado etc. 

Avoid overeating or binge eating. Follow a disciplined lifestyle. 

You can check out some healthy snacks and food items that will help you stay on track without any guilt. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself: Sometimes mistakes happen and you may get off track in terms of missing workouts or eating poorly, but instead of drowning in guilt, pick yourself up and start afresh. 


1 comment on “5 No-Equipment Exercises to Build Muscle

  1. Good article, would have been great if we had an option to mark as favourites and to share the same to others.

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