Weight training is a great way to not only gain muscle, but to help the body, raise metabolism, and improve general health. While training with weights is the most common method of building muscle, it is by no means the only way. If gym membership fees and expensive equipment are too expensive, it is still possible to strength train. Building muscle without weights is not only cheaper, it can even be more effective. Here are a few tips to make it easier to get started.
Reasons For Building Muscle Without Weights
While it is true that weights and machines are designed to effectively build muscle, there are many reasons why a person would not be able to use them. For example, the cost of a gym membership may be out of reach, and there may not be the space or funds to install a home gym. Anyone who travels frequently will also find it difficult to get access to machinery and weights regularly.
Strength training without weights means that an individual will be able to workout whenever and wherever the chance arises, whether it is at home after a long day at work or in a hotel room while traveling.
Strength Training Using Body Weight
The most common way to build muscle without using weights is to use body weight. Anyone can use their own body weight as a training tool. One of these options is calisthenics. Normally thought of as a way of improving flexibility, calisthenics can also be used to build muscle while also improving cardiovascular health. Exercises that are commonly used in calisthenics include lunges, sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, pull ups, and squats.
When training using body weight, strength is gained through repetition. The weight of an individual’s body, in conjunction with gravity, is acting as the resistance during training. The downside of simple body weight exercises is that an individual is limited to their own body weight. Once a certain level of fitness is reached, especially when it is in conjunction with weight loss, it becomes hard to increase the difficulty.
Tension Band Workouts
If exercising using only body weight is not providing enough challenge, the addition of tension bands can make a significant difference. Made of inexpensive but durable rubber and elastic materials, tension bands allow the user to increase the difficulty of their workout without resorting to machinery or weights. Tension bands take up very little space, and can be folded up and stored in any convenient drawer or other container.
Adding a tension band to a body weight exercise program can help to either get past a plateau or to gain results more quickly. For most exercises, the user simply needs to secure the bands under their feet or to a wall or door, while holding the loose ends in their hands.
Building muscle without weights is not only possible, it is quite effective. For anyone struggling to get fit on a budget, body weight exercises provide a great alternative to traditional gym exercise.