If ultimately you wish to have a physique of the typical bodybuilder, you really need to invest in some proper bodybuilding equipment: barbells, dumbbells, bench, squat rack/power rack etc. But, assuming you don’t want this – at least yet – but would still like to improve your physique, you’ll need to know how you can go about it.
First off I’d like to say, you can in fact put on a rather impressive amount of muscle and bolster your physique immensely without touching a single barbell or dumbbell. In theory, however, the practices of bodybuilding and muscle building are the same: work the muscle, feed the muscle adequate nutrients, rest the muscle. This principle will not change whether you are lifting weights or doing other exercises looking to build muscle.
Right, now we’ve established this, let’s take a quick look at some of the basic exercises you can do to build muscle at home:
It’s probably the most common exercise there is, but, what exactly does it do? Well, the press up incorporates several muscle groups, and actually differs very little from the bench press.
The first, and least obvious muscle good form press ups build is the lower back. How? Because you have to keep your back taut as you do them. The second least obvious muscle group is the pectorals. Also worked are the deltoids and the triceps – so you are hitting a large portion of your upper body by doing press ups.
Plus, just like the bench press, you can vary the angle and degree in which you hit these muscle groups by varying your hand position from narrow to wide.
One legged squats
Now, you could do these with two legs to begin with; in fact, that’s probably a good idea. But, over time as your legs become accustomed to it, to compensate for the lack of weight, you can then begin performing one legged squats.
It’s difficult to get balanced at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll really work the legs hard and build them up quick.
Static bicep grips
With your upper arm firmly by your side, your palm rotated upward, and your arm raised at the elbow to 90 degrees, you clasp your wrist with your other arm applying as much pressure as you can, whilst counteracting with the other arm by trying to ‘lift’ through it. Hold this exercise for around 10 seconds at a time before switch to the other arm and alternating until you feel you’ve fatigued you arms sufficiently.
I believe these quick exercises are the most important exercises for building muscle which don’t require weights. Others can be added as assistance exercises, but those are the core.
On the nutrition side of things, like I say, this doesn’t differ from typical bodybuilding with weights whatsoever. If you want to build muscle, you’ll need to fuel your system in the same way. Aim to get 15 calories per lb of bodyweight plus 500, every day. And, the ideal calorie breakdown into macronutrients would be 40% protein, 40% complex carbs, and 20% good fats.