Many people believe that home workouts aren’t as good for building muscle as a gym workout could be. Now, this can be true, as you are limited in what equipment and weights you have at home. However, it is not always the case. Instead, you can build muscle at home just like at the gym by following a properly designed workout plan. These workouts focus on using your body weight to your advantage, allowing you to build comparable muscle mass. Read on for details on how to maximize your muscle growth at home.
This is possibly the most defining detail to build muscle at home with minimal or no equipment. To fully activate your muscles, you must push them to their limits. As such, when working out with lighter weights, or just your body weight, you must push yourself to that point in each set. This may mean that your sets have more than double the reps, but it will also ensure muscle growth. These home workouts often contain sets with 30-40 reps in them. However, if you add additional resistance this could lower to 20-30 reps.
For the best results, this home workout should be performed in a superset manner. A superset is where you alternate between two exercises, instead of completing all sets of one then moving on. For example, you would do one set of diamond push ups, then rest for 30-45 seconds before performing a set of inverted row exercises. This is then repeated until all 4 sets are completed.
Creating a full-body workout to build muscle means targeting various areas of your body. Below is a recommended workout along with a description of each exercise.
4 sets of each, alternating exercises with 30-45 second rest between.
Diamond Push Ups – this exercise targets the chest and triceps to replace a bench press. To perform these push ups, place your hands on the floor and make a diamond with your index fingers and thumbs. This tighter configuration activates muscles faster and adds extra resistance. You should perform 2 sets on flat ground, then 2 sets with your feet elevated on a block, stool or chair.
Inverted Row – this will target your lats, traps, and biceps to replace a seated or barbell row. To perform this exercise you will need to take 2 bedsheets and tie a knot in the end. Then place these over your door and close the door. Now the sheets should be secured in place. Take 3 steps back from the door and hold a sheet in each hand, then lean back so your arms are straight, with your feet firmly planted. Then pull yourself upwards keeping your feet in place. To increase difficulty, move your feet closer to the door, to increase the degree you pull up.
3 sets of each, alternating exercises with 30-45 second rest between.
Pike Push Ups – this targets both your shoulders and triceps to replace the shoulder press. Start in a standard push up position. Then move your hands closer to your feet to create an upside V – this will be your start and end position. Then lower your upper body by bending your elbows until your nose nearly touches the ground. Your head should move forward past your hands. Then push back up until you are once again in the inverted V position.
Floor Lat Pulldowns – this replaces the lat pulldown to target your lats. To start, lay face down on a smooth surface. If possible, hold onto something the grips the floor with each hand. Then simply pull your elbows down and slide your body up, similar to the lat pulldown motion. This will be much easier if you can slide smoothly.
2 sets of each, alternating exercises with 30-45 second rest between.
Bicep Curl – this works just like a weighted bicep curl, however, you will use your sheet setup from earlier. Place your feet against the door and lean back. Then simply curl your hands up towards your face keeping your body straight and elbows locked in place. Uncurl and repeat.
Tricep Extensions – this replaces the use of overhead extensions. Once again, you will be using the sheet setup. However, this time facing away from the door. Hold the sheet with your elbows on either side of your head and your hands behind you. Then stretch your arms straight above your head. Ensure you keep your body in a straight line and the elbows stay in position next to your head.
Complete all sets of each exercise before moving on. 2 minute rest between sets.
Pistol Squat (3 sets each side) – these will replace barbell squats and target your quads and glutes. Use the sheets for stability, step away from the door. Lean back with your arms straight and lift one leg. Squat down keeping the lifted leg off the ground. Do a full set on this leg, then switch legs
Split Squat (3 sets each side) – this will replace your split squat or lunges, and target the glutes and quads. Stand in front of a chair, like you would sit down, take two steps forward. Then lift one leg and rest your foot on the chair behind you. Simply squat down without putting pressure on the foot resting on the chair. Finish a full set on one leg before switching legs.
Hamstring Leg Curls (4 sets) – this replaces machine hamstring curls to work your hamstrings and knee mobility. Lie on a smooth surface facing the ceiling. Place your feet on a cloth so they can slide easily. Use your hamstrings to curl your heels towards your butt while lifting your hips in the air. Keep your back straight throughout and slowly lower yourself down by sliding your heels away again.
There you have it, a workout that will help you build muscle at home, without the need for extra equipment. With many of these exercises, you can add additional weights, or resistance bands to increase the difficulty and bulk up fast. However, the most important thing to remember is that you must push yourself. Your muscles should be feeling fatigued at the end of each set, otherwise, you won’t be building the muscle mass you crave. Ensure you follow resting guidelines between sets and only do this workout every other day to ensure enough recovery time for your body.