“Lifting heavy weights” is becoming a popular solution to many problems.

Weightlifting is not the only way to build strength and sculpt your body. For many people, working out with their body weight is a great place to start.

You don’t need weights to get a good workout. Check out this list of body-burning moves that don’t require any weights.

If you want to see success in terms of strength, you should practice your routine two to three times per week. Continue reading to find out how many sets and reps of each move are necessary.

Body-Burning Moves That Require No Weights

Warm up for five minutes before starting your workout and stretch or foam roll afterward to minimize soreness.

Combine 5–6 of these exercises to make one challenging routine:

Rotational Jacks

This exercise is a variation of the classic jumping jack, but with a twist – quite literally. Rotational jacks are a great way to start your workout, as they’ll get your heart rate up and muscles warm.

Directions:

  1. Start in a wide stance with soft knees. Your arms should be extended straight out at your sides so they’re parallel to the ground.
  2. Keep your arms straight and head and neck
  3. Statationary hinges forward at the hips and rotates your torso so your right-hand touches the ground.
  4. Return to the starting position and jump your feet together.
  5. Immediately jump your feet back out, hinge forward again, and rotate to the left, touching your hand to the ground.
  6. Return to start. Jump your feet together and twist again to the right.
  7. Complete 12–15 reps for 3 sets.

Plank Reach-Under

The reach-under is a variation of the standard plank that targets your core muscles even more. This exercise is not easy, but it provides full-body benefits.

Directions:

  1. Assume a high plank position on your hands.
  2. Ensure your core is braced and your lower back doesn’t sag. Your neck and spine should be neutral.
  3. Lift your right hand off the ground and back toward your left thigh, tapping it with your fingers. Return to a plank.
  4. Repeat with your left hand, tapping your right thigh and returning to a plank.
  5. Complete 3 sets of 20 total taps.

Step-Ups

Step-ups are a great exercise for burning calories and improving balance and stability.

Directions:

  1. Start standing in front of a knee-height bench, or step with your feet together.
  2. Step onto the bench with your right foot, pushing through your heel and driving your left knee up.
  3. Lower your left leg down, stepping backward off the bench.
  4. Complete 10–15 reps with your right leg, then switch and complete 10–15 reps, leading with your left leg.
  5. Complete 3 sets.

Mountain Climbers

This combination of your body weight and the knee drive will make your muscles and lungs very active.

Directions:

  1. Assume a high plank position with your arms extended.
  2. Engaging your core and keeping your spine and neck neutral, drive your right knee up toward your chest. Extend it and immediately drive your left knee up toward your chest.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds, going as fast as you can while maintaining good form.
  4. Complete 3 total sets.

Squat Jumps

Exercises that require your muscles to exert a lot of force in a short period, such as squat jumps, are plyometrics. Just a few sets of these exercises can provide many benefits. However, they are high-impact and may not be suitable for people with sensitive joints.

Directions:

  1. Lower into a squat position with your arms bent and hands together out in front of you.
  2. Explode up into a jump, pushing through and landing back on the balls of your feet.
  3. When you reach the ground again, squat down and repeat.
  4. Complete 3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Burpees

Burpees are a type of high-impact plyometric exercise that torch calories quickly.

Directions:

  1. Start by standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart and arms down by your sides.
  2. Start to squat down, moving your hands out in front of you. As soon as they reach the ground, extend your legs straight back so you end up in a high plank position.
  3. Immediately after you reach the high plank position, jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Get your feet as close to your hands as you can get, landing them outside your hands if necessary.
  4. Stand up and immediately go into a jump squat.
  5. After you land, extend your legs back out again, continuing steps 3–4.
  6. Start with 15 reps.

Standing Side Hops

Lateral movements are important for a well-rounded exercise regimen. Standing side hops help with hip and ankle mobility.

Directions:

  1. Start standing with your feet together and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle at your sides. Your knees should be soft.
  2. Keeping your feet together, jump to the right, taking off and landing on the balls of your feet.
  3. As soon as you reach the ground, jump back to the left.
  4. Repeat 20 reps for 3 sets.

Pull-Ups

The benefits of a pull-up are worth the challenge, even for avid exercisers. Use a pull-up band for assistance to still reap the benefits.

Directions:

  1. Stand underneath a pullup bar and grip it with your hands, placing them slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your feet off the ground and hang from your arms, then pull yourself up by bending your arms and pulling your elbows toward the ground.

Squat Pulses

If you want to feel the burn, hold a squat position and pulse. This increases time under tension or the amount of work your muscle does during a workout.

Directions:

  1. Get into a squat position with your hands together out in front of you.
  2. Raise slightly, pushing through your heels, then back down again.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds.
  4. Complete 3 sets.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks not only work your core, but also target your hips. Three sets of these will leave you feeling it the next day.

Directions:

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your legs extended into the air so your body forms a 90-degree angle.
  2. Slowly lower your right leg down toward the ground as far as it will go while maintaining contact between your lower back and the ground.
  3. Return your right leg to start, and lower your left leg down the same way.
  4. Complete 20 total reps for 3 sets.

Other Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises can be particularly effective for muscle building.

Bodyweight exercises are ones where you use your own weight to provide resistance, in order to build strength.

Push Ups

Push-ups are a good way to build muscle in your upper body.

It’s important to do a lot of repetitions at a level that is challenging but still manageable.

Muscles grow the best when performing repetitions between six and twelve with 67-85% of the maximum resistance you can manage.

Squats

If you want to build your leg muscles then start squatting!

This exercise is great for promoting muscle growth in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Squats are also a great way to exercise your core muscles. But squats not only give your legs a great workout, they are also a great way to exercise your core muscles.

Squats create an anabolic environment within the body, which is beneficial for overall health.

This environment is ideal for promoting muscle building and generating muscle mass throughout the whole body.

Dips

Dips are a great way to develop strong arm muscles.

Body transformation coach and instant-star, Charlie Johnson, explained:

Dips are a good way to increase the size, strength, and power of your triceps. If you want to develop your triceps and improve your pressing strength, you should include some form of dips in your training program.

Sit Ups and Crunches

Doing crunches will give your abdominal muscles a really good workout, making them stronger and helping you to achieve a toned, muscular appearance.

Sit-ups engage multiple muscles groups in your body, including your abs, chest, hip flexors, neck, and lower back.

Yoga

Yoga is now practiced by an estimated 36 million Americans, which is a phenomenal growth in popularity over the last few years.

Although yoga may look like a very relaxing form of exercise, it can actually build strength in many different muscles.

Several asanas are particularly powerful for building muscle strength.

Why not grab your mat, and start stretching today!

Resistance Training

Elastic bands are often used in resistance training, which is a type of exercise that uses body weight for resistance.

If you would like to bulk up in a certain area, then resistance training is perfect as it helps you focus on particular muscle groups.

A systematic review of all the research around resistance training and muscle hypertrophy reached the same conclusion:

Resistance training is the best way to build muscle mass.

This form of exercise is often used during physical therapy for people recovering from an injury, as it is a gentler way to rebuild muscle strength.

Suspension Training

Suspension training is a method of working out where you use ropes or straps to support your body weight.

In an article published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, four different suspension training systems were put to the test to see their impact on muscles.

The four systems mentioned scored positively in comparison to the floor version in terms of muscle activity.

Other Ways to Support Muscle Growth

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

EMS involves using a device to deliver electrical impulses to the muscles. EMS is a process where electrical impulses are used to stimulate the muscles, causing them to contract.

If you’re not familiar with EMS, here is a quick summary:

An electrical muscle stimulator sends electrical impulses to your motor nerves, causing your muscles to contract. This is similar to the way muscles contract during a workout.

We recently looked into the benefits of EMS and found that it has been proven to be an effective way to build muscle.

One study found that four weeks of EMS training improved athletes’ performance on a number of tests, including a 20-meter sprint and a jump-and-reach test.

After only nine weeks, respondents noted a 30-40% improvement in strength.

The World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology determined that both strength and muscle size could be increased.

Eat More Protein

If you want to promote muscle growth without lifting weights, you can do so by increasing your protein intake.

Some great sources of protein are chicken, turkey, eggs, lentils, and tofu.

Proteins are made of amino acids, which are important for building and maintaining muscle tissue.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The data shows that we are sleeping less and less.

It is surprising that there are so many health benefits to getting an early night when so many people do not get enough sleep.

Sleep has a significant impact on muscle growth. Although more research is needed to understand the process.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body isn’t able to make new proteins as effectively, which leads to muscle loss and slower recovery times.

There are many different ways you can improve your sleep, such as wearing a sleep mask.

Keep Your Stress Levels Low

The mental health crisis is worsening, with stress levels increasing in recent years.

If you are looking to build muscle without lifting weights, it is important to keep your stress levels low.

Research indicates that increased stress levels can lead to negative consequences for muscle growth.

Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, and journaling have been shown to be effective.

Improve Your Posture

Sitting up straight is an easy way to generate muscle growth!

If you improve your core strength, you will also improve your posture.

If you have strong core muscles, you will naturally have better posture, and vice versa.

An article in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science showed that correct posture increases activity in the abdominal muscles, helping you to develop a stronger core.

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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