Everyone wants to gain strength and muscle, but not everyone wants to spend hours in the gym pumping iron, and not everyone wants to have the bulk that can come with having muscles, which is a big concern for women. The great thing about building muscle is that it helps your bones stay strong and is a great way to boost your metabolism. Interested in gaining muscle, but don’t want to have all the hassle of lifting all the time? Check out these ten simple methods to gain the muscle you want without the weights or excess bulk!
1. Dancing Half-moon Kick
The first workout on our list is the dancing half-moon kick! This workout adds strength to your arms, back, hips, and obliques. It does not require any sort of equipment; all you need is yourself! This is a simple workout, but it offers up some excellent results!
- Start off in a sort of straddle position – feet spread apart, knees bent, and toes slightly pointed outward. Make sure your left leg is straight, but shift your weight on your right leg.
- Round your arms overhead, as if you are holding a ball, and bend over your right knee.
- Hold for a few moments and repeat. After a few reps, repeat on the opposite side.
2. Jump Squats
Jump squats are great for helping to promote leg and ankle strength. This exercise is also beneficial for a healthy balance. Once again, no equipment is required other than your body and a level surface. It may be tough at first, but after a couple of reps you’ll forget you ever struggled!
- Get down into your basic ending squat position.
- Jump as high as you can. When you land, get into the beginning squat position, hold for a few seconds, then go back into the ending squat.
- Repeat for a few more reps.
3. Monkey Push
This workout may have a funny name, but I promise you – it’s no joke! This exercise works out your shoulders, back, arms, and abdominals, so you know this workout is something serious!
- Put yourself in the “up” portion of the pushup. Pushing through your toes, hop your lower body forward – your feet should land in between your hands.
- Hop your lower body back to its original position after a brief hold. Then move toward the floor and push back up – this is one rep. Repeat.
4. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a staple for any workout, but they do wonders when you want a weightless strength training routine. They may be hard at first, but it gets easier and easier with practice and precision. Your arms will thank you for this workout when you are through!
- Sit on the edge of a chair or bench and place your palms, facing the front, on the chair or bench just outside of your hips.
- Edge yourself off the chair and bend your legs at a 45-degree angle. You can extend your legs for more of a challenge.
- Using your elbows, bend down so that your body makes a 90-degree angle, then lift back up to chair height. Repeat. If you cannot handle that, you can keep your legs bent at a 90-degree angle.
5. Opposite Arm and Leg Lift
This one may be a bit easier for you if you cannot handle the tricep dips! This exercise targets both the upper and lower body, the back, shoulders, and glutes. If you are looking for a full-body strength workout, this one will be right up your alley!
- Get down on your hands and knees. Reach your right arm and left leg straight out at the same time, while keeping your back straight.
- Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat using the opposite arm and leg.
6. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are another well-known workout that can do wonders for your upper and lower body. Like most workouts, they seem fairly simple, but they pack a huge punch! Remember though: no pain, no gain.
- Get down on your hands and knees. Bring your left foot forward and bring it directly under your chest, while keeping the other leg straight.
- While keeping your hands on the ground and your core squeezed tight, jump and switch your legs. Now your left leg should be straight and your right leg should be brought forward. Repeat.
7. Back Extensions
Back extensions are a workout geared towards working your butt and lower back. Simply get down on the ground and get to work!
- Lie down on the floor, face down.
- Raise your left arm and right leg off the ground. Make sure to raise your head parallel to your arm.
- Hold for a few seconds and lower your arm and leg back down. Repeat using the right arm and left leg.
8. Plank Press
Planks are always great for strength training, especially when combined with some sort of weight. You don’t have to go for the big, bulky weights though. Using small dumbbells or strapping weights around your wrists will do the trick!
- Get in the standard plank position, setting the dumbbells in front of your hands. Step your feet out a bit more than hip-width.
- Lift your right hand and pick up a dumbbell. Move your elbow backward, reaching shoulder level. After holding, bring your arm back down.
- Repeat for a few reps, and then repeat using the opposite arm.
9. Oblique-Twist Triceps Push-Up
Everyone knows that push-ups are a great workout for the arms, but who wants to do a boring push-up all the time? That’s why this variation of the push-up is so awesome! Work out multiple areas of the body while you gain strength – it’s a win-win!
- Lie down on your right side, hug your ribcage with your right arm, and place your left arm on the floor in front of you. Bend your right leg behind you and lift your left leg up into the air, hip-length.
- Press down on your left arm to lift your torso off the ground, while raising your left leg as high as you can.
- Lower back down to starting position and repeat for a few reps. Repeat on the opposite side.
10. Wall Sits
Last on our list is the wall sit. Wall sits really work out the back and lower body. You can lift your arms out in front of you for an extra stretch. Your thighs will really get the brunt of the burn after you are done with this workout!
- Stand up straight with your back against the wall.
- Spread your feet a few inches apart and walk them out about two inches away from your person.
- Slide your back down the wall, until your body makes a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then raise it back up.
About the Author: JESSICA STARKS