The Best Home Workouts Without Equipment to Build Muscle: A Complete ABC

Do you want to build muscle but can’t afford the gym fees? Or do you just dislike the local gym? Then these home workouts without equipment to build muscle are just what you need!

The fact is:

It doesn’t take a million trips to the gym to build a strong, powerful muscular tone! Not to mention, there are many healthier ways to build natural strength than pumping iron.

Today I’ve got twenty-eight exercises and six home workouts – all crafted especially for YOU!

3 Key Benefits Of Working Out at Home

There are hundreds of reasons why you should drop the gym and start working out at home instated.

To give you a little taste, I’ll give you 3 of the reasons which probably a lot of you can relate to.

OK, let’s move on:

Time Efficiency

If time plays a factor in your workouts, getting your training done at home surely is a great way to save time.

There’s no commute to the gym, no need to waste time in the locker rooms, and no painful gym music thumping out of speakers.

How does that sound?

Get a BETTER workout at home and spend that valuable time on things you’d rather be doing!


Money Talks

Why spend your extra dough on an expensive gym? Gyms have a lot of overheads for you to pay for: Staff, expensive equipment you probably don’t use, facilities, parking… The list goes on.

That’s a lot of Benjamins straight down the toilet.

Cut your losses and just do your workout at home.

No need to buy attractive gym clothes or a gym bag either- workout in your underwear if you like!


It can be overwhelming walking into a gym and seeing a jungle of equipment.

Where to start?

Planning a home workout takes care of this – you’re getting targeted, planned results!

There’s no need to hop onto the next machine.

No need for social anxiety.

No need to queue at the useless “Ab-Flex 9900”.

By working out at home, you can plan your workout – and stick to the plan!

Set up targeted workouts like this 3 day split workout routine – and give it all you’ve got for 20 focused and intensive minutes. It won’t get any better than that!

Why You Don’t Need Expensive Equipment

Gym equipment just manipulates nature to give you a workout.

ALL gym machines rely on things given by “mother nature”, like:

  • weight,
  • gravity and
  • terrain.

Gym gear companies have cunningly put these together into a package that sells like crazy.

But here’s the thing:

You can get all the benefits of nature without the shiny, sophisticated mumbo-jumbo.

SaleBestseller No. 1
SaleBestseller No. 2
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The reason this stuff sells is that people don’t know the simple techniques to work their body properly – so they buy the package instead.

It’s just like getting a meal at a restaurant versus making it yourself.

Sure, you might be eating off a fancy plate next to a water fountain; but there’s no reason you couldn’t make the meal at home (and even make it taste better).


Why Natural Is Good

Ever heard about bodybuilders being useless fighters?

There’s a reason that the likes of UFC fighters don’t have those bulging, bronzed thighs and triangular frames.

Let me explain:

A big reason you don’t need weight machines is that they aren’t all that natural. Machines target your muscles in one very specific way.

Your muscles are being strengthened to perform that one task, but that one task only.

Think about it; how natural is that?

The only situation I can think of where bench-press strength is useful is if you were trying to lift an enormous rock off your neck. Of course, if you lift rocks off your neck for a living, the bench-press is super helpful. But if you’re like me, you very seldom do this kind of lifting.

Wouldn’t you rather have a well-rounded strength that you can use in any way?

Getting your strength training through more natural techniques that use your own body weight will build this well-rounded strength.

All you need is the right ingredients.

If what you’re looking for from your workout is results, you can throw the rest of the stuff in the trash. With enough practice and natural strength, you might be the next calisthenics machine, Lazar Nonovic?

If you’re interested in getting killer strength workouts from home, here is what to do.

25 Exercises To Get You Fit Without Leaving Your Living Room


I have already shown you a collection of shoulder workouts you can do at home WITHOUT any equipment.

But I have got even more for you:

Shoulder day at the gym usually involves the same tired old routine. Overhead Press. Dumbbells.


The fact is, you genuinely don’t need a full gym set up to build up your shoulder muscles.

Here are some techniques you can use to build the shoulders of an ox (if that’s what you’re going for) all within the four walls of your home…

Stair Push-ups

With a little creativity, you can tweak the push-up to work your shoulders.

This method raises your feet, altering where your body feels the strain in the push-up.

Be warned:

Even if you’re no stranger to push-ups, remember that you are working a new muscle group, so these will be difficult at first.

But persist, and you will soon see results.

1. Place both feet on the bottom step and get into a push-up position (facing away from stairs).

2. Keeping back as straight as possible, complete a set of full push-ups.

3. To increase the gains, place feet on the next stair up. Slowly work your way up the stairs, one day or week at a time.

Pike Push-Ups

This is another altered form of push-up, changing the weight distribution of your body.

1. Get into a push-up position.

2. Lift your hips and fold your body, forming an upside-down V.

3. Bending your elbows, lower your head as close as possible to the ground.

4. Push yourself back up using your arms.

Lateral Raises With Bags

Your deltoids don’t need massive resistance to feel the pain of exercise. A plastic bag filled with hard copy books will, in most cases do just fine.

Stand towards a wall, the right side of your body pointing towards the room. The first set will work your right deltoid.

1. Grab your filled bag or whatever you have as resistance and hold it at your right side.

2. While keeping your elbow slightly bent and your wrist locked, lift the bag up and out to the side until your arm is parallel to the floor.

3. Hold for a second or so before slowly lowering back down.

4. Repeat as many repetitions as wanted, before switching to the other arm.

Side Plank

A version of the plank (see exercises for ‘Abs’); these are great work for your obliques and shoulders.

1. Turn onto your left side with your legs straight, feet stacked on top of each other.

2. Put your left elbow directly under your shoulder, forearm on the ground.

3. Moving your hips, straighten your body. The only points of contact are your left foot and left forearm.

4. Hold for as long as comfortable, building up duration over time.


There aren’t many strength junkies who don’t target their arms as part of a workout. Whether you want to tone, build, or strengthen, it can all be achieved at home.

Getting great arms can be done without access to dumbbells or any other weights.

The two main muscle groups are the triceps and biceps. If your arm workouts only use one of these groups, things will get out of balance pretty quickly.

If we target both groups equally, we are bound to get good results.


Let’s move on and have a look at some exercises that target one of these groups.

Diamond Push-ups

These are the same idea as regular push-ups, but your arms are in a slightly different position.

This targets your triceps effectively, making them work to move your body weight. Like pike push-ups, chances are you will be able to do far fewer of these than regular push-ups.

1. Get into a push-up position

2. Placing each hand at a 45-degree angle, create a diamond shape with your thumbs creating the bottom of the diamond

3. Complete full push-ups, keeping your hips in line with your spine and your legs straight, legs locked.

Bench Dips

Dips are one of the best exercises to target your triceps, as your body weight is being supported by them.

If you don’t have a bench, don’t worry. Just take two regular chairs; the flatter the seat, the better.

1. Place two benches or chairs about a meter apart (adjust accordingly).

2. Place feet on one bench, hands on the other, fingers facing towards your feet, thumbs pointing into your body

3. Keeping chest and back straight, slowly lower your body into the gap between the benches

4. Stop when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle

5. Push back up to straighten arms


Biceps tend to be a little more complicated to work out without equipment – a chin-up bar can really help.

Look for a suitable place in your home where you can build one, or order a doorframe-mountable bar- these are cheap.

Chin-ups are very effective as you are utilizing all of your body weight- this exercise gives them a real run for their money.

1. Hold the bar with your palms facing you, slightly wider than shoulder-width.

2. Use your core muscles to keep your body straight as you pull upwards

3. Stop when your chin is level with the bar

4. Slowly lower yourself and repeat

Handstand Push-ups

Here’s another way to tweak push-ups to target muscle groups.

1. Get into a handstand position with your feet against a wall for balance

2. Lower yourself down using your arms until your head touches the ground

3. Lift yourself back up

Bicep Curls

You can perform bicep curls with anything that increases resistance- you don’t need dumbbells.

If you don’t have a resistance band or dumbbell, get creative!

Use something around the home to hold to increase the work your biceps are doing.

Tips: Try using a towel as resistance. Hold the towel in each end and pull as hard as you possibly can while doing the curls.

It might sound stupid, but this actually burns as he**.

Why don’t you get a towel and try for yourself?

1. Hold your arms at sides (palms facing forward)

2. Bending arms at elbows, raise arms until fully folded

3. Lower arms to starting position and repeat


Tired of waiting your turn for the bench press? Believe it or not, targeting your chest can be done without one of these.

What’s more, the bench press isn’t an exercise that works your chest all that effectively.

As a matter of fact, I have previously written an article dedicated to why you should STOP bench pressing -and what to do instead.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

Try some of these simple, equipment-free exercises you can do at home to build your chest.

The Original Push Up

No need for any explanation, I suppose? Anyways, this is a fantastic exercise working your core, shoulders, and triceps aside from your chest.

Gorilla Push-ups

No, these don’t involve eating a banana.

1. Start in the standard push-up position

2. Lower yourself at a normal push-up pace

3. Launch yourself upwards, slapping your chest

Shuffle Push-up

These are similar to clap push-ups, with more of an explosive element.

1. Position yourself in a push-up position, with one hand planted in front of your shoulder, one behind

2. Complete a push-up, keeping torso and legs straight

3. At the top of the push-up, walk or jump your hands to swap positions

4. Repeat

Decline Stair Push-Ups

Like the regular stair-push up, but your feet are lower than your hands. By doing this, we can target a different part of your chest.

1. Place both hands on a stair, bench, or chair and get into a push-up position, so your feet are lower than your hands.

2. Keeping back as straight as possible, complete a set of full push-ups.

3. To make this exercise more difficult, raise the height of your hands- placed on the next stair up, etc.

Abs and Core

Think of an exercise.

Chances are, you use your core muscles for it.

Whatever you want to do, having a strong core will help you do it faster, easier, and for longer.

This is why building up a strong core is an investment in your fitness.

Ab workouts have to be one of the easiest muscle groups to target. So now you know the importance, and how easy they are to do, what’s stopping you?

You will see massive results from these ab workouts.


These work your whole core, and if you do it right, you’ll really feel the burn. They have to be one of the best all-round exercises for your abs and core.

1. Resting on your front, prop yourself up using your forearms with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Clasp hands together.

2. Keep your spine as straight as possible, hips in line. Look directly forward.

3. Hold for one minute.

4. Increase hold time as you build strength- for a real challenge, hold until failure.

Leg Raises

You know those leg raise machines they have at the gym? You can get the same workout lying on the floor.

Leg raises build strength in the lower part of your abdomen. At first, you will only manage a few reps, but soon enough, you’ll be pumping them out.

1. Lie on the ground, arms at sides.

2. Lock your knees to keep your legs straight.

3. Pivot at your waist, raising your legs. Stop when legs are perpendicular to the ground.

4. Pause for a second, then slowly lower legs to the ground.

Wool Sock Ab Rollout

Works your core like crazy.

One thing, though, you got to do this exercise correctly to stay safe from injuries.

Check out this article to make sure your technique is correct before engaging in numerous hardcore repetitions.

To this version of the rollout (if you have an ab-wheel, use that instead), you need a smooth surface and some kind of cloth that slides easily on the surface.

As I live in Norway, I have several wool socks made by my granny, so I like to utilize a pair of these…

You will be doing the same exercise as if you had an ab-wheel, only you have replaced the wheel with “slidy material”.

1. Put one sock on each hand.

2. Stand on your knees like a Pit-bull (or any other kind of dog).

3. Resting your knees and hands towards the floor, slide your hands forward – arms straight and shoulder apart.

4. Keep core engaged at all times, if you feel your lower back is about to start sagging, return to the starting position by sliding your hands backward against your body.

5. Repeat.

Bicycle Sit-Ups

Regular sit-ups are great, but this variation works the sides of your abs in addition to the front.

Aim to start with ten reps in a set before you start to add more.

1. Lie flat on the ground.

2. Keep hands behind ears, elbows out.

3. As you sit up, pull your left knee towards your chest

4. Twist your torso and head to the left and touch your left knee with your right elbow.

5. Rotate back into a natural resting position; as you lie down, put your leg down.

6. Repeat the process with the right leg/left arm.


We’re spending more time than ever sitting down, and our backs have something to say about it.

The office life can wreak havoc on your back. Our Posterior chain is weaker than EVER and is desperately crying out for attention.

Take control!

Aside from looking good, a well-formed back helps with good posture and preventing injuries.

Table Inverted Rows

Gives your whole back a solid portion of work.

Lie down under your kitchen table (or another table if you like). The bottom of your chest should be positioned parallel to the edge of the table.

  1. Grab the edge of the table; your grip should be a little wider than shoulder with.
  2. While in control, pull yourself gently upwards until your back is in a flexed position (elbows should be lower than your back).
  3. Return down to the starting position.

Reverse Snow Angels

Your scapula, rhomboids, and laterals work together for this effective toning exercise.

1. Lie on the ground, face down.

2. Raise your shoulders and hands slightly off the ground by bringing shoulder blades together.

3. Keeping arms straight, rotate your shoulders to bring your arms around in an arc, hands meeting above your head

4. Bring arms back to start and repeat.


Does the name give you any clues?

You’re going to look like Superman flying when you do this exercise properly.

Not only does this work your back, but it also stretches out your core – this is a great one to work as many muscles as possible.

1. Lie on the ground, face down.

2. Squeezing all your muscles, lift your chest, arms, and legs off the floor.

3. Hold for 2-3 seconds, squeezing your lower back and exhaling.

4. Slowly lower yourself back into a relaxed position.

5. Repeat.


This killer back exercise is surely one of the greatest back-builders out there.

And you know what?

You actually can do them even if you do not have a pull-up bar (but I recommend you to get one)!

By using a door and a solid piece of wood, pin the piece of wood under your door to make the door sturdy.

Voila, you suddenly have your own pull-up door ready for action!

1. Grab the top of your door/pull-up bar, arms a little bit wider than shoulder with apart – palms facing away from you.

2. Keep your core tight and shoulders low.

3. Using your lat’s, pull yourself up until your chest almost touches the top of the door/ pull-up bar.

4. Slowly lower yourself down to the starting position.

Bed Sheet Row

Yeah, I know…

Bedsheet row, how dumb is that?

Actually, it’s not dumb at all!

This is the perfect exercise to shape up your rear delts, lats, erector spinae, your biceps, and those forearm flexors!

1. Tie a knot at one edge of a long bed sheet. Position yourself on the side of the door, which opens the door by pushing it outwards.

Place the knot on the other side of the door and close the door. The knot should now be on one end, while a long piece of the sheet should be on the same side as you.

2. Hold the end of the sheet and lay backward, feet resting towards the door.

3. Using your back, pull yourself upwards until your hands meed the lowest part of your chest.

4. Slowly return to the starting position.


Finally; legs, legs, legs.

The bane of every gym junkie’s existence.

There’s a reason leg workouts are the essence of a healthy exercise routine.

One of the largest muscle groups in the body, working out your legs, stimulates the hormones that build muscle EVERYWHERE.

Are you feeling guilty about skipping all those leg sessions yet?

Don’t worry, rest easy knowing you can get great legs working out at home!

Jumping Squats

The jumping squat gets your heart pumping, but somehow if it’s not challenging enough, try rotating 180 degrees in the air during your jump.

1. Standing a shoulder-width apart, keep your hands by your ears (hold them if easier).

2. Slowly squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor.

3. Jump as high as comfortable, landing with legs at 45 degrees.

4. Repeat.

Hop Tuck

Similar to the jumping squat, but arguably harder- the Hop Tuck also works your butt and arms.

1. Standing a shoulder-width apart, hold arms at shoulder-height, palms facing the floor

2. Slowly squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor.

3. Jump as high as possible, grabbing just below your knees when they are close to your body.

4. Land back with legs at 45 degrees.

5. Repeat.

Sissy Squats

This version of squats might sound and look stupid, but it is deadly as box jellyfish!

1. With feet shoulder with apart, stand straight up and down while holding one hand on a sturdy chair or something similar to keep your balance

2. Breath in while knees are tilted forward and torso backward. The body should form a straight line from your head to your knees. It might look like your doing the limbo, but you are actually giving your quads the punishment of their lives!

3. Pull your knees in and lift your torso back to the starting straight up and down position.

Full Body Exercises

I don’t need to tell you why full-body exercises are great, do I?

Glad to hear it!!

Kill many birds with one stone:

When it comes to full-body workouts, you have ZERO reasons to go to the gym -there are almost unlimited options for home techniques.

Word to the wise; you’ll figure out pretty quickly doing these that you are getting a full-body workout!


1. Standing a shoulder-width apart, keep your arms by your sides.

2. Push hips back, lower body into a squat.

3. Place hands on the floor in front of feet, putting body weight onto them.

4. Jump back to land in the plank position (see above).

5. Jump forward, feet landing outside of hands.

6. Jump upwards, raising arms above head.

7. Land, ready to repeat.

Mountain Climbers

1. Get into the plank position.

2. Pull one knee forwards, foot off the ground, and knee bending.

3. Pull forward as far as comfortable, then place back into plank position.

4. Repeat with your other leg.


1. Stand a shoulder-width apart.

2. Bend at the waist and place hands on the floor just in front of feet.

3. Putting more and more weight onto your hands, start to walk them forward.

4. Keep walking hands forward until they are beneath your head.

6 Super-Effective Home Workouts Without Equipment to Build Muscle

Now, let’s put it all together, shall we?

Home Workout Routine #1 – Chest, Legs, and Core:


Once you have done each circuit, have a 2-minute rest. Set a workout length before your program- start with 20 minutes.

If you need extra resistance, use a weighted vest or fill a backpack with books.

1. Jumping Squats (legs) x 20 reps

2. Regular Push-ups (chest) x 20 reps

3. Bicycle Sit-ups (abs/core) x 20 reps

4. Hop Tucks (legs) x 20 reps

5. Stair Push-ups (feet on 2. or 3. stair) (chest) x 20 reps

6. Plank (abs/core) 1 minute

Home Workout Routine #2 – Back, Triceps, and Core:


1. Bed Sheet Row (back) x 20 reps

2. Diamond Push-Ups (triceps) x 20 reps

3. Leg Raises (abs/core) x 20 reps

4. Pull-Ups (back) x as many as you can manage

5. Bench Dips (triceps) x 20 reps

6. Plank (abs/core) 1 minute

Home Workout Routine #3 – Shoulders, Biceps, and Core:


1. Pike Push-Ups (shoulders) x 20 reps

2. Chin-Ups (biceps) x 10 reps – or as many as you can manage

3. Wool Sock Ab Rollout x (abs/core) as many as you can manage

4. Lateral Raises With Bags (shoulders) x 12 reps on each side

5. Bicep Curls (biceps) x 20 reps

6. Plank (abs/core) 1 minute

Home Workout Routine #4: – Killer Total Body Workout


This is one of my favorites…

I try to do this program with high intensity, using the principles of MYO reps.

In short, I do six sets for each exercise.

In Set 1, I do as many repetitions as possible, followed by five sets where I do 2-6 repetitions.

I only rest for 10 seconds between each set.

NOTE! You need to add enough resistance for you only to be able to do max six repetitions after the “warm-up set”.

You should struggle to do the last repetition. If you manage to do seven you need to add more resistance. Six is the magic absolute maximum!

As I’m in relatively good shape, I utilize a weighted vest to make sure I challenge my body enough.

The theory behind this methodology is that all of the repetitions you do will be effective.

While only resting for 10 seconds, your muscles do not have sufficient time to recover during the brakes, making them work hard through the 2-6 repetitions you do.

Allow yourself a one-minute break between each exercise.


Ok, the workout:

Push-ups: 12-20 reps, followed by 5×2-6 reps. 10 seconds rest between each set.

Pull-ups: 12-20 reps, followed by 5×2-6 reps. 10 seconds rest between each set.

Hop tuck: 12-20 reps, followed by 5×2-6 reps. 10 seconds rest between each set.

Chin-ups: 12-20 reps, followed by 5×2-6 reps. 10 seconds rest between each set.

Bench dips: 12-20 reps, followed by 5×2-6 reps. 10 seconds rest between each set.

Plank: 6 sets, keep in plank position for as long as possible without losing your form.

This workout will hit your whole body, challenging every single muscle in your body while pushing your heart rate through the roof.


Home Workout Routine #5 – The 4 Minute Morning Wood

Starting the day with a bang is both good for your mental and physical health.

This workout routine will have your heard dancing and muscles begging for mercy – all within four super-intensive minutes!

You might have guessed it already; I’m talking Tabata here…

You will be doing 20 seconds of intensive exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.

There will be a total of eight 20 seconds work intervals, and eight 10 second rest intervals -4 minutes total workout length.

After step 8, return and repeat the circuit once more…

OK, it goes like this:

1. Burpees 20 seconds

2. Rest 10 seconds

3. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds

4. Rest 10 seconds

5. Jumping Squats 20 seconds

6. Rest 10 seconds

7. Bicycle Sit-Ups 20 seconds

8. Rest 10 seconds

I try to start my days as often as possible with a 4-minute Tabata.

It wakes me up 10x better than black coffee – and it feels good as well!

Home Workout Routine #6 – Pick And Mix

Play around with the exercises described in this article.

If you have some resistance bands, a suspension trainer, or dumbbells – put them into the mix!

Making your own exercise program can be both motivating and fun – and it might even be what you need to get you in shape!

If you experience a plateau, don’t get discouraged. These hacks when you see no results from working out will have you back on track in no time!

Investing 20 minutes a day to exercise will do wonders for both your fitness level and mental health!

Final Word: Workout at Home Instead of The Gym

These are but a few of the exercises that are easy to do at home.

Research more exercises for a limitless supply of information- the internet makes it easier than ever to get inspiration.

Working out at home is JUST as effective (if not more) than heading into the gym to use the machines.

It’s more natural. For a lean, versatile, and sustainable form of fitness, develop a home workout routine.

If you don’t feel fighting fit after persisting at a home workout routine, what have you lost?

  • Money? Nope.
  • Time? Not really.
  • Fitness? I doubt it.

So ditch the gym pass and get fit on YOUR terms!

Do you want to explore even more home workouts for strength that actually works? Check out my home strength-building resource, LOADED with at-home workouts, exercises, and workout routines!

Other Helpful Resources

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