Best Exercises to Build Muscles Without Equipment

By Steve Silverman

You don't have to join a gym, buy heavy weights or use computer-driven machines if you want to get stronger. Working out without equipment is not fancy, but it can be demanding.


This old standby is perhaps the exercise best-known for building muscle in the upper body and the arms. Lay flat on the ground and put your hands outside each shoulder. Put your toes on the ground. Push up with your hands while keeping your back flat and your eyes looking straight down. There should not be an arch in your back or neck. Keep pushing until your arms are locked in a vertical position. Lower your body until you are about 2 inches off the floor. Do not cheat by letting your body rest on the floor. Do a set of 20 repetitions if you can. Take a 60-second break and do another set.

Toe Raises

This is an excellent exercise to build strength and definition in your lower legs. Stand straight up and put your hands on a chair directly in front of you. Raise up until you are standing on the tips of your toes for a count of four. Lower your heels until you are back on the floor. Repeat 20 times, and you can feel the pressure in your calf muscles. Do not stay on the tips of your toes any longer or you could get cramps in your feet or calf muscles.


Stand up straight and place your hands in front of your chest. Place your palms together and press them into each other for a count of five and then relax. Repeat this five times. Lock your fingers together and pull in the opposite direction for a count of five. Repeat this five times.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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