How to Build Muscles at Home

Even if you don’t have dumbbells, kettlebells, or any other gym equipment, you can still get fit and build muscles while working out at home. Luckily, there are lots of heavy things around the house that can be used as weights to target different muscle groups.

5-Minute Crafts wants to share some easy, yet clever, ideas on how you can use substitutes for weights and other tools for effective home training.

1. Overhead triceps extension with a pan

Replace dumbells with the biggest pan you have. Hold its handle with both of your hands in order to perform this exercise that targets your triceps.

  1. Stay straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bring the pan above your head. Extend your arms straight.
  2. Start the movement by slowly bending your elbows, bringing the weight down above your head. Make sure you keep your shoulders still as you move.
  3. Keep lowering the pan down until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Elbows point forward. Hold the position for a couple of seconds and slowly extend the arms straight.

⏱ Do 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

2. Shoulder press with water bottles

Choose comfortable to hold water bottles and fill them with water. They can easily replace a pair of dumbells to target your shoulder muscles, deltoids, and triceps.

  1. Sit down on a chair without arms and place your feet flat on the floor. Take water bottles in each hand.
  2. Bring water bottles up and bend your elbows at a 90° angle. The elbows should be in line with your shoulders.
  3. Start pushing the water bottles up, bringing them above your head. Hold the position for a bit and return back to the starting position.

Do 10-20 repetitions.

3. Kettlebell swings with a bag of fruit

Find a bag that is comfortable to hold and fill it up with heavy fruit, like for example, apples. You can use it instead of a kettlebell to target your glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and the stabilizing muscles of your shoulders and back.

  1. Stand on the floor and place your feet a little bit wider than hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees, with your toes angled out a little bit. Hold the bag with both of your arms, bringing it in front of your body.
  2. Bend your knees a bit more and swing the bag back between your legs, hinging at your hips.
  3. Swing the bag back in front of your body, up to shoulder height. As you do this, thrust your hips forward, engaging your core, and stand up straight.
  4. When the bag reaches your shoulders, straighten your knees, and contract your glutes. Let the bag then swing back between your legs.

Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

4. Bent over alternating row with milk jugs

Fill a couple of milk jugs with water and use them to target your upper back.

  1. Stand on the floor and place your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bending your knees. Bend forward at your hips, holding your spine slightly arched. Lower your torso until you’re almost parallel to the floor.
  2. Hold the jugs at arm’s length from your shoulders. Raise your upper arm, bend your elbow, and bring one jug up to the side of your torso. Keep your shoulder blade contracted.
  3. Slowly lower the jug and repeat the same on the other side.

Do 6-8 repetitions with each arm.

5. Split squats with a chair

Use a simple armless chair for better balance and to target your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

  1. Stand about 3 feet in front of a chair and place the top of one foot on it.
  2. Find balance and bend both of your knees, lowering your legs down into a lunge. Make sure your front knee stays behind your toes as you lunge down to avoid hurting your joints.
  3. Push through your front heel and bring your body up.

Do 10-16 repetitions on each side.

6. Deadlifts with a suitcase

Take a suitcase and fill it in with different goods like canned products until you reach a comfortable weight. You can also use a big bag filled with rice, pet food, or sand. This exercise is perfect for your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

  1. Stand on the floor and place your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Hold your suitcase by the sides, with your palms facing your body.
  2. Hinge at your hips and bring your buttocks back to lower the suitcase to the floor. Keep your back straight as you do this.
  3. Drive through your legs to come back to the initial position.

7. Plank leg sweep with a towel

Use a towel to add a little twist to a traditional plank exercise and target your core muscles even better.

  1. Start from a straight-arm plank: position your wrists directly under your shoulders, legs straight, and toes on the floor. Engage your core and press the floor away with your hands.
  2. Place one foot onto a towel and sweep this leg out to the side. Bring it up to the point where you feel comfortable and won’t lose your form.
  3. Bring your leg back to the initial position.

Do 5-10 repetitions on each side.

8. Plank to pike with a towel

Build up your core strength even further with another plank variation with the use of a towel.

  1. Put a towel under your feet and start from a straight-arm plank: position your wrists directly under your shoulders, legs straight, and toes on the floor. Engage your core and press the floor away with your hands.
  2. Slowly bring your hips up and pull your toes toward your hands. Keep your legs straight and don’t bend your knees.
  3. When your body forms an inverted “V”, hold the pose for a couple of seconds and slowly return to the initial position.

⏱ Do 10-20 repetitions.

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