If you want to build muscle, but don't want to go to the gym, you can build muscle without weights using a variety of methods. The key to building muscle is to provide resistance or strain on your muscles to the point where the muscle fibers are broken down so that they will rebuild stronger and bulkier than before. This can easily be accomplished through a workout plan to build muscle using your own body weight, gravity, resistance bands and/or water resistance.
Use Your Own Body Weight and Gravity
By making use of gravity and your own body weight, you can easily push your muscles to fatigue. Make sure you use proper form and only do as many repetitions as possible, while maintaining good form, so you do not injure yourself. If you find your body weight to be too much to do an exercise using correct form, skip that particular exercise and try using resistance bands instead.
Push-ups will strengthen your upper body and core muscles. Learn variations on the standard push-up for variety and to challenge your muscles in different ways.
Install a pull-up bar in a doorway at home and you can work your upper body, back and core muscles with this very challenging exercise.
You can do sit-ups and other abdominal exercises anywhere, anytime. These exercises build abdominal, oblique and back muscles.
Squats use the weight of your body to challenge your gluts, quads, hamstrings and inner thigh muscles. Change the placement of your feet to create a variety of exercises that will work your muscles in different ways.
Lunges work your gluts, quads and hamstrings. Try lunge-walking, which is walking by going from deep lunge to deep lunge. Keep your knee positioned over your ankle to avoid injury.
Assume the Plank Position
Plank exercises challenge your back and core muscles. Time yourself and challenge yourself to hold the plank position for longer each time you engage. Make sure not to let your back slump or arch, but to hold it flat like a table.
Supplement Body Weight/Gravity Exercises with Resistance Bands
If you find yourself unable to do an exercise properly, use resistance bands to work that particular set of muscles. For example, if you can't do a pull-up (or chin-up) properly, work up to it by using resistance bands to strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and core muscles. When you become strong enough to do the actual pull-ups, abandon the resistance bands and work on increasing the number of pull-ups per workout.
With the advances in weight-lifting technology, the choice between free weights and weight machines comes down to a matter of comfort, preference and safety.