Working out without weights has become a practice that many of us had never considered up until the pandemic forced us to work out at home. Adapting to a less-intense workout may have been off-putting to some, but those that persevered have found that there’s actually quite a bit that you can do while at home if you put your mind to it.
The easiest way to work out without weights – especially when you’re used to it – is to use your bodyweight. At the start of your strength training road, you may find it challenging enough to keep going, however as time moves on, and your strength improves, you’ll need to increase the reps per set, or even slow them down to challenge the muscle.
Different areas of the body may be stronger than others and that’s perfectly okay – they’ve adapted to your lifestyle and daily tasks. For example, carrying the groceries inside or walking the dog. It will necessitate trial and error to establish what each part of your body is capable of and adapting your exercise accordingly.
This form of compound, functional training helps you to perfect your form without the need to manage resistance caused by extra weight. You’ll be able to work on your daily movement patterns and strengthen the muscles involved, and you’ll use multiple muscles and joints at the same time.
It’s great for full-body workouts, although you can work on targeting smaller muscles groups if need be.
Resistance band training
Resistance bands are a versatile alternative to traditional weight training. They’re inexpensive, take up little space and can be adapted to meet any fitness need as they come in three levels, namely light, medium or heavy. As you adjust the slack, you’ll be able to adjust the amount of resistance experienced. By altering your grip or attaching your resistance band to a surface, you will be able to modify the exercises to train the muscles you usually would while at the gym.
Anyone, at whatever fitness level, can benefit from making use of resistance bands. They add an additional challenge to bodyweight exercises howeverdon’t put the same type of pressure on your joints that external weights, such as dumbbells and kettlebells, do.
Resistance bands are also great for targeting smaller stabilising muscles that you may not usually work. This is why personal trainers love using them to work the small muscles in the hips, specifically the gluteus medius, which plays the important role of stabilising your quads when you walk and run. Many runners do resistance band bum exercises during their warm-ups for this reason.
Don’t underestimate the power of this rubber band, it’s more powerful than it looks and can provide the ultimate full-body workout.
Okay, we know this piece is about strength training without weights, but there are things around your home that you can use to increase your workout intensity. Water bottles can double as dumbbells or kettlebells, depending on their grip. Bricks and cinderblocks in the garden can also work well, but please be careful when lifting as you never know what has been nesting there while it’s been outside!
Essentially, anything with weight can be used for exercise, assuming it has something for you to hold onto properly without it slipping out of your hand.
Gyming without weights may seem like a lost cause, but you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve with the right mindset – challenge yourself; push yourself further. Don’t let your hard work go to waste simply due to a lack of equipment or gym space. If you find yourself requiring inspiration or motivation, there’s a ton of mobile apps dedicated to bodyweight workout. You can even follow personal trainers on social media to take a look at what they’ve been up to.