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4 Ways to Build Strength Without Weights

By Genevieve Cunningham

Maybe you’ve never lifted weights before. Maybe it’s been a little while and you’re intimidated by the weight room. Maybe you’re not ready to throw around some serious iron. Whatever the reason, lifting weights can be a hard habit to pick up and keep. But if you’re at all into health and fitness, you know that lifting weights is super important. It gives us strength and power in our bodies, and can even help us lose weight. So, how do you get started? How can you build strength without jumping in headfirst? Luckily, you may be able to start in the comfort of your own home. Check out these four ways to build strength without ever lifting a single weight.


Squats are king of the glutes. If you want to work your bottom half, including the legs and backside, squats really should be a part of your routine. In the beginning, just use your own bodyweight and a small space in your home. Start with 10 or 20, and work your way to more. You’ll likely be sore after the first day, and you’ll be growing your muscles and building strength in your lower half.


A proper push-up is tough! It works the shoulders, chest, and arms. But, it can also work the legs and core as you hold these areas still. Before embarking on push-ups, do a quick internet search to ensure that you’re following proper form, as this is crucial for gaining the benefit of this movement. After you get started, be easy on yourself. You might think you can pound out 10 or 20 easily, but it will likely be much more difficult than you remember.


Another great exercise for building muscle in the lower half is the lunge. This exercise can be done in various ways … forward, backward, sideways, walking, etc. … and it requires a bit of balance and patience to do it right. If you have bad knees, do these slowly to see whether or not your joints can withstand the pressure.

Use Household Items

Once you’ve mastered these moves with your own bodyweight, grab some household items to use in place of regular weights. Do you have any canned goods? Many weigh an easy two or three pounds. Need more weight? Save your old milk jugs and fill them with water. If you’re creative, there are plenty of ways to add weight without ever stepping foot in the weightroom.

If you really want to build strength, but aren’t quite ready for traditional weights, these options will give you a great headstart. Just stick with them, as persistence is key when it comes to improving your fitness. Before you know it, you’ll be stronger, healthier, and feeling better than ever.

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