If you are only getting started with working out, it might be beneficial to know that you don’t need a costly gym membership or fancy workout equipment to build muscle effectively.
There are exercises that you can incorporate in a muscle building workout routine and conveniently workout from home.
There are various straightforward ways of building muscle while exercising at home. These exercises are also inexpensive since they don’t involve sophisticated gym equipment.
You, therefore, get to save money and enjoy the convenience of working out from the comfort of your home.
In this post, we will discuss a comprehensive beginner muscle-building workout routine that you can do at home.
Upper Body and Core Workouts
Push-ups for arms and chest
Push-ups are perhaps the most adopted home workouts. Ensure that you do the push-ups in proper form so that you can reap maximum benefits for your efforts.
Make sure that your spine is straight and in line with your bottom. Your spine should not be sagging whatsoever.
You may start with your palms being a little wider than the shoulders. From here, you can go wider for a chest-focused workout or narrower for an arm-focused workout.
Alternate incline and decline push-ups to enhance muscle growth.
To perform incline push-ups, you can have your arms planted on a low table or seat such that your body will be angled up. Note that for this kind of push-ups your spine should remain straight.
With the decline push-ups, your feet need to be 1 to 2 feet above the level of your hands. Always keep your head up, and your spine should be in line with your bottom.
Try and do three sets of 8-12 repetitions. Ensure that you complete the push-ups in proper form.
Also, make sure that your workouts are well spaced such that you won’t repeat the same exercise way too frequently. Doing this gives your muscles recovery time, which is essential for muscle growth.
Handstands against the wall for shoulders and back muscles
Well, as you probably can imagine, handstands are not easy to pull off. They are however an incredible multi-muscle workout.
Get into the handstand position by crouching with your back on the wall. With your hands firmly planted on the floor, move your feet carefully up the wall.
When you get to this position, use your toes for balance, and then lower your legs to the floor, and push back up to complete one repetition.
Perform three sets of 10 reps each
If you are unable to get to this position while using the wall, you can try it with a high table. Start by placing your feet on the table while your thighs hang over the edge.
Your torso will also be hanging over the side of the table. Adjust your position until you can comfortably place your hands on the ground.
From there, do a set of push-ups while your head hangs straight down. This workout is commonly known as pike push-ups.
Do dips to work out your arms
To do effective dips, you will require to have a strong bench, table or chair, that is about 1-2 feet above the ground.
Plant your hands on the bench and behind the rest of your body – your bottom should be suspended mid-air while your knees should be bent 90 degrees.
With your feet placed on the floor, lower your bottom towards the floor until your arms bend at about 90 degrees. Once in this position, immediately push back up.
Do three sets of 15-20 reps each.
Planks make an excellent workout for exercising your entire core. Planks are also easily adaptable for intensified workouts.
To do planks, start by getting in the push-up position, but with your forearms placed on the ground, instead of your palms.
Ensure that your spine is in line with your butt, without sagging your back at all. You should be in a position where a straight stick can rest parallel to your neck and bottom. Stay in this position for 1 minute and then rest. Do two more repetitions.
You can do side planks by opening your body and adopting a position such that you rest on one forearm and the outside of the foot of the same side. Again, your spine should be straight.
Plank to Push-up: begin by adopting the plank position and then move down onto your forearms to a forearm plank position and push back up to a full plank position.
Perform sets of 12 reps each.
Do crunches for abs and core muscles
Crunches are perhaps some of the best workouts for your abdominal muscles.
To do crunches, lay down with your back on the ground, then plant your feet and bend your knees.
With your hands supporting your neck, raise your shoulders off the floor about 6-8 inches and stay in that position of one second. After that, slowly lower your shoulders back down.
Immediately raise your shoulders again with your eyes fixated on the roof. Make the repetitions slow for enhanced results. Do not cheat by using momentum to lift yourself off the ground.
Perform three sets of 8-12 reps each
Straight Leg sit-up: lay with your back on the floor and your legs fully extended. Extend your arms towards the roof and do a sit-up, maintaining your legs in a straight position.
Slowly lower your arms and try to touch your toes, followed by a slow return back down to the original position. Repeat these nine more times.
Perform basic curls
You can do basic curls using a gallon of water, a heavy book, or anything that has significant weight and is easy to handle. You may also consider acquiring some home dumbbells.
The majority of upper body exercises need some resistance for effectiveness. With the weight, you can perform the following exercises.
Bicep Curls-Bicep curls focus on growing your biceps. When performing bicep curls, your goal should be on proper technique rather than lifting the most weight.
The point is to not compromise your form in an attempt to lift a lot of weight. Balance your bicep workout by working your triceps as well.
When starting, lightweights will be enough to burn your muscles. You should, however, endeavor to push your biceps to their limits by increasing the weight that you lift.
Ensure that your body movement is isolated such that only the arm being exercised in moving. You can do bicep curls standing or seated, whatever works for you.
Sitting is however beneficial because it creates a solid base for your body so that you can isolate your body movement and achieve maximum effectiveness.
Stand with your feet hip-wide apart, and your knees somewhat bent. Maintain your back in a straight position and pull in your abdomen (to a comfortable extent). Allow your arms to rest on your sides as you face forward.
The sitting position is similar to the standing one except that you will sit on a chair/bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
Make sure that what you are seating on will not impede the movement of your arm or weight while performing the curls.
You can start by lifting with one arm at a time, or you can alternate both arms. Raise the weight slowly until it is shoulder high.
Pause for two seconds at this position, then slowly lower the weight back to the arm’s resting position.
Triceps workouts-You can perform triceps extensions with weights. This is done from a standing position.
You begin this exercise by standing in a straight position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Grab your weight with one hand. Use the other hand to balance yourself by holding a steady surface.
Raise the weight to the level of your shoulder and then extend the arm forward such that it will be perpendicular to the ground.
Rotate your wrist such that the palm of the lifting hand faces forward while your pinkie finger is on the upper side. This is the starting position.
Lower the weight behind your head slowly and carefully. Pause for a bit at this position then return to the starting position. Maintain the upper arm by the head every time you perform this exercise.
Make about 8-12 reps, and then switch arms.
Shoulder Raises-Lateral shoulder raises will develop your lateral deltoids. You start by standing with your arms resting at your sides, with each hand holding weights of equal measure.
Lift the weights from the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold the weights in this position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower them back to your sides.
Try two sets of 12 reps each.
You can also try four sets of 8 reps each.
After each set, rest for about 60 seconds. Ensure that you lift at a steady pace.
Working Your Lower Body
Perform intense cardio for the growth of your leg muscles
Cardio may not be known as a bodybuilding exercise, but there is a wide range of cardio exercises that promote the growth of leg muscles.
For effectiveness, these exercises have to be strung together, ideally by combining 5-6 exercises and doing each exercise for 1 minute.
After this, you rest for 30 seconds and then proceed to the next exercise. When you are done with all the exercises, take a 5-minute rest and then perform 2-3 more reps. These exercises will burn your leg muscles which is essential for muscle growth.
You can engage in exercises such as
- Jumping jacks
- Burpees – perform a jumping jack and then switch to a push-up. Do a rep.
- High Knees – lift each knee as high as you can while touching the ground as little as you can.
- Lateral jumps – jump to either side and land on one foot with the knee bent. Jump to the other side and do the same.
- Oblique twists
- Box jumps and basic plyometric workouts
Perform wall sits
Have your back to the wall and be in a “sitting” position with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your bottom suspended mid-air just like you would be when sitting on a chair. Stay in this position for 60 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Perform 2 more reps.
To get into position for squats, stand straight up with your feet placed hip-width apart and your back straight. Your head should be up and bracing your core.
You can either place your hands on the hips or stretched straight in front, whatever option feels more comfortable to you. from there, lower your body to a squat position just like you would be sitting in a chair.
Ensure that your spine remains in a straight position and your knees directly above your toes (do not lean forward).
Your focus should be on lowering your bottom. Do ten repetitions, take a short rest and perform 2 other sets.
Bulgarian Split Squat: with your front foot on the floor, and your rear foot raised a bit on a surface, lower your body into a squat and then come back up.
Have your hands stretched out or on your hips to achieve body balance. Perform 12 repetitions and then switch legs.
Perform donkey kicks
Get on your hands and knees and then stretch one leg out and upward, while maintaining the knee in a 90-degree fold. Perform 12 repetitions for each leg.
Do glute bridges
Lie with your back and feet on the floor while bending your knees. Raise your glutes from the floor to form a “bridge”.
Raise your left leg while keeping your hips up, then lower the left leg. Repeat the process with your right leg. Perform 10 repetitions with each leg.
Lunges can be of help in building butt, hip and hamstring muscles.
To perform lunges, place one foot about 4 feet in front of you. Take a position such that your knee will be 90 degrees bent.
While in this position, lower your body straight down towards the ground. While doing so, ensure that your front knee is directly over your toe and bend your back knee to the ground. Push yourself back up, then switch legs and repeat.
Do 3 sets of 10 reps each, with short resting periods in between.
You can enhance the intensity of the exercise by using dumbbells or weights. Making the workout harder will deliver faster results.
Creating a Muscle-Building Routine
Create an exercise schedule that works on every muscle group twice every week
You can develop an effective muscle-building schedule at home without the need of a personal trainer. Fortunately, the internet has made it very easy to access such vital exercise information.
In this section, we will provide some simple guidelines that you should follow so that you reap maximum benefits from your workouts.
If you have to stress your body and mind with exercises, you would rather have your muscles growing quickly and safely.
Ensure that you have 1-2 resting days before repeating a specific workout. For instance, if you do chest workouts on Wednesday, don’t work the chest until Friday or Saturday.
Form groups of similar muscles and then work on them together. For instance, many chest-focused exercises also work on your triceps, and it is, therefore, logical to have chest and triceps workouts on the same day.
Allow yourself 1-2 rest days where you don’t engage in any hard physical activity. This resting is important as it gives your body a chance to recover and rebuild.
Do not compromise great form for extra repetitions
While working out, focus on maintaining great form rather than having your focus on making extra repetitions. This way, your workouts will be more effective for quick and safe muscle growth.
Remember that doing 10 proper squats is better than doing fifteen squats without good form.
Every exercise should be smooth, seamless and slow. Each workout may be different, but you may follow the following tips for better results
Inhale when coming up or relaxing. Exhale when exerting force.
Make sure that your spine remains straight. A curved or bent spine will not only lead to ineffective workouts but can also cause back pains and injuries.
When you reach the apex of each exercise, stay in that position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly go back to your resting position.
Yoga for a full-body workout
Yoga is an excellent workout for stretching muscles and working on larger muscle groups. Yoga enhances muscle strength and flexibility.
Easy and calm yoga sessions can be done on your resting days, while more intense yoga sessions can be incorporated into your exercise routine. Yoga is inexpensive since it doesn’t need any special exercise equipment.
Thanks to internet sites such as YouTube, you can easily access all sorts of yoga workouts for all skill levels.
You, therefore, shouldn’t be nervous if you are entirely new to yoga, as there will be appropriate yoga sessions for you. Yoga can be practiced at home inexpensively.
Push yourself as much as possible
Pushing your body to the limits is a requirement for muscle building. It is through pushing that your muscles get torn so that they can later be repaired and grow.
Observe keenly how the muscle you are working on is behaving – go as hard as possible until the muscle is tired.
Each set should end with some struggle. Your last 3 reps should feel difficult if you are pushing hard enough. If your last reps feel easy, you are probably not going a hard as you can.
Set your exercise goals before starting the exercise. Decide how many sets you want to do and how many reps in each set.
Avoid quitting midway – go all the way. If you feel the exercise is easy, add more sets and reps.
However, it is crucial that you avoid injuring yourself as you push your body to its limits. If your muscles are hurting, rather than just being sore, you probably need to stop and rest.
Eat a protein-rich balanced diet
To complement your muscle building workout routine, adopt a diet focused on whole grains, fruits, and veggies. It should also incorporate lean proteins such as chicken, steak, fish, and beans.
For your post-workout snack, consider having a glass of chocolate milk
Switch from white bread and pasta and instead do whole grains
Eat avocados, nuts, and eggs for healthy fats.
Consider acquiring some basic exercise equipment for use at home
The market is filled with all kinds of exercise equipment that you can choose from. The good thing with exercise is that you don’t need to buy expensive equipment to do it effectively.
Consider buying some resistant bands – there is a wide variety of such bands, and they are highly adaptable (they can be used for very many exercises)
Also, consider getting yourself a basic set of dumbbells. They are an inexpensive way of adding some weight to your home-based workouts.
You may also buy some pull-up/ chin-up bars. These are designed to be used with virtually any door frame. Many models of these can be used to do dips and incline push-ups.
We have laid out an excellent muscle-building workout routine that can be adopted by beginners. Working out at home has its advantages such as cost-efficiency and convenience.
Working out alone and in the comfort of your home may pose discipline issues due to lack of accountability.
While exercising at home, it is important that you maintain high levels of discipline. Without discipline, you won’t achieve much in your muscle-building endeavor.
Also, it is crucial that you be cautious of injuries while working out at home. Make sure that you take and maintain the correct positions while performing the various exercises.
Even if you should push your body to its limits to attain muscle growth, never perform exercises that you think may injure you. Safety always comes first. All the best!