Male Athlete Performing Body Weight Dips

Not everyone has access to a gym. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not able to make a workout routine for yourself! This article will be featuring exercises that anyone can do without any equipment. Now there’s no more excuses not to work out!


Training Out in the Open

Having no equipment to train with, does not mean you don’t have any weight to train with. Calisthenics is a method of strength training that makes you use your own body weight. Not only will you become stronger, but also more flexible and fit. Calisthenics combines strength exercises with cardio, which makes it ideal for anyone that wants to work out, but doesn’t have access to a gym.


  • Calisthenics is dirt cheap!
  • You can perform most of the exercises outside.
  • There’s a smaller chance of injuries since you’ll just be using your body weight.


  • Calisthenics is not the best method for developing and gaining muscle mass.
  • Your ability to workout might depend on the weather.

Don’t know how to start? Allow me to help.

There’re tons of exercises you can do with just your body weight. I personally love doing them outside, since there’s nothing like working out in fresh air. Having a playground in your neighborhood will definitely come in handy for this.

I’ve compiled a number of exercises you’ll be able to do without any equipment. These include:

Most of these exercises are very beginner friendly. Dips, Pull Ups and Muscle Ups might be for the more intermediate, but there are methods to performing them as a beginner as well. The answer: resistance bands. These beautiful things will blow your mind.


Resistance Bands – Endless Possibilities

Maybe calisthenics are not for you, but you still want to stay in shape. Don’t worry, there are other methods. Yes, I know! I said this article would be covering exercises without equipment, but resistance bands -to me- are the only exception. They’re relatively cheap ($30 for an entire pack of 4), they fit in a shoe box and the possibilities are near limitless. Keep in mind that resistance bands are optional! Personally I’d recommend using them though, as the possibilities of resistance bands are limitless.

So let’s say there’s no lovely playground in your neighborhood. That’s too bad! However, you can still perform great workouts with just trees or lamp posts near your location. All you need is one or more resistance bands for certain exercises. Just attach your resistance band and go to town.

Resistance bands mimic the functionality of cable machines, which are the only type of gym machinery that I actually like, as it allows for some free movement.

Exercises you can do with resistance bands include:

  • Chest Flyes
    This exercise targets the pectoralis major and minor, i.e. the chest. You can focus on one or the other if you like, depending on whether you attach the resistance band on a high or low point. This is one of my favorite exercises for targeting the chest, as it allows me to really squeeze the muscle.
  • Reverse Flyes
    Another one of my favorites. This exercise mostly targets the posterior part of the deltoid muscle, i.e. the shoulder. This exercise not only strengthens this part of the shoulder, but it’s good for your posture as well!
  • Anterior Shoulder Raises
    This exercise targets the frontal part of the deltoid. Make sure to balance it with reverse flyes, otherwise the shoulders will be pulled forward too much. Nonetheless, this is a great exercise.
  • Lateral Shoulder Raises
    The last part of the shoulder: the sides. The lateral parts of the deltoid make the shoulders pop. Not only does it target the lateral deltoids, but it also targets the trapezius muscle.
  • Cable Rows
    I know that a resistance band is not technically a cable, but the exercise is more or less the same. You can target the inner back muscles by taking a narrow grip. To target the wideness of the back, make sure you have a wider grip.
  • Squat
    You know what a squat is by now, but did you know you can combine it with a shoulder exercise? Make sure you’re standing on the resistance band, and hold the other side with your hands. You’ll look like a big X, but performing a squat will now not only target the legs, but also the shoulders.
  • Bicep Curls
  • Triceps Extensions

I could go on and on with giving examples of exercises you can do with a resistance band, but I think it’s best if you would try some for yourself. There are countless varieties of the exercises I’ve listed above, and I think it’s best if you choose for yourself what is best for you. All the listed exercises can be done with resistance bands!


Combining the Best of Both Worlds

Whenever I don’t feel like going to the gym, but I do want my workout fix, I tend to combine both calisthenics with resistance band exercises. That way I still get to perform certain compound movements, such as Dips, Pull Ups and Squat, but I also get to do some more focused exercises, such as Flyes.

This combination can really wear me out, and it pretty much replaces an entire gym workout. As a bonus, I get to breathe in fresh air!

Either training with calisthenics or resistance bands can really prove to be valuable. The combination takes that value even further. Even if you go to the gym on a regular base, try to switch things up with some more outdoor training sessions.



In conclusion, it’s entirely possible to compile a workout routine without having to go to the gym multiple times a week. The possibilities of calisthenics are numerous. Combine that with a resistance band, and you won’t need a gym membership for quite some time!

Let me know in the comments what you think of these workout possibilities! Are you willing to give it a go, or are you more comfortable training in a gym?

4 thoughts on “Muscle Building Exercises Without Equipment – Where to Begin?

  1. Nice article! I am a big fan of finding ways to workout without having to go to the gym. Calaesthetics really eliminates any excuses a person can have for not going. Keep educating others on ways to build strength and live a healthier lifestyle. No matter what a person has there is a way to maintain physical health. 

    1. Thank you! I agree wholeheartedly with you. You don’t need a gym membership if you don’t want to, and you don’t really need any equipment in order to become a better version of yourself. Being healthy is a great gift and that’s why staying active is so important. 


  2. Thank you for a well written article about workouts. You did mention that calisthenics,a method of strength training that makes you use your own body weight,is not the best way for developing and gaining muscle mass. Can you please provide information with regards to which one is the best? On the other hand, I was under the impression, from the title of the article that it was going to deal essentially with workout methods without resorting to equipment. It is good that you addressed the issue yourself within the article, but for any reader with the hope of finding information on how to exercise the body without buying equipment, the introduction of the paragraph on resistance bands may be discouraging, especially for people who have no access to these tools both because of their financial situation and the place where they live. That notwithstanding, your article offers insight as to the possibilities of getting to task without any excuses, seeing that our body itself is sufficient weight that can be used during workouts. And that is a vital information I got from you.Thanks once more.

    1. Thank you for your comment and feedback! To clarify a bit about calisthenics not being THE most effective for muscle hypertrophy… Muscle growth is stimulating by having a progressive overload during workouts, meaning the weight you’re using for your exercises should slowly increase. To put it easy: this keeps challenging your muscles. When training with ‘just’ your body weight, you’re not getting an enormous amount of progressive overloading. Nonetheless, calisthenics is a fantastic way to stay in shape and start sculping your physique! As for THE most effective way for building strength and muscle, it really depends and I’m writing an article about just that as we speak. I must admit by the way, that I was on the rocks whether to add the part about the resistance bands or not. Technically, the point still stands and it’s entirely possible to workout without them. I should mention that they’re optional, and I agree, not everyone has access to them. I still felt the need to mention them, though. Come to think of it, even a regular rope can be used as a form of resistance training. Still, thank YOU for taking the time to read my work! 

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