Build Muscle at Home: Getting Started with the Basics

Yes, you can build muscle at home.

A common complaint I hear is the old standard go to excuse of "I just don't have enough time" to build muscle and burn fat.

A common thread running through the people who use "time" as an excuse is not necessarily that they are busier than their more fit counterparts, its that they are bigger – and not in the good way.

They are not building muscle, they are gaining fat.

I remember when I had let myself go after college. I put on nearly 100 pounds; almost none of it (if any) of the good kind of weight.

What was my excuse?

No time.

And the bigger (and lazier) I got, the less time I seemed to have. I would get home from work, plop down on the recliner, and not move.

I didn't have time for the 10 minutes to get ready for the gym, the 20 minute trip there, the hour of work, and the 20 minute trip back.

Or so I thought.

I finally became tired of lying to myself, so I decided to eliminate the excuse. I figured that if I could find time to watch television every night, then I could find time to build muscle and burn fat. To get in the routine, and this is the most important part, eliminate the excuse of having to go to the gym, I decided to build muscle at home. By building muscle at home, I didn't have the excuse that I couldn't make it to the gym – I was already there.

Yes, it is very easy (and fun) to build muscle at home without spending lots of money buying a lot of fancy equipment. That, of course, is not to mention the savings on gym membership fees for a gym you were not using (yeah, I did that too).

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Building Muscle at Home: Basic Exercises

A few simple workout routines are listed below that will help you get started building muscle at home. The best part is that you can do these workouts while listening to music or watching television and you can also get your family involved.

The first exercise is the famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) push-up. The push-up will help you build muscle at home by using your bodyweight to build your chest, shoulders and triceps.

Perform the push up by placing you palms on the floor and arms straight to support your body. Your feet should be together and your entire body should be off the floor (you can also do push-ups from your knees if you are not yet strong enough to do a full push-up). Your face is pointing toward the floors. Now slowly inhale and lower your chest towards the ground.

Just before your nose (and chest) touch the ground, press your palms into the floor and "push-up" to the starting position while exhaling. The air movement in and out of your chest should be synchronized with your body movement. Start by doing as many as you are able to complete with good form, and increase your sets and reps over time.

Check out this push up workout for building muscle at home.

The next muscle building at home exercise you can perform are bicep curls to build your upper arms. There are many variations you can use: standing or sitting, palms facing up, in or down. If you have dumbbells, great, you are ready to go.

But what if you do not have dumbbells? This is the situation I found myself in. The key is to improvise and adapt. All of that eating I had been doing had left me with an abundance of small plastic grocery bags. Since I was changing my diet, I decided to buy some canned vegetables. Placing canned vegetables into plastic grocery bags makes a pretty handy dumbbell if I do say so myself!

Take a dumbbell in each hand and lift them alternately, squeezing the muscle hard at the top of the lift. Make sure that you lower the weight in a controlled manner to keep from using momentum from lifting the weight. Be sure to use variations on the standard curl to keep your workout fresh.

The bodyweight squat is another great way to build muscle at home. The squat works your quads and glutes, the two biggest muscle groups in your body. As you become stronger, you can you’re your dumbbells to increase the challenge.

To do a squat, simply stand with your feet 8 to 10 inches apart and squat down until the top of your legs are parallel to the floor. For beginners, you can use a chair to help you get the motion down. Slowly lower yourself as you were going to sit in the chair, but, instead of sitting all the way down, stand back up as soon as you feel your derrière touch the seat. Make sure to keep your neck and your spine in the line and you also try to inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

These are just a few easy examples of ways you can build muscle at home. There are many other routines and workouts that can help in your muscle building at home efforts. I found that after working out at home and seeing my progress, I felt more motivated to challenge myself and join a gym. The hardest part is getting started. So set yourself a SMART fitness goal, measurement plan and action plan.

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