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How to Build Muscle Without Weights

written by: Donna Clarke • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 10/30/2009

Building muscle doesn't have to include expensive nautilus equipment anumore. In fact, you don't even need weights. With a unique combination of resistance, controlled movement, and targeted exercises, you can begin to firm and build a healthier, more toned body with improved stamina.

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    No More Excuses

    Like many of us, the thought of building muscle conjures up images of countless hours at the gym, covered in sweat, carefully and deliberately repeating the same motion in order to build muscle. Moreover, the reality of the cost of a health club membership, personal trainer, and/or weight lifting equipment, is simply prohibitive...especially nowadays. So why bother?

    The enormous health benefits associated with building muscle include achieving a healthier lifestyle, improved stamina, greater agility and a positive appearance. But, in order to achieve all these benefits you need a lot of time and money, right? After all, it's not like you could build muscle without weights...well, actually, you can.

    With a few simple tips to get you on your way, you too can begin to build muscle. Just remember to consult your physician if you have a medical concern, and always tuck the tummy!
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    As Easy As 1 - 2 - 3

    1. Run on the beach: Studies prove the benefit of jogging and/or running on the beach is enormous for your legs, especially your calves. Run in deep sand to ease the impact and stick to bare feet. Not only will this exercise build muscle, it will also provide a great cardio workout as well. The key to this exercise is simple: the longer the run, the greater the benefit.

    2. Controlled movement: Those same exercises you were doing with weights, can build muscle without weights. All it requires is understanding how our muscle groups work together, and the chemical responses which occur when you account for speed, muscle flexing and repetition.

    For example, flex the muscles in your arms as you slowly raise them for curls. Remember the slower the movement the greater the gain. Equally as slowly, bring your arms down in front of you again. To mix things up a bit, try alternating arms. The key: Slow the pace way down and keep muscles flexed.

    3. Resistance: Push ups: Push-ups are a wonderful way to build muscle through resistance. The traditional push-ups we all remember from gym class work just fine. For added variety, you might try push-ups using your fists or fingertips. One-armed push-ups are an amazing challenge for the more advanced individual. The key: Always be sure to maintain proper body alignment and slow it down.
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    Don't Forget To Eat, Drink and Be Merry

    Building muscle is hard work for your body with or without weights. Your diet is integral to the process. Remember to reduce your alcohol consumption, increase your water consumption, and be sure to include plenty of protein. Carbs are great if they are complex with plenty of useful fiber. And don't get discouraged if you are eating right, getting plenty of liquids and rest, yet seem to be gaining weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. Let your mirror - not your scale, be your guide.

    Most of all, have fun with your new muscle building program, all at your own pace, and comfort level.

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