Exercises for Muscle Building & Toning Without Equipment

You can use your body weight to tone and build muscles without added equipment.

You can use your body weight to tone and build muscles without added equipment.

Resistance exercises build muscle by using your body weight, rather than added weight or equipment, to increase strength and tone. Resistance exercises do this by incorporating the whole body, working multiple muscle groups and including both the big and small muscles. When you work these large groups thoroughly and throughout the entire body, you will tone and build muscle without added equipment.


The pushup is an oft-loathed exercise because of it's difficulty and intensity. But it's that intensity that makes it such a great muscle builder, even without any equipment. The pushup works the entire core, the legs, glutes, and of course, the chest, arms and back. Because of the wide range of muscle groups used, pushups are one of the best equipment free exercises around.

Lunge with Twist

Lunges are great exercises to build muscles without equipment. They work deep into the muscles of the legs, but also challenge your balance. This challenge in balance causes you to engage your core muscles to hold the body steady. When you add an upper-body twist to a lunge, it further challenges these muscles, allowing you to build stronger and deeper muscles.

Plie Squat with Overhead Reach

The plie squat works multiple muscles in the legs, such as the hamstrings, quads, inner and outer thighs, as well as the glutes. A plie differs from a regular squat because the toes are turned out and the upper body stays upright. This upright position uses the muscles of the core to support it. When you add an overhead reach to each plie, you incorporate the arms and shoulders. The resistance affecting the body's large muscle groups will help tone and sculpt, even without equipment.

Forearm Planks with hip lifts

Forearm planks challenge the entire body, building muscular strength without the use of equipment. The legs lift the lower body, the core holds you steady and the shoulders and arms lift the upper body. When you add a hip lift, you further press into the core and push back through the shoulders.

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About the Author

Jessi Andricks is a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. Andricks is also a certified green living expert and Health Coach. She combines her expertise in these areas of to help people learn to live healthy, energetic lives.

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