How to Build Muscle Without Going to the Gym

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For many people, going to the gym is an effective way of regulating their mental health, keeping fit, and building muscle. However, others can be put off by its cost, or atmosphere, so here are alternative exercises that can build muscle without having to go to the gym.


Calisthenics is a form of exercise that basically means using your own body weight as resistance, for example doing a push-up which exercises your upper body by having to lift it repeatedly. Calisthenics are great because you can increase or decrease resistance by adjusting your level of resistance, either by increasing your weight with a weighted backpack or by making the exercise easier by adjusting the form. Calisthenics can also build lots of different muscles- for example through a combination of calf raises, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats, you can start to build well-rounded muscles. To add to all this, they are free and can be done almost anywhere!


Most beginners to climbing start by bouldering indoors at a climbing center. Whilst this is less money-saving than calisthenics, it can be more social as most climbers are very friendly, and it is also very fun. Climbing builds a broad range of muscles that are often underused including muscles in the fingers and feet. The muscles built through climbing are often complemented by calisthenic exercises and climbers tend to have a very balanced physique. On top of this, bouldering can be a bit like solving a puzzle, so it also engages the brain.