How to strength train without weights? Fitness trainers answer the most googled questions

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How do I strength train without weights? Stylist Strong trainers answer the most googled health and fitness questions.

When you’re busy, finding time to keep top of your strength and fitness can sometimes feel impossible. But there are plenty of ways to strength train without having to get to a gym, and which come with plenty of their own benefits – no weights required. 

Every week we ask three trainers from Stylist Strong some of the most-asked questions surrounding weight training and fitness. This week they’re giving us their expert advice on how best to strength train without weights. 

HOW CAN YOU STRENGTH TRAIN WITHOUT WEIGHTS?

EMMA OBAYUVANA, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“There are a couple of different ways. If you wanted to strength train without increasing the heartrate you can do things like push-ups, lunges, squats, deadlifts and single-leg deadlifts. But if you wanted to add in an element of cardio to bodyweight training then you can introduce explosive movements like jump squats, jump lunges, box jumps and burpees.”

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“So you can just use your bodyweight, but I would recommend grabbing something fairly heavy like a milk carton, just to add a little bit of resistance. Another way you can increase the difficulty is by using gravity. You can also slow your movements right down, which increases the time under tension and the intensity without having to add load. Lunges, press-ups, pull-ups and single-leg deadlifts are a good place to start.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, MASTER TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“You can use your bodyweight, but in order to really progress you’ll need to overload the muscles. To do this you can work with levels, for example by elevating your feet on a platform when doing a push-up and slowing down the tempo to put the muscle under tension. But there will become a point where weights are needed.”

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING WITHOUT WEIGHTS?

EMMA OBAYUVANA, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“Doing bodyweight training improves your flexibility, core strength, balance, and it also gives you that element of freedom, because you can literally take your body anywhere and do it.”

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“A good benefit is that you can really nail a movement pattern without risk of injury, because you’re not putting yourself under too much load too soon. Then when you come to make it harder by adding weights you’re probably going to get better results. You’re still getting the benefits of  resistance training, which include increasing bone density, preventing injury and speeding up your metabolism. They just might not be as heightened as if you were using weights.”

CAROLINE BRAGG, MASTER TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“You can do it anywhere without equipment, it’s great to start with to get form correct and it’s free!” 

CAN YOU BUILD MUSCLE WITHOUT WEIGHTS?

EMMA OBAYUVANA, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“You will definitely get stronger doing bodyweight exercises because you can really build the muscle by working on it and strengthening it. However there is a limitation. If you’ve been training for a while you might have reached a plateau and you might find it difficult to keep improving your strength without any equipment. Also it’s harder to isolate muscle groups, so if you wanted to isolate smaller muscle groups like a bicep then you would struggle.”

TESS GLYNNE-JONES, TRAINER AT STYLIST STRONG

“You can’t build muscle in the same way. I would say using weights is definitely the most efficient way to build muscle, but you still can get results without.”

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