6 Effective Strength Building Strategies Without The Gym

Ben Emanuel II

If you are one of those who love to lift heavy to build strength, how do you build strength if you don’t have any access to gyms?

Gyms are slowly opening again. While gym owners do their best to make the gym a safe place where clients can do their workouts in the new normal, many are still hesitant to go to the gym. It has been established that you are most likely to catch COVID19 in an enclosed space. And in a setting where you have people grunting left and right, and combined by the fact that COVID19 can spread primarily via droplets, many decided to do their workouts at home.

If you are one of those who love to lift heavy to build strength, how do you build strength if you don’t have any access to gyms? We’ve come up with some strategies that can help you build strength without being dependent on the gym.

1. Full Range Pull-ups

Pull-ups or chin-ups are believed to be the gold standard of any bodyweight exercise. Even those who love to lift heavy will agree that this is one of the best ways to build strength. Make use of gravity to hang your body and then pull yourself up using your back muscles and arms.

It is best if you can do pull-ups in full range of motion. It engages the latisimus dorsi building a large muscle group on your back.

If you find regular pull-ups too easy, don’t you strap additional weights around your waist just yet. There are a variety of pull-ups that you can do to challenge yourself. A small change on the grip can make a huge difference in how you do the pull-up. The stronger you grip the bar, the less work your back muscles have to do. What you can do is to open your index finger and your thumb to lessen the amount of work on your forearm and more on your back muscles.

2. Push-Ups and Resistance Bands

You also want to work on your pushing muscles if you are serious about building strength. But without a bench press, is it really possible to generate explosive power? What you can do is to do a variety of push-ups. Instead of just doing the regular push-ups, you can tweak the difficulty of the exercise by using resistance bands. You can use the resistance bands to train your fast-twitch muscles.

3. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebells don't need a lot of space. But even with just a light kettlebell, it is possible to challenge the core and do several functional workouts. Kettlebells are popular because it helps develop strength and endurance at the same time. It's a piece of no-nonsense equipment that was developed by Russian physician Vladislav Kraevsky specifically for Russian athletes. It has been used by weight lifters and by wrestlers alike.

The kettlebell swing is a fundamental move in kettlebell exercises. The swing can help develop different muscle groups. This can help develop your core, grips, hips, and even your legs and hamstrings. Kettlebell swings can also help develop your explosive ability.

Once you have mastered doing kettlebell swings, mix it up with kettlebell snatches, cleans, and clean and jerk. These are lifts that will help you develop functional strength in the comfort of your own room.

4. Sprints

Another way to build strength is by doing sprints. Apart from having the chance to do it at the comfort of your home if you have your treadmill, it is also possible to run outdoors. This can help develop lean muscle mass in your lower legs. However, be sure that you don’t just sprint without building enough muscles on your legs prior.

Sprints can also cause injuries if your body isn’t prepared for it. Even athletes who are doing sprints get injured often. As a beginner or an intermediate athlete, sprinting according to your own pace and building enough leg strength is highly suggested.

5. Single-Leg Exercises

Muscle imbalance is something that naturally happens even on pro athletes. Since humans naturally have a strong and weak side, this can cause injuries and weakness in an athlete’s game. If you are playing any sports, it is not enough that you are doing squats to build the necessary strength in your legs. You need to individually work on each leg to avoid muscle imbalance.

The good news is that single-leg exercises are perfect strength building workouts that you can do in the comfort of your home. Single leg exercises include the split squat, reverse lunges, single-leg step up, and single leg jump rope to name a few.

6. Plank

A strong core is crucial if you wish to improve your overall strength. A strong core can help the body load more weights without getting strained. A strong core is also synonymous to having good balance.

One of the most functional core exercises that you can do is to stay in a plank position for at least 90 seconds for three sets. What makes it functional is its ability to work on the core, and other muscle groups including your rhomboids and trapezius muscles.

Final Thoughts

If you don't feel comfortable going to the gym, you don't have to worry that you are going to completely lose your gains. You can adjust your workouts and still be able to build your strength. Which of these strategies are you going to apply to your program?