Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
Many of us want to build our bicep muscles, and perhaps the most logical way to do this is to use weights. However, you don’t always have access to weights, and for some people, weights aren’t a choice they want to make.
If you’re in this position, you may be wondering what you can do instead that can help build your bicep muscles without using weights. Luckily, there are plenty of options available that can help to do this.
So, if this applies to you – read on for our helpful guide!
Build Your Own Weights At Home
While you may not have access to regular weights, this does not mean that you cannot lift items that are just as good as the weights that you would find in a gym!
Although weights that you will find in the gym will be designed to be easier to handle, the idea is to add resistance to make the movement more difficult and more effective for your targeted muscle.
And guess what? You can make your own weights at home or even at the office! Let’s take a look at some of these potential options, keeping in mind the exact item we are describing may not be the right one for you but maybe something similar will work.
We all know that when you add water to things, things get heavier. You might already have a water cooler at home or the office, but if you don’t – you can easily find one in a local store.
Consider using a large water jug to do some weight lifting. You can add whatever weight is needed for your exercise, and because of the size of these coolers, they are great for building your muscles by doing bicep curls. If you have one jug, you can do one armed bicep curls and if you have two, you can do both arms at the same time!
You can do this for many items that will allow you to add water, but make sure they can also be sealed. Good examples are milk jugs, thermoses, and laundry detergent bottles.
There are lots of household food items that can be heavy, particularly when you add enough of them. For example, rice, sugar, meat, salt, and canned goods can be “stacked”, meaning adding multiple items, to create a weight to your desired target.
These items act like makeshift weights and you can do many workouts that others would do with your usual gym style weights to build your biceps.
A lot of furniture at home is pretty heavy and usually quite comfortable – but they’re also a gold mine for substitute weights.
Look for items that are easy to handle, such as table lamps and picture frames. These types of items can easily be held in one hand and add that extra resistance to your bicep workouts.
The main point here is, your home or your office can be full of items that can be used as a replacement for your normal weights. You just have to be a little creative with them.
Chin-ups are a brilliant way to build your bicep muscles and you don’t even need to have a bar that you’ll find at the gym to do them.
You can either make your own bar, as long as it is strong enough to hold your weight, or you can look for areas around the house that you can do chin-ups on instead of a bar.
For example, you might be able to do them on your staircase, depending on the shape and design. And if you have very strong hands and fingers, you might be able to perform them on your door.
Take a look around your home and see what options you have!
Resistance bands might be one of your go-to things to use at the gym or at home anyway – but if you do not already have some, consider purchasing them!
Because you can change the tension on them, they can build some great bicep muscles, and you can use them pretty much anywhere. So, don’t underestimate the efficacy of the resistance bands!
Bodyweight exercises are sometimes overlooked when it comes to fitness, but they are among the best types of exercise you can do.
Not only can you do them anywhere, but they’re very effective at building muscle and you can put your own variation on many different exercises to increase the challenge if you need to.
They also work a whole host of muscle groups, including your biceps. So, let’s take a look at some of the best bodyweight exercises for your biceps.
Planking is one of the most simple exercises, and looking at it from the surface, may not seem as though it can help your bicep muscles – but it can!
Get yourself into the push-up prone position and move yourself as low to the floor as possible. Hold this position for as long as you possibly can and you’ll feel your biceps being worked every single time.
There are also yoga positions similar to this, so if you’re into yoga, ask your instructor or do some research to learn what you can about some of these!
There is also a variation to the standard plank, called the side-plank. This will focus the effort on one of your arms and allow you to work one side at a time. It simply involves you holding your body weight up from a side position, while getting as low to the floor as possible, making sure you are balancing yourself with your legs.
The Decline Push-Up
This is basically the normal push-up but with a twist to target your biceps!
This type of push-up makes it a little more difficult but it can work several muscles, including your biceps. All you’ll need to do is find somewhere elevated that you can put your feet on, and similar to the plank exercises, bend your arms so your biceps are doing all of the work.
To work your biceps, you only need to make small movements up and down from the lower-position to the mid-position. We should know by now that the fully extended rep will work your chest and triceps, however, the shorter rep while staying close to the ground will target your biceps.
The Lateral Plank Walk
This exercise can seriously be tough! Put yourself on the ground and hold your arms and legs out wide, similar to a spider.
Keep your arms only partially extended and move yourself across the floor in this position. Try to lateral plank your way from one side of the room to the other for a great bicep burn!
Remember, if you get tired and cannot make it to the other side of the room, just drop to your knees and take a break.
The dive-bomber push-up is not for the faint of heart. You start by placing yourself into the push-up position and then pretend you are moving your head and upper body back and forth under an imaginary bar.
This will create a sort of swinging motion as you move yourself under the imaginary bar during your reps. Make sure you place your hands in line with your shoulders and remain on your toes, allowing your rear end to raise and lower as you are doing your reps.
This exercise will work many of your muscles, and you will certainly feel this in your biceps.
Why Work The Biceps?
Biceps are one of the most popular muscles to work. Those who enjoy seeing progress in their muscles would love to see their biceps getting bigger.
But more importantly, bicep muscles are critical in helping us to move items and are often assisting other larger muscles in their movements.
I have yet to find anyone that does not love working out their bicep muscles as this is the one everyone flexes first to prove they have been committed to a fitness routine!
Can Yoga Help?
Certainly. Yoga has huge benefits for a number of reasons, but many of the positions can work your bicep muscles.
As we mentioned earlier, if you do yoga, speak with your instructor about positions that will be the most benefit to your biceps!
The Bottom Line
You don’t always have to have access to the normal gym style weights to build up your bicep muscles. So, if you’re stuck at home or in the office – consider looking around for items that can be used as makeshift weights, or do some bodyweight exercises.
Whatever you choose, remember to jot down your progress and always do an exercise that you can keep doing and enjoy.
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