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Weights: Who needs 'em?

Plank position can be done anywhere. You can rest on your hands or elbows as witnessed in this pic
Plank position can be done anywhere. You can rest on your hands or elbows as witnessed in this pic

Are you someone that gets intimidated looking into a weight room? How are you supposed to build your muscle when you are too embarrassed to rub elbows with 250 pound behemoths that rule the free weights? How can you work out when you are on a business trip to China and you can't even find the hotel lobby, let alone the hotel gym?

You can stop wondering and get into gear with many weightless exercises that can build muscle and help stop the flabby arm syndrome. The easiest and often simplest exercise that can be done without weights is by holding the plank position. The plank position is the basic push-up position, and by holding this, you will strengthen your wrists. If you are having problems holding this position, then you better keep trying. If you can't hold your own weight for longer than a minute you have a serious muscle deficit. From there, you can obviously strengthen your biceps by doing the actual push-up.

Another easy way to strengthen your core and build your balance, is by simply standing up. When seated in a chair or on the floor, try to sit down and stand up without using your hands. If you can't accomplish this exercise from a chair, and you're not over 80 years old, then you are probably completely out of shape from head to toe.

Here are some other basic exercises you can accomplish without weights:

1. Find a bar or doorjamb, or anything overhead which is secure and try to do a pull-up. If you are unable to do a full pull-up, just do what you can or even hang for as long as you can. If you are still having trouble, use a box to stand on initially.

2. Work on your legs by standing in the same spot and jumping. As soon as you land, immediately jump in the air again. Start off by doing this for 1 minute, and increase your times as you get stronger.

3. You can do squats by putting your back against a wall and slowly bending only your knees. Continue to bend at the knees until you have made yourself look like a chair, hold it, then slowly get back up into your starting position, repeat. If it doesn't feel like your thighs are going to catch fire, you aren't going down far enough or you may not be doing it correctly.

4. Use a resistance band to work out both your legs and arms. They are small enough to store or carry with you anywhere you go. Resistance bands for any level (very light to heavy resistance) can be purchased at G&G Fitness, which offers many locations around Cleveland. Also, they are very knowledgeable and can help to find you the right resistance band for your skill and fitness level. To find a G&G Fitness near you, please visit their website:

Also, please visit this link for many other exercises to help build those muscle groups you would like to focus on: This website can be very helpful for any exercise with or without weights, and it even offers some exercises for use with the resistance bands.

This article may not help you to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it should hopefully give you a stepping stone to take you there. Using weights is a great way to build muscle and these exercises should, at the very least, allow you to build your core strength to get you in the door to that weight room (even if you do now have to go in sideways because you can no longer put your arms by your side due to your bulging biceps). Lou Ferrigno may have turned into The Hulk overnight, but it's definitely going to take you little longer, so keep working.


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