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5 Tried-And-True Exercises For Building Muscle At Home

And you don't need a gym or any fancy equipment.

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Woman on all fours for a pushup
Photographs by Bee Trofort-Wilson (Wardrobe Stylist: Bailey Harrs; Hair Stylist: TK; Make Up Stylist: TK)
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After age 35, we start to lose muscle mass — about a half percent each year, to be exact. That means we’re also losing muscle strength. So, if you feel weaker than you did in your 20s, you aren’t alone. It happens to all of us.

According to Tufts University, women are affected more than men since women naturally don’t have as much muscle strength and mass to begin with.

That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it. There’s a lot we can do right in our own homes to stay strong. There’s no need to join a gym, purchase expensive equipment or hire a personal trainer (unless you want to).

You can fit these exercises in a few days a week when you have time. They’ll help you build muscle, strengthen your joints, and give you a burst of endorphins right from your living room, deck or bedroom. After a few months, you may even feel stronger than you did in your younger years.



Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises you can do. They strengthen your core, triceps, lower back, legs and shoulders. Yes, they are challenging, but they hit almost all major muscle groups, and in time, you can increase your reps.

1. Lie face down and place your hands on the floor slightly more than shoulder-width apart.

2. Fully extend your arms and lift your torso so your hands and toes (these can also be done from your knees) are the only things touching the ground.

3. Slowly lower your back down without contacting the floor and push back up. Start with five reps and increase as you grow stronger.


Triceps Dip

If you want to sculpt your arms, triceps dips work — all you need is something like a step, bench, chair or sofa.

1. Sit on top of your step or piece of furniture and hold on to the edge with your hands about hip-width apart.

2. Extend your legs straight out in front of you and lift yourself up and off your seat, holding your weight for a few seconds before lowering yourself down without putting any weight on the floor. You want your hands and elbows parallel.

3. Push with your hands to lift yourself up and repeat. Try for 10 reps and increase as you get stronger. To make triceps dips more challenging, alternate lifting legs as you push yourself up.


Wall Sits

Wall sits make your quads burn faster than any gym equipment and all you need is a wall. These will also target glutes and calves, so most of your legs get a complete workout.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and press your back against a wall.

2. Slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your feet are directly above your ankles (not over your toes) and press your back into the wall.

3. Hold the position (start at 20 seconds and increase the time as you get stronger) then rest for 30 seconds and repeat.


Forward Lunges

Lunges target your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps while enhancing your balance and flexibility. They are a low-impact way to build muscle and strength and can be done anywhere.

1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart, put your hands on your hips or in a prayer position in front of your chest.

2. Step forward with one foot (about three feet in front of your other foot). Then, shift your weight to the front foot as you bend your knees and lower your body until your back knee is about two inches off the ground and your front knee is parallel to the ground.

3. Push off of the front foot and return to standing position. Repeat on the other side (start with 10 reps and increase as you get stronger).



We do squats almost every day, even if we don’t realize it. Whenever you sit or get up, you are squatting. So, it’s important to keep those muscles strong. Squats build muscle, improve your posture and are great for your joints.

1. Stand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart. Your hands can be on your hips, hanging at your side or in a prayer position.

2. Bend your knees and ankles as if to sit while keeping your shoulders up and your hips back. Try to get your knees to a 90-degree angle before pressing your heels to the floor and returning to a standing position.

3. Start with 10 reps and increase as you get stronger.

Do any of you do exercises to build muscle? Which ones do you do? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Health