A workout at the gym or at home doesn’t always have to involve a machine. In fact, if you’re a beginner to muscle training and toning exercises then using smaller, more compact items can be a less daunting place to start. If you rely on attending the gym to access equipment like cross trainers and treadmills, it can be useful to have a few alternative exercise options at home in case you have to skip the gym. Read more to discover our top five ways to build muscles without machines.


1. Dumbbells

A dumbbell is a small weight which can be comfortably lifted with a single hand. Convenient to have at home, dumbbells can help strengthen and tone the muscles in your arms. In particular, they are a great way to develop your biceps.

We can also recommend a barbell for more experienced weightlifters. These are long metal bars with weighted discs at either end. They can engage the whole body rather than isolating the arms.

 Origin Vinyl Studio Dumbbells

2. Punch bag

The punch bag offers an effective full-body cardio workout and is designed for martial arts and fitness boxing. Combining power punching, heavy body strikes and uppercuts, you can target the muscles in your chest, arms, back and shoulders, giving you a complete upper-body workout. You can also perform kicks with a punch bag which is an effective way to engage your leg and core muscles.

 Origin Freestanding Punch Bag

3. Powerbags

Filled with sand, powerbags can be conveniently carried, lifted, dragged or held during a wide variety of exercises. The fluid motion of the sand makes your muscles work that little bit harder and is a great way to strengthen your core, arm and leg muscles.

Primal Strength Kevlar Power Bags

4. Kettlebells

A cast iron or steel ball with a handle attached to the top, kettlebells are used to perform a number of powerful exercises, including ballistic and weightlifting exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.

 Escape Fitness Studio Vinyl Kettlebells

5. Medicine balls

One of the most versatile pieces of gymkit, medicine balls offer a wealth of dynamic exercises that engage the whole body. From lunges and throws, to lifts and curls, the medicine ball activates the whole body, including muscles in your upper body, lower body and core. Available in a range of weights to suit your strength and fitness level, drills can be performed on your own or with a personal trainer.


Primal Strength Double Handle Medicine Balls


So, there you have our top five ways to build muscle without machines. These are all popular pieces that you’d find in respectable gyms and they are easy to use and store in your home.

A leading UK supplier of new and refurbished gym equipment from top brands, Gymkit are dedicated to making workouts more accessible and user friendly. Alongside our innovative machines, we also sell fantastic accessories including dumbbells, powerbags and medicine balls which allow you to build muscle without using a machine.