Build muscle without weights in just 30 minutes with this no-equipment workout

Strengthen your whole body and develop lean muscle with this short, equipment-free routine

Man holding a lunge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Muscle-building sessions usually involve weights like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. But with this 30-minute bodyweight workout, you can develop strength, build lean muscle, and improve your stability without a weight in sight.

Of course, investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells or one of the best kettlebells is still worthwhile if you regularly work out at home. Still, this no-equipment session is ideal if you want to vary your routines, whether you're away from home or traveling.

According to Juice & Toya, the YouTube trainers behind the session, this routine is "efficient for building strength, stability, muscle mass, and it can even be used as a recovery day workout to do between heavy training days."

There are 10 exercises in the session with two variations on each. You'll do the move for 60 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start the next exercise. The 60 seconds is broken into 20 seconds of rest, a 20-second hold, and a final 20 seconds of work.

As you don't need equipment, you can do this routine anywhere; you only need a bit of time. However, rolling out one of the best yoga mats can help improve your grip and give you a more comfortable experience during floor-based exercises.

Watch Juice & Toya's no-equipment workout

The key to Juice & Toya's routine is the use of compound exercises. These moves require multiple muscles all over your body, rather than activating single muscles, as you'd find in isometric exercises like dumbbell bicep curls.

This is an efficient way to train—ideal for when you're short on time—but there are other benefits too. Compound exercises encourage your muscles to work together, improving your posture, strengthening your core, and connecting your upper and lower body.

Likewise, simultaneously moving different body areas requires more energy and helps you burn fat during the workout. If one of your goals is to drop pounds, it's also worth incorporating an equipment-free high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss into your schedule.

Juice & Toya's workout highlights the areas of the body each exercise trains, with most including some core and abdominal work. However, there's good reason to take on some of the best ab workouts outside this routine.

Your core, which includes the rectus abdominis six-pack ab muscle, promotes stability, improves your posture, aids circulation, and improves your workout performance. Plus, you can use one of the best ab rollers to build up strength too. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.