In order to build muscle, you need to follow a progressive overload training program. This means that over time you continue to increase the weight you use.
Working out from home for most people means not having access to heavy weights.
Here are some techniques you can use to adjust your at home workouts:
-Increase the # of REPS
-Slow the eccentric contraction
-Introduce an isometric holds
-Choose isolation exercises
As long as you are fatiguing your muscles anywhere from 6-30 reps, you will be able either maintain your muscle or grow it depending on the intensity. If you are constantly around 30 reps, you will need to find ways of making that exercise more challenging.
Creative ways to add resistance:
-Fill a suitcase with water bottles or books
-Find a jug of anything as a way to increase the resistance
-Fill an empty milk jug with rocks
-Hold a large bag of anything ( dog food, wood pellets, flour..etc)
Slow the Eccentric Contraction
An eccentric contraction is when the muscle lengthens. You would do this to increase the time under tension. Lots of strength gains come from the eccentric contraction because of this.
Ex. If you are performing a bicep curl. This is when you slowly lower the weight back down. It should take about 3 seconds to lower it.
Using a Isometric Hold
This is a great option to increase the difficulty of a movement lowering the amount of reps to complete per exercise. You will want to pause at the top of a concentric contraction for about 2-3 seconds (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi) before lowering it back down to the starting position.
Choosing Isolation Exercises
Isolation exercises are very challenging and very effective. They are some of my favorites to include in not only my own workouts but my clients as well. They help to prevent muscles imbalances as well as repair them and they help to target muscles that may not be utilized as much when doing compound movements. Isolation exercises differ from compound movements as they are a 1 joint movement targeting a single muscle groups where as in compound exercises, they involve multiple joints working more muscle groups at a time.
Some examples include:
There you go! Now that you know how to build muscle at home, its time to start getting creative and having fun with it!