How to Build Muscle With Light Weights

Written by yvonne glasgow
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How to Build Muscle With Light Weights
Determination, not heavy weights, builds muscle. (muscle fitness image by Leticia Wilson from

It is a misconception that heavy weights are needed to build muscle. Any kind of resistance, including light weights, can help build muscle when exercising, because this motion makes the muscles constrict, giving them a workout. A weight that is 0.907 to 4.54kg. can be just as good for building muscle as a 22.7kg. weight, though it will not work as fast. Using lighter weights means more reps without getting sore or worn out as soon, although WebMD says muscle fatigue is important to gain more muscle.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Perform weightlifting exercises using a chosen weight, such as a dumbbell, or water bottles, jugs, canned foods or 2-liter bottles.Anything that has some weight to it and can be held in the hand can be used to give resistance for muscle building.

  2. 2

    Hold the weight in one hand, or one in each hand, gripping tightly (this gives it even more resistance). Pick an exercise, whether it be bicep curls or a chest press. Perform double the reps that would be done with heavier weights, and more often. Thirty reps with a 4.54kg.weight will give the arms a good workout. Always keep going until muscle fatigue sets in; when your arms start to get sore, do five or 10 more reps, then stop.

  3. 3

    Execute a biceps curl by holding the weight in your hand with elbow bent at your side. The lower part of the arm will be stretched out in front. Lift the weight to the shoulder, keeping the elbow still. According to the "Fitness Professional's Handbook," it is important to keep the body part being worked in a still position, not wobbling or shaking while the movement is being performed; in this case, keep the elbow still while the rest of the arm and hand are being moved.

  4. 4

    Perform a chest press using light weights by holding the arms up and out, elbows in line with the shoulder and hands out front, with weights gripped tightly. Extend the arms forward, so that they are straight out in front, and then move them back into the original position, and repeat. This is also a good exercise for strengthening and building the shoulder muscles.

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