Bodyweight Training: Working Out at Home With No Equipment and Limited Time
We were snowed in.
All of WNY was locked down due to the snowstorm. I had no equipment to train with.
Bodyweight training was the perfect solution.
I went into the basement and started with mountain climbers. Then I did squats. Pushups. Lunges. Jump squats. Bridges. Bird dogs. Planks. More mountain climbers.
Do that list of bodyweight exercises for 20 minutes non-stop. I bet you will be surprised how challenging it is.
How can you get strong and fit without a gym membership?
Let's get into it.
Let's say you cancelled your gym membership and you need to workout and you have no equipment. This could be for one month or three, but it's not forever
You need it to be challenging and fun so you will actually do it.
There's something gratifying about getting a great workout in with minimal or no equipment.
I don't do bodyweight workouts exclusively but for a change of pace they offer unique benefits.
4 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Bodweight Training
1- Get Outside
In the backyard, a park, playground, at a beach. Get out in the fresh air, under the sun. Sweat it out.
Feel the sun on your skin. The wind in your hair. Fresh air, the elements. Is this some hippie shit? It may sound like it but it will make you feel amazing so do it.
2- Use Hills/ Stairs
Up and down. Slow and fast. Sprints and walking and jogging. Hill/stair sprints are an awesome way to get in better shape quickly.
Start slowly. Get in a solid warmup and start by walking up and down the hill then jogging up and down a few times before getting into sprints.
3- Utilize the Ground
Natural, uneven surfaces are great for the ankles, feet, hands, wrists. Do movements on your hands like pushups, handstands, bear crawls. On your feet do some lateral walks, hops, jumps.
4- Grease the Groove
Improve pushups, pullups, dip. You can do bodyweight movements with high frequency. This works great to practice your pullups and steadily improve 1 rep at a time.
For more info on- how to - 'Grease the Groove' for strength
You might get bored with bodyweight exercises if you do them all the time.
Eventually you will need to lift some weights. For a few weeks they can be work wonders on old, beat-up joints.
They're also great for a few months when you don't have a gym membership.
I enjoy them when I'm nowhere near a gym and have only 15-20 minutes to spare. Or on vacation to get the blood pumping and feel the muscles working.
They're also a good option for when you need a break from your normal gym routine or when you are stuck inside due to a snowstorm.
If you're like me you love to hit the weights. Heavy dumbbells, barbells loaded up with plates, kettlebells, sleds, sandbags.
The idea of doing only pushups and bodyweight squats and lunges forever makes me yawn. But they are effective at building muscle and improving fitness.
Use as Warm-up or as Filler
One more way to get the most out of bodyweight training is to use it as a warm-up or in between sets as filler.
Fillers will jack up the intensity of your workout and get in some extra reps on dips or pullups.
If you only have 15 minutes and you need to get in some quick physical activity, go with a circuit of bodyweight exercises with no rest periods. You may be surprised how out of shape you are.
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