We get it. You're at home, you have an hour to kill and you want to get a workout in but you don't have any equipment, you don't want to travel back and forth to the gym or maybe you don't have a gym at all. Well, we have the answer for you. All you need is the floor, gravity and yourself. That's it!
Bodyweight workouts are fantastic for building strength, increasing mobility and surprise everyone in how challenging they actually can be. I love to do them and I go out of my way to build workouts for everyone at the gym centered around different bodyweight movements that are easy to tap into whether you're a beginner or an expert.
So, let's build a workout. First, we need movements.
The pushup is one of the most perfect movements, if done correctly, for building strength in the chest, shoulders, triceps and core, plus, you can do it anywhere where you can stretch out your body. Try for a hard surface in your house like hardwood, but if you don't have that, carpet will work just as good. Let's do it!
1. Plank position. Locked out arms, hands under your shoulders. Abs tight. Butt tight. Have your feet about shoulder-width apart.
2. Beginner: Have your hips touch the floor first, then your chest but try not to "worm" your way down to the floor. Try to keep that plank position all the way down. Touch your chest to the floor and then push the floor away from until you reach your starting position.
Advanced: Take your chest to the floor first, hovering the tops of your thighs. Touch your chest and press the floor away until you reach your starting position.
3. Keep your elbows tight to the ribcage. Don't let them flair out because this will cause sheer on the elbow joint and you'll stop utilizing your shoulders and chest, which you want to do.
4. If you absolutely have to, do the pushup from your knees but keep your body position tight. As you get better, go to your toes because you want to train using your entire bodyweight, not just a portion of it.
If you've ever sat on a chair, then you've done a portion of the squat. There are lots of ways to do this movement but the one we like to do at the gym prepares us to eventually have weight on our backs in the forms of a barbell but the setup is still the same when it's a bodyweight squat. This movement should really work your butt, hamstrings and quadriceps (the tops of your thighs) and if you're new to them, you should feel them the next day. But, that's a good thing! :)
1. Start with your foundation. I like to be barefoot so I can feel the floor. Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart and then scoot them out about 1 or 2 inches. Don't take a wide, sumo stance with squats! Then, have your toes rotate out about 5 degrees to get a more natural position for your legs to move.
2. Great squats are built in the upper body. It's true! So, get a nice big Superman chest and stand at attention with your shoulders back a bit. Too many people have a passive stance with their upper body and it kills their squats by folding them forward. Don't let this happen!
3. Begin your squat by taking your "butt to your heels" without your knees going over your toes. Open your hips to push your knees to the outside of your feet.
4. Have your hips go below your knees. Don't bottom out as to keep the muscles engaged and propel yourself to a standing position.
The last simple movement is a situp. With our situp we want to make sure we get a full range of motion and add some dynamic range, working the entire abdominal region. Try to keep these as strict as possible and use your hands to gain momentum.
1. Start with your feet flat, knees bent and back flat on the ground. As a point of reference, we're going to take our hands and reach them out in from of us. I don't want you grabbing the back of your head to launch you up from the ground.
2. Keeping the arms straight, I want you to rise us, keeping your feet on the ground and take your elbows past your knees.
Think about variation. Doing the same thing everyday is boring, but doing the same benchmarks a couple weeks apart gives you a better idea of how far you've come, so I've included some of those, too. These are just a few ideas.
In 7 minutes, do as many "rounds" as possible.
(after each round, add 1x rep to each movement)
Every two weeks:
2 min Test
- Max Rep Pushups
- Max Rep Situps
- Max Rep Squats
If you have any questions, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.