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There is no reason why you have to be in the gym to get a great workout. In fact, there are many people in superb shape who have never lifted a weight in their life! Here is a great workout that does not require any equipment (of course, having access to a pull up bar or similar would be great!). Hopefully it motivates you to get in a quick workout, especially when it’s tough to get to the gym.
While this is a “weight bearing” program, it is good to get in a light warmup. This could a slow 1 mile jog or some cardio on your favorite treadmill or rowing machine. If you are in good shape, go ahead and do your regular cardio workout first. It is always smart to be loosened up before any workout. And as always, consult your doctor before engaging in any new workout!
Let’s begin. One assumption I have made is that your know how to perform these exercises. If you are unsure, you can do a web search on any of them for instructions or even videos. First, let’s look at the exercises we will be using:
Push-up – you can vary the width of your hand placements. Also, elevating your feet mimics and incline press.
Squat – hold your hands on your hips, straight in front, or behind your head for balance.
Chair Dip – Sit on a chair or hard sofa with your hands next to thighs. Push upwards and bring the hips forward, legs straight so you are supporting your body weight. Bend the elbows and lower your body down until elbows are at 90 degrees. Push up for one rep.
Lunge – forward or sidestep lunges are good variations.
Pull-up – if a bar is available, a great back exercise.
Crunches – classic ab exercise also works your core.
Calf Raises – can be done on stair steps or an elevated surface; do them standing.
There are two ways you can traditionally do your workout. The first is the old classic, work your way down each exercise (order is up to you, but probably best to alternate between upper body and lower body) and do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. The second is to do 2-3 circuits where you do one set of an exercise then move on to the next. Going through the full list of exercises once is one circuit.
For these weight-free workouts, I think doing circuits is better because you can be more creative. You can mix in some cardio between circuits – maybe do 100 jumping jacks or skip rope for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, you can try going through the entire circuits without any rest between sets.
As you can see, this type of workout is beneficial for lots of different people and situations. I tend to do this workout either when I’m on the road or need a break from the normal weight lifting routines. It is also great for beginners who want to build some strength and stamina before hitting the gym.
We hope this article was useful – now go get fit!