Going to the gym can be a very unnerving process. The membership is overpriced and expensive, the bench is always taken, and half the people don’t have a clue what they are doing.
If all that wasn’t annoying enough, the checkout counter girl suddenly decides that everyone in the gym should workout listening to the new Ed Sheeran album.
Sometimes the best way to workout is the old school way, with your own bodyweight at home. So, just for that occasion, we’ve constructed the ultimate “screw the gym, I’ll get shredded without it” workout.
1. Push Ups
The most basic of the basics, the ultimate upper-body exercise. Push ups are essential in any bodyweight exercise routine. Once you master the basic variation of the push up, you open yourself up countless variations of push ups. Different variations include; clap, incline, decline, Spiderman, Superman, Hindu, pseudo, double clap, diamond… all hit various upper body muscles from different angles. Get started with the regular variation and enter an entire world of upper body workouts.
Dips are also an upper body basic and it too has some variations to it. While there aren’t as many variations as push ups, you can play around with this one too. The basic “homemade” version is the “chair dip” version. It’s very simple actually, you place a chair against a wall (for stability sake) put your hands on the ends of the chair and start dipping.
You can do this with legs being fully extended or being bent at a 90-degree angle, the latter being a bit easier to pull off. Now that you got yourself familiar with the basic, time to go advanced.
You can add another chair to put your legs on (or any other elevated object you got at home), adding to the depth of the dip. Then, try doing dips between two chairs placed back to back. You will need a very stable chair and some strength because it has a high chance that you end up falling on your face.
Planking also has a dozen variations, but for simplicity sake, we will stick with the basics. There are two side planks and one front plank. Judging by the names alone, it’s safe to assume what each variation hits in your abdomen.
Side planks hit your side abs (obliques) and the front plank hits your entire core. If you are a badass, try lifting your leg to add an extra challenge to your plank.
Now it’s time for some cardio with the mother of “all in one” exercises – Burpees. Burpees are squats, jump squats, sprawls, push ups and mountain climbers all rolled up into one hellacius exercise.
Burpees show no mercy and they are designed to make a man – or woman – out of you. Just like everything else on this list, they can be adjusted depending on your overall fitness level. Once you can do 20 or so burpees without breaking a sweat, it’s time to start playing around with the exercise.
Add pull ups if you have a pull up bar, add a 30-second front plank – go crazy with variations.
So far we’ve covered upper body workouts, cardio, and abs/core. Now it’s time to do some legs. It was inevitable, so get over it. Squats are the best thing you can do for your lower body strength and muscles. It covers everything from your glutes to your calves.
The basic version goes something like this; stand with legs shoulder width apart and feet pointing slightly to the sides. Do with your hands what you want, but the standard position is them being interlocked behind your head. Now that you did all that, begin lowering your upper body until your butt touches your calves.
If you want to add some extra resistance, try one-legged versions of the squat or a jumping squat. If you can’t quite get to the ground and up doing a single legged squat, try putting a chair behind you and sitting down into a chair and then standing up. From that, you can gradually try going lower and lower until you can go all the way down and all the way up.
Jumping squats are pretty much self-explanatory; jump into the air and go into a squat position when landing. There, you have just mastered the jump squat. However, don’t underestimate this one, because after two or three reps you will be breathing like a fish stuck in a desert.
6. Knee Tuck Jumps
Stand in a regular standing position, jump into the air and put raise your knees towards your chest. It’s a killer cardio and lower body exercise. Doing it fast and explosive for a time gives the best results. Variation wise, this one is very modest, however, you can combine it with burpees or jump squats creating a giant, Megazord-like exercise.
7. Calf Raises
Calves are one of those muscle groups that you just accept will never be big. Some people are born with calves looking like soccer players’ while others manage to train them, but they are the 5% that make it…there is a Rich Piana joke somewhere here. Moving along, despite this muscle group being the most frustrating one to get bigger, there is no reason to neglect them.
Calf raises are a good exercise to finish your workout. When you are just about done with working out, spare a few minutes to work the calves. Stand against a wall, and start raising your feet while squeezing the calf muscle at the top.
8. Toe Touches
Some more ab work since summer time is almost here. Lay on a fitness mat or on the floor with your feet up in the air. Now, raise your upper body towards your toes and try touching them with your fingers. This is a great ab workout that you can make more challenging by lowering your legs and raising your lower and upper body at the same time making it a crunch toe touch.
This one is for your hamstrings and butt. Take a deep step forward with a leg of your choice and try touching the ground with your other leg. Take a step back and repeat the process with your other leg. This the secret to doing lunges, not very impressive, right? You can improve the exercise by doing a walking and/or jumping variation of lunges.
Since the title of the article is “No Gym Workout Routine” it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t actually post a workout routine at all. Alrighty then, start blasting your best pump up music, put on your “one day you may” shirt and let’s get this show started!
You’ll do the exercises one after the other and the entire workout will have 4 rounds. Rest as much as you need between exercises and rounds. Record your time and try beating it each time you work out.
- 20x standard push ups
- 20x standard squats
- 10x burpees
- 20x walking lunges
- 30-second plank
This one will be a bit harder to do. The rules are the same; record your time, try beating it and rest as much as you need. You will only do 2 rounds of this.
- 1 set of push ups until failure
- 20-second knee tuck jumps
- 15x burpees with 5-second front plank hold on each rep
- 30x toe touches
- 30x squats