For the record, I’m not a fan of bodyweight only workouts. Here’s why: One of the questions I hear a lot of other trainers get is “Can we do a really cool bodyweight-only workout that can get me really muscular and jacked?” My answer in one word-no. That’s the bad news. Now before everyone asks to have me burned at the stake for speaking heresy, let me explain.
For a muscle to change it has to receive a stimulus sufficient enough to elicit a response to the stress it’s been given. For an untrained individual, a bodyweight only workout will definitely fit that bill, but the body will adapt quickly and you will either have to 1) increase the load (weights) or 2) increase the time under tension with more reps. Everyone always uses gymnasts an example of how the second example works, but do you really want to spend several hours in the gym doing hundreds, possibly thousands of reps-every day? Probably not.
Ok, now here’s the good news. You can still increase your joint integrity, flexibility, movement, power core strength and conditioning. Plus if you’re stuck in the boonies, in a hotel room with absolutely no equipment, this workout will keep you from withering away until you get back to your friendly neighborhood gym. Ok, you ready? ‘Cause- Here. We. Go!
Do these exercises in order, for the recommended rep speed when noted. If you need to rest, I’ve broken up the exercises into groups that include a dynamic movement, a joint integrity movement and a power/strength movement. You’ll wrap it all up with a finisher at the end.
Perform the below workout as a circuit, with no rest between exercises unless you need it – until the finisher. If you can’t perform all exercises with no rest, break them up into groups of 4-5 exercises at a time, then rest for 45-60 seconds between groups until you are capable of running through the workout with no rest until the finisher.
For some exercises, you’ll notice a rep speed of 3-1-1-1 – that’s 3 seconds for the negative/eccentric portion of the movement, a 1-second hold at the bottom of the eccentric, 1 second for the positive/concentric portion and then a 1-second hold at the top of the concentric.
Jumping Jack 10 reps
Standing Dirty Dog 15 reps/leg
Ab Roll-up to Jump Squat 10 reps
Lateral Walking Push-Up 10 reps/side
Swimmer 10 reps
Side Lunge 10 reps/side
Bird Dog and Rotate 15 reps/side
Ab Roll-Up to Plyo Push-Ups 10 reps
Reverse Swimmers 10 reps
Reverse Lunge with Alternating Overhead Arm Reach 10 reps/side
T-Spine and Shoulder Stabilization 10 reps/side
Split- Squat Jump 10 reps/leg
L- Stand Shoulder Push-Up 10 reps ( Rep Speed 3-1-1-1)
Skip with Alternating Arm and Leg Extended 10 reps/side
Single-Leg RDL (Romanian Deadlift) 10 reps/leg
Bicycles 30 reps
Diamond Push-Ups 10 reps (Rep Speed 3-1-1-1)
Inchworm 10 reps
Single Leg Glute Bridge 10 reps/leg (Rep Speed 3-1-1-1)
Psuedo Planche Push-Up with One-Arm Row 10 reps/side
Ab Roll-Up to Jump Squat
Sit on a mat with your legs extended in front of you. Roll your back onto the mat and lift your legs over your hips, supporting yourself with your arms. Use momentum to roll quickly back to the starting position, but bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat. Plant your feet and jump up, reaching your arms over your head. Land softly and bend your knees to lower back down to start. That’s one rep.
Lateral Walking Push-Ups
First, get in the top position of a push-up…with one difference. Your FEET should be further apart than normal…about a foot to a foot and a half or so. Come down into the bottom of the push-up. Now push back up powerfully out of the bottom and as you do so, bring your left hand and left foot in towards the mid-line of your body. Now your hands and feet are set right beside each other. Step out to the right with your right hand and right foot at the same time and come straight down into the bottom position of the push-up again. Now, come back to the left, repeating the same pattern.
Lie on your stomach with your arms in front of you and over your head, palms down. Move your arms out to your side and all the way to your hips. Glide the back of your hands up your back as far as possible. Continue moving your arms as the move away from the spine back to the starting position.
Ab Roll-Up to Plyo Push-Up
Sit on a mat with your legs extended in front of you. Roll your back onto the mat and lift your legs over your hips, supporting yourself with your arms. Use momentum to roll quickly back to the starting position, but bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat. Plant your feet and stand up. Bend from the hips until your hand touch the ground. Walk your body out to a standard push-up position. Execute a plyometric push-up. Allow your knees to touch the ground and walk/roll back to the starting position.
T-Spine and Shoulder Stabilization
Start in a pushup position with your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Keeping your arms straight and core engaged, shift your weight onto your left arm, rotate your torso to the right, and raise your right arm toward the ceiling so that your body forms a T; your right foot should now be on top of your left. Pause for three seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
TIP: As you rotate your body, pivot on your toes and then lower your heels to the floor.
L-Stand Shoulder Push-Up
Place your heels against the bottom of a wall, bend forward, and position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor and your body forms a 90-degree angle. Lower your body slowly until your elbows form a 90 degree angle. Return to the starting position.
TIP: To challenge yourself, raise your one leg on each rep to activate your core.
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
Stand on your left leg, your knee bent slightly. Raise your right foot slightly off the floor. Without changing the bend in your left knee, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. As you bend over, raise your arms straight out from your sides until they’re in line with your head, your palms facing down. Your right leg should stay in line with your body as you lower your torso. Return to the start. Repeat the prescribed number of reps on your left leg, then do the same number on your right.
Lie on the floor in a prone position. In one movement, pop up to your feet and land in a surfer’s position, standing up in a knee’s bent position. Return to the starting position. Switch sides that you land on for each rep.
Psuedo Planche Push-Up with Row
Start in regular push-up position, but instead of having the fingers pointing forward and in line with the chest, point them toward the feet and sitting a little farther down the torso. Slowly descend down into the bottom position. As you return to the starting position, row one of your arms to that side of your body. Lower your hand back down to the floor. Repeat with the other hand.