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Body-weight Training: Don’t Let a Lack of Equipment Keep You From Your Goals

Body-weight Training: Don’t Let a Lack of Equipment Keep You From Your Goals

Kelley Vargo

  1. Adaptable: You can adapt body-weight exercises to your current level of fitness, whether you’re a beginner or an athlete. In general, most body-weight exercises emphasize muscular endurance, as opposed to traditional resistance training (with weights) that focuses more on muscular strength. For example, you might perform body-weight squats for time, as many rounds as possible in one minute. The stronger you become, the higher number of repetitions you will be able to complete in that minute. To make body-weight movements even more challenging, you can add in pulses or isometric holds to fatigue the targeted muscle groups. Whether you’re 25 or 75, you can adapt this type of training to your fitness level.
  2. Efficient: A great workout can happen with just yourself and some time. Whether you have 5, 15, or 30 minutes, each timeframe is sufficient for a solo sweat session.
  3. Effective: Whether you are progressing from knee push-ups to toe push-ups, or toe push-ups to plyometric pushups, if you engage in body-weight training, you will improve your overall fitness level. The key is consistency, specificity and overload.

What You Need for a Body-weight Workout

  1. A can-do mindset: While most people cite a lack of time as their reason for not exercising, if you have 10 minutes to check social media, you have 10 minutes to get in a quick body-weight workout.
  2. A repertoire of go-to exercises: To make creating body-weight workouts simple, have a go-to list of exercises and piece a few together. Check out the sample body-weight workouts below for ideas.
  3. A little bit of space: That’s it. You can be at home, in a hotel room, outside or even in your office. With a little bit of space, you can get a lot done with your own body weight.

Sample Body-weight Workouts

Below are a few body-weight circuits to demonstrate how to put together various exercises to create high-intensity workouts that will leave you feeling accomplished. The four circuits below are 10 minutes each, which means you should attempt to complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. You can also take an exercise and complete as many rounds as possible in a given amount of time (for example, perform as many pushups as you can in one minute before moving to the next exercise).

Upper-body Workout

Complete the following circuit for 10 minutes

Exercise

Beginner Reps

Intermediate Reps

Advance Reps

Incline Push-up

5–10

10–15

15–20

Walk Up

5–10

10–15

15–20

Hip Raise

5–10

10–15

15–20

Walking Push-up

5–10

10–15

15–20

Incline Push-up

Complete the following circuit for 10 minutes

Exercise

Beginner Reps

Intermediate Reps

Advance Reps

Wide Grip Push-up

5–10

10–15

15–20

Superman

5–10

10–15

15–20

Side Plank

5–10

10–15

15–20

Burpee

5–10

10–15

15–20

Superman

Lower-body Workout

 Complete the following circuit for 10 minutes

Exercise

Beginner Reps

Intermediate Reps

Advance Reps

Squat

5–10

10–15

15–20

Pulsing Squat

5–10

10–15

15–20

Split Squat

5–10

10–15

15–20

Jumping Squat

5–10

10–15

15–20

Jumping Squat

Complete the following circuit for 10 minutes

Exercise

Beginner Reps

Intermediate Reps

Advance Reps

Reverse Lunge

5–10

10–15

15–20

Side Lunge

5–10

10–15

15–20

Pulsing Squat

5–10

10–15

15–20

Jumping Lunge

5–10

10–15

15–20

Side Lunge