Before I get into Part 1 of these no-equipment bodyweight exercises, does this situation sound familiar?
If you’re brutally honest with yourself, you’re bound to have skipped out on your workout because one reason or another.
But what’s the regular reason you find yourself missing a workout?
If you see a pattern, then you need to focus on fixing that, and just watch your muscle-building progress grow.
Perhaps you’re regular excuse is:
- You’re short on time
- You don’t have enough space
- You don’t have your usual equipment, eg: left your training shoes at work? (Oh, that old chestnut – not this time buddy!!)
The list could go on and on…
We’re great at ‘making up’ excuses when we want to avoid some effort…
I wrote a whole post on this which you can read HERE. Main reasons for skipping a training session, and how to fight back
But if you truly are pushed for time but really want to get “some training” in, then I’ve got an ultra-short, mega effective, high-intensity workout for you…
Depending on your time available, this workout can be only 5 quick minutes, or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes…take your pick…
What often happens anyway when you first choose only 5 minutes, is you find yourself getting into the groove…
Your instincts to complete a solid workout kick in…and you might find yourself hitting the 20 minute mark before you know it.
Why are bodyweight workouts so effective?
One reason why I love bodyweight training is because not much equipment is needed. Sure, I love my pull-up bar, my parallel bars, and even my parallettes…
But if I didn’t have them, like if I was away for the weekend somewhere, then with a little help from gravity, my own bodyweight is a highly efficient tool for building solid muscle.
Whether you’re looking to work your legs, chest, core, or delts, there are multiple bodyweight exercises just waiting to challenge you.
Let’s dive in…
1. The Grand Master: The Push-Up
Push-ups are perhaps the most effective bodyweight exercise because they work your chest, triceps, and your front deltoids.
I often feel like Push-ups are similar to squats in that they work so many muscles. Push-ups also work your core, butt and legs to a degree.
The Push-Up Process:
Start in a plank position with your hands flat on the deck, shoulder-width apart, wrists under your shoulders.
Keeping your body in a straight line, keep your core tight and engaged, inhale as you bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor.
It helps to look forward to avoid reaching for the ground with your forehead, and thus not performing the full range of motion.
Exhale as you push back up to starting position.
Reps and Sets:
Version 1: Do 10 reps with perfect form. Two seconds down, hold for a second, 2 seconds up.
Version 2: Try 4 seconds down, hold for 2 seconds, squeeze, 4 seconds up. Really concentrate on that mind-muscle connection. Rest. Repeat.
Version 3: Try doing as many reps as you can while still maintaining perfect form in 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat. Do 3 sets.
Pro Tip: Record a video of yourself doing your Push-Ups. This will give you the best assessment of whether you’re completing the exercises with perfect form.
Pro Tip 2: If you have your parallettes on hand, use them to get a deeper stretch. Alternately, you can use two large books (equal thickness) to get that same deep stretch.
2.The Grandfather: Push-Up Burpees
If the Push-Up is the Grand Master, then let’s call the Push-Up Burpees the Grandfather. Why? Because while the Push-Up is an awesome chest and triceps exercise, the Push-Up burpees add in massive fat-burning and metabolism-boosting benefits.
Push-Up Burpees are ultra-effective bodyweight exercises especially when you’re pushed for time.
In fact, if you only had TWO minutes spare to work out, you could get in a hyper-effective workout just with Push-Up Burpees.
For example, you’re cooking for your kids. And between cooking steps, you hit the ground and max out 20 Push-Up Burpees. Then do a bit more cooking. Then in the next lull in the cooking process, you again hit the dirt, and max out another 20 Push-Up Burpees.
If you manage to do 2 or 3 rounds, you’ll have shredded more than a few muscle fibres. Plus, your old ticker would have got a fantastic workout.
Push-Up Burpees work your entire body, from your core, to your arms, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. And your heart rate shoots up, especially if you add an explosive jump at the end of the movement.
Push-Up Burpees Process:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your sides.
Jump down into the Push-Up position, and lower your chest to the ground, then straighten your arms to complete one push-up.
Jump your feet to your hands, so you’re in a squat position. Jump straight up into the air. Reach your arms overhead for even more burn.
Reps and Sets:
Version 1: Try for 10 reps and you’re done.
Version 2: Do as many reps as you can in 40 seconds. Rest for 20 seconds. Then repeat. Try and do 3 sets.
Version 3: Go for a ‘Century Set’. Do 100 reps in one session. If you’re going for this, you might just do this single exercise in one session, and nothing else. Warning: It’s a killer!
Pro Tip: If you’re not used to Push-Up Burpees you might not hit 10. Don’t worry. Just record how many you did. And aim to beat your record next time.
3. Bulgarian Brother: The Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat can be done with any raised surface, like a chair or small table. Or a high step. Bulgarian split squats activate a variety of muscle groups and are a huge lower-body burner. You’re gonna feel it in your quads, glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, and calves.
Bulgarian Split Squat Process:
Stand with your back to your chair or step. With your left foot on the floor a few feet in front of the chair, place the top of your right foot on the chair, shoelaces down. Engage your core.
Bend your knees to lower down into a split squat. Your left knee should form a 90-degree angle so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. And your right knee is hovering above the floor.
Driving through your left heel, stand back up to starting position.
Reps and Sets:
Version 1: Aim to do 10 reps on each leg.
Version 2: Aim to do 15 reps on each leg. And do three sets.
Version 3: Aim to do 15 reps on each leg, but this time hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side. Again, aim for three sets.
Pro Tip: To make sure you’re in the proper position, your left foot should be out far enough so you can do the move without letting your left knee go past your left toes. If you can’t, shift your left foot out a bit more from your chair.
4. Single-Leg Tricep Dips
This is a great isolating exercise for your triceps. Many guys focus too much on their biceps, so this is a great exercise to balance out your arms and upper-body strength.
Single-Leg Tricep Dips Process:
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat, about hip-distance apart. Place your hands behind you with your fingers facing towards your body.
Lift your hips up to bring your bum off the ground and move your weight onto your hands. Then lift your right leg toward the sky.
Bend your arms so your bum is hovering just above the floor. Keep your elbows tight in toward the center of your body, and avoid flaring them out at an angle when you go down. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
Reps and Sets:
Version 1: Do 10 reps with your right leg towards the sky. Then switch legs.
Version 2: Do 20 reps with your right leg towards the sky. Then switch legs. Do 3 sets
Version 3: Do 20 reps with each leg, but this time use ‘Slow-Mo’. Try and take at least 5 seconds in the downward portion of the movement for an extra burn.
Pro Tip: By keeping your elbows into your body and squeezing your triceps at the top, then really concentrating on that mind-muscle connection with your triceps, you can get a fantastic burn.
5. Air Swimming
Air Swimming strengthens the postural muscles, the backside of your body. This is important for improving your posture, preventing back pain, and ensuring you have balanced strength throughout your body.
Air Swimming Process:
If you have a yoga mat, use this. Lie down on your belly with your arms extended out overhead by your ears.
Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground and squeeze your glutes.
Flap your arms and legs up and down while still keeping them off the ground.
Reps and Sets:
Version 1: Inhale for four seconds, then exhale for four, and then repeat both again, for a total of 16 seconds.
Version 2: At the end of the set, hold your arms and legs in the top position. Feel the arch in your body, squeeze everything and hold for 10 seconds.
Version 3: Do 3 sets, resting 30 seconds between each set. Hold and squeeze to failure.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have at least 2 sessions of these per week. This is because strengthening your back is not just vital as you age, but it also ensures you have balanced strength throughout your body for all the other bodyweight exercises you want to perform.
Yes, these are only 5 exercises. But done with perfect form. And with minimal rest between sets. You’ll have yourself a hyper-effective workout, and you’ll be done before you know it.
Get ready for Part 2…
Keep training hard (mentally & physically),
Greg ‘Take No Prisoners’ Noland
CEO & Founder
Grey Top Warriors
“HOW TO DEVELOP “TRUE STRENGTH” AND GET RIPPED IN JUST 30-DAYS USING SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
YOU CAN PERFORM ANYWHERE & ANYTIME WITHOUT PUTTING WEAR & TEAR ON YOUR JOINTS FROM HEAVY LIFTING”
Make sure you have this programmed on your phone or tablet on your next trip.
If you are interested in fighting the aging process at the same time as developing thick slabs of muscle AND dropping at least a couple of belt-notches, why don’t you grab the BodyWeight Beast Program today?