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Body-weight Workouts - Workouts without weight!

This article will teach you how to get a great workout in without going to the gym and without spending any money on equipment. There are a variety of different exercises to chose from for you to mix and match as you please. So lets cut the baby talk and get started with workouts that will get you rock hard abs, solid muscle, and a great lean body if you take the time to do the work. The article will talk about different exercises you can do, I will discuss the correct number of reps and sets to do at the end of the article.

Explosive Push ups with Leg Splits (Chest Biceps Tric eps Core)

The main goal of these push ups is to push your body to the limit while insuring you have proper form. This workout will mainly target your chest and core muscles but will also have a strong impact on your arms, namely tricepts, bicepts, and forearms because they have to absorb the shock of the explosive push ups.

  • Start in the push up position
  • Do an explosive push up, meaning you push yourself off the ground as high as you can when you do your push up. Land your push up and go all the way down.
  • When you are low and close to the ground split your legs as if you were doing jumping jacks horizontally.
  • Now straighten your legs from the split position, and go into another explosive push up.

Picture of explosive pushup

Picture of explosive pushup

Picture of leg splits after explosive pushup

Let split pushup


Inclined Push ups (Shoulders Deltoids Core and Chest)

Here is another good push up routine with a little twist to get you working out your shoulders and deltoids as well as your upper chest. This one be adjusted based on your strength level to give you a higher workout, simply increase the distance of your feet from the floor and you will get a tougher workout.

  • Start by putting you legs on a chair or any other high surface, the stairs may also work for you. The higher you can get your feet the better.
  • Plant your hands on the ground, straighten your back, and start doing the elevated push ups.

Incline widegrip pushup (Incline widegrip pushup)

Clapping Push ups (Chest, core)

These are meant to be rapid fire push ups, meaning you need to get them done as fast as possible, and trust me if you don't try to do these fast, you will fall flat on your face!

  • Regular push up position.
  • Go all the way down and push off as fast as you possibly can.
  • When you are in the air clap your hands together quickly, then spread them apart and land.
  • You will likely be very close to the ground when you land because you don't have much time in the air to clap, you must now explode up again into another clapping push up.

Special Note: This workout is great for building muscle because landing the clapping push up requires you to stop the force of your body. This puts high resistance on your muscles and really forces them build.

Picture of clapping push up

Demonstration of a clapping pushup


Handstand Push-ups (Shoulders core)

I know these sound very difficult but they are really not that bad. Before starting these please make sure you find a wall that is higher then you when you reach up on your tippy toes and try to touch the ceiling.

  • Start by putting your hands on the ground and putting your feet up against the wall.
  • Start walking back with your hands, and move your legs up along the wall.
  • Go up until you are at a point were you are almost doing a handstand, but don't let yourself fall forward.
  • Now you are ready to do push-ups. Keep your feet on the wall and let them slide down as you move down towards the ground.
  • When you go all the way down, push yourself back up. This is like military pressing your whole body upside down.

Pictures of how to do a handstand push-up:


Handstand Pushup


Handstand Pushup

Explode Back up!

(Picture demonstartion of how to do handstand pushups).

Drop Down Chair Push-ups (Chest, core, triceps)

This workout requires that you have access to three chairs. The main goal of this workout is to get lower when doing your push-ups then you would if you were to do them on the floor.

  • Imagine you are laying down on your stomach with your arms stretched out. Place a chair where you feet would be, and place the other two chairs facing eachother where your arms would be. Now adjust the chairs accordingly and go into a push-up position with your arms about shoulder width apart.
  • Now dip down as far as your arms will let you go. You should be below the two chairs you hands are resting on.
  • Push back up, and repeat.

Note: Also consider just letting yourself get as low as possible and hold that position. It will really help you chest expand.

Supine Wide Grip Pull-Ups (Back)

This exercise requires a two chairs and a strong pole. I use a wooden broomstick but a metal pole is prefer ed because if the pole cannot hold your body weight it will break and you can get seriously injured. Make sure you have a strong pole if you try this one.

  • Place you pole on two chairs that are placed parallel to each other.
  • Lay under the pole and grab it with a wide grip. The palms of your hands should be pointing towards your feet.
  • Now pull up and try to get your chest to touch the pole.
  • Lower your body and repeat.

Picture of supine pullups without chair

Supine Pullups without chair


Picture of supine pullups with chiar

Supine Pullups with chair


Supine Close Grip Pull-Ups (Biceps)

Same setup and requirements as the Wide Grip version of these pull ups. These however are made to taget your biceps much more.

  • Place you pole on two chairs that are placed parallel to each other.
  • Lay under the pole and grab it with a close grip, your hands should be about shoulder width apart. Your palms should be pointing towards your head.
  • Pull up and try to get your chin over the top of the bar.
  • Lower your body and repeat.

Dips (Triceps)

This is the best way to work out your triceps if you don't have a preacher bar. You want to take your time and do these slowly and if you really want bigger arms then triceps are where you want to start.

Side Note: A common misconception is that you need to work on out your biceps to make your arms bigger, when it is really your triceps that give you the best results for getting bigger, stronger arms.

  • Get two chairs and put your hands on the edge of one chair, and your legs on the end of the other.
  • Keep your legs straight and dip down until your arm is parallel with the ground. This will require you to go quite low and your butt might touch the ground if you have small chairs. Going this low will also require you to go slower and force you into proper form.
  • Push back up until your arms are straight, then repeat the dip.

Easy Dips (Triceps)

These are easier then doing regular dips but they will still give you a good burn.

  • Find some stairs, turn around and put your hands on a step and put your feet on another step.
  • Dip until your arms are at 90 degrees, this will require you to also bend your knees.
  • Push back up and repeat dip.

Sitting Arm Extension (Core Abs)

This is a resistance exercise and will require you to have some will power to get the best out of the workout.

  • Sit on your butt, preferably on a pillow or something soft so you don't hurt your tailbone.
  • Bend your knees and lift your legs off the ground until they are parallel with the ground.
  • Extend your arms and crunch forward as far as you can. Your arms should be side by side with your legs and parallel with the ground.
  • Hold this position for 1 min and try to keep your arms out as far as possible.
  • When your time is up, lay back for one min, then repeat.

Arm to Leg Sit ups (Abs)

This is more of a fast pace exercise that requires you to get your shoulders off the ground and use good form.

  • Start laying on your back with your feet straight in front of you.
  • Begin to lift your left knee close to your chest while at the same time taking your right hand and reaching for the outside of your left heel.
  • Touch the left side of your left heel then drop your leg. While this leg is dropping start lifting your right leg and right arm to perform the same action.
  • Once you have completed your right side. Restart with your left and continue in that fashion.

Calf Raises (calf's)

  • Put your the front of your foot on a stair, or anything that is stable.
  • Push your body up and then back down.

Note: To challenge yourself it would be a good idea to do one foot at a time. While one of your legs is burning out, rest the other one, and vice versa.

Arm Swing Sit ups (Abs)

These require a lot of mental toughness. After you have tried them and got a feel for what your limits are, try to set your goal higher then what you think you can actually do. Most people will set goals to low and not get a good burn on these. A pillow or soft surface is recommended for this exercise, especially if you have a longer tail bone like me!

  • Sit on your butt with your back off the ground and your legs in the air. You may cross your feet to make it easier to stabilize yourself.
  • Put your hands together as if you were clapping and rapidly move the from the left side of your body to the right side of your body.
  • Try to bring your hands parallel to the ground each time, this will help really stretch out your body, work out your core, and give your body the best workout

Jumping Lunges (Legs)

Please make sure you have enough room when doing this one, don't do it in a low basement or under a ceiling fan. This exercise is also extremely good for increasing your vertical jumping ability (basketball players Wink)

  • Start standing straight and then moving your left foot behind you. While your left leg is moving back, bend your right knee until you reach a 90 degree angle. When you reach a 90 degree angle stop moving your left foot back. Also make sure that you keep your right leg perpendicular with the ground (don't lean forwards or backwards).
  • Now push/jump off your right foot as hard as you can. In the air straighten your legs and get prepared to land on your left leg.
  • While landing on your left left, have your right foot moving back. Stop when you are in the set position to jump again. Now jump of your left foot and start repeating the process.

Note: This should be a fast exercise. The target is to really burn your leg muscles and build up endurance.

Squat Jumps (Legs)

Another good one for increasing your vertical jumping ability.

  • Start with your feet about should width apart and bend your knees until you are low enough to be sitting in a chair.
  • Push of the ground as hard as you can, pointing your toes towarads the groudn when you are in the air.
  • Land and go right back into the sitting position. Now you are ready to explode right away into another jump.
Note: If you have weak knees it is a good idea to stretch and warm up well before doing this exercise.

Mountain Climbers (Legs)

These also do a fairly good job of working out your core and abs.
  • Start with your hands on the ground and your back arched up.
  • Put one leg in front of the other, and get lower to the ground.
  • Switch legs by pushing up with the leg closest to your hands, then while in the air, switch leg positions. It should feel like you are sort of running but not moving.
  • Rince and repeat!
Note: This is also a great endurance builder.

Vertical Crunch (abs, core)
There are two variations of this one, you can start with your legs straight up, or bend at the knees.
  • Start laying on your back, with your feet pointing straight up in the air. You may also bend your knees and cross your feet, but keeping your legs vertical is more challenging.
  • Place your hands behind your head and start to do crunches. This should not hurt your neck because you should be trying to get your chest up as high as possible instead of bending your head and straining your neck.
Special Note: This exercise is great to test your endurance. I recommend seeing how many you can get done in 1 min. Each time you do the exercise try to beat your old score, or increase the time you spend doing it. This can be one of the more challenging tests, but its well worth it.

The Plank (Core, Abs)

This is a high endurance exercise. If its your first time trying it, go for about a 45 seconds. If you think you are in pretty good shape, shoot for a minute or more.

  • Start in the pushup positions.
  • place your forarms on the ground infront of you and lift your body onto your tippy toes.
  • Keep you back straight and try not to move or let yourself sink down.

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