No Gym? No Problem — Try This Trainer's 6-Move Bodyweight Workout
Have you ever taken an extended period off from working out, intentional or not, only to be petrified to return to the gym because you know your workouts are going to crush you? Most of the time, getting back into a routine isn't as bad as we expect it to be, and if you're looking to ease into strength workouts we suggest beginning with bodyweight workouts. Taking it back to basics will help you get your form on point and you'll still be strengthening your muscles.
Kelsey Wells, personal trainer and founder of the PWR program created this arm workout that can be done anywhere you please. There won't be a muscle in your arms that isn't worked with this six-move workout. All you need for the workout is a bench or a chair, or just do it sans equipment. In the words of Kelsey, "No gym is no excuse."
- Incline push-ups
- Mountain climbers
- Spider crawls
- Triceps dips
- Triceps push-ups
- In-n-Out push-ups
Complete 10 reps of each exercise for a total of three to four rounds. Continue reading to learn how to do each move.
- Start in plank position, placing your palms on a stable surface like a wall, chair, kitchen counter, back of the couch, or bench. Keep your arms and legs straight with weight on your toes, shoulders above the wrists, and core engaged.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso in one piece toward your hands (it's common to leave your pelvis behind aka sticking your butt out). Stop when your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale and straighten your arms to return to your starting position. This counts as one rep.
Tip: Find an angle that allows you to complete the set with good form. The last 2-3 reps should feel challenging.
- Start in a traditional plank — shoulders over hands and weight in your toes.
- With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
- Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- Start in a traditional plank position, with your hands under your shoulders and your body in one straight line.
- Bend your elbows out to the side to lower your torso toward the floor; bring your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.
- As you straighten your arms, return to plank position, bringing your left foot next to your right, then repeat this move on the other side. This counts as one rep.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
- Begin in plank position with the arms and body straight, shoulders over the wrists. Keep the core engaged.
- Bend the elbows behind you and lower your chest to the floor. Keep your upper arms tight to your body so your elbows are against your ribs on both sides.
- Straighten the arms, coming back to plank position.
- This counts as one rep. Do as many reps as you can with correct form.
Push-Up and Triceps Dip
Do this quick transition combo move by using a park bench, coffee table, or couch. Place your hands on the bench (or ledge of choice), slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, lower your chest down toward the bench until arms are at 90 degrees; do five push-ups. Immediately flip over and do five triceps dips: Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the bench. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep; do five triceps dips.
Repeat this circuit three to four times for a total of 15 to 20 reps of each exercise. Add in the jump squats — or burpees! — in between each set to get your heart racing.
- Start in a plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above your wrists.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground. Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.
- Move your hands in about two inches closer and perform a push-up. Then, move your hands back underneath your shoulders. Continue alternating between the two hand positions.
- If this is too difficult, do this exercise with your knees on the floor.