Authored by Victor Roffel in Exercise
Published on 09-18-2009
“I can’t train because I don’t have equipment.” Excuses like this come up every now and then. Be it being overseas on a holiday, being stuck on an island or just being plain lazy to drive to the gym, there is always a way to train without equipment.
There are countless bodyweight exercises and their variations at your disposal. You just have to be a little creative and research more. Body weight exercises may seem easy and ineffective compared to weight training, but that’s not exactly true. Your body recruits more motor units via neuromuscular contractions when your body moves through space. This actually makes body weight exercises somewhat better than their weighted counterparts!
Of course, there are some body weight exercises that are simply better than the rest. Here is a list of exercises which are simple but effective:
- Pull-ups – The simple pull-up can do wonders for your body. Even if you have equipment, this one remains a staple. They work the back and bicep muscles and stimulate the chest and shoulders to an extent as well. You don’t even need a pull-up bar, just find something to hang on to and pull yourself up. (Stairs, door, etc.)
- Push up – The push up works the chest, shoulders and triceps. In addition, they work the ‘core’ muscles to stabilize the body. You can do the push up anywhere at any place at any time. If it is too simple, you can do walking push ups, handstand push ups, spider-man push ups and its other variations.
- Bulgarian split squats – Need a body weight exercise that can work your legs hard? Bulgarian split squats is the answer. Put one leg behind you elevated on a bench and squat down with the other leg. This will work your glutes (buttocks), quadriceps (thighs) and hip flexors.
- Bear walks – The bear walk is an exercise which resembles a bear walking. (obviously) This exercise challenges your pushing muscles and core muscles a great deal. Simply assume a push up position and bring your legs closer to your body and push your butt up. Bend your knees a little and start walking with all 4 limbs. To watch how it’s done, click here.
Sprinting long distances with low rest periods is extremely effective for fat loss and working your legs. They also give you one hell of a workout. You can go to an open field, track or anywhere else with lots of space and start running. Sprinting works your leg muscles and central nervous system like no other body weight exercise will.
They create lactic acid in the muscles when done for long distances because of their high intensity nature. Lactic acid promotes the release of growth hormones. So when a huge muscle like the legs is filled up with lactic acid, the growth hormone release is incredible.
Sprinting will reduce body-fat and increase the potential for muscle growth. You should sprint about 2-3 times a week to see the best results in terms of gaining muscle and losing fat.
As the name implies, being creative with your training will open many options to you. You can do anything as long as there is something heavy around to lift.
You can lift stones, press tables up, climb poles or even push a car. The possibilities are endless! Look around for things which you can use your body as leverage to train. Towels, ropes and heavy objects are your best friends here. Be creative!