There are times we can’t make it to the gym, maybe because we are on the road and there is no gym nearby. If I am taking a road trip, I bring a kettlebell and a jump rope with me in the car. If I am flying somewhere, I bring just my jump rope, and hope I can find a gym at my hotel or nearby.
When there isn’t a gym, we can always do bodyweight exercises.
Here is a list of some of my go-to bodyweight exercises:
- Plyometric Push Ups
- Mountain Climbers
- Alternating Lunges
- Jump Squats
- Dips (can do these on a chair or bench)
- Bear Crawls
People often overlook bodyweight exercises because they mistakenly think they do not do enough for us. This is a huge misconception because body weight workouts done right are very efficient workouts that will boost your overall fitness level.
The best part of choosing to train this way is that there is no equipment necessary. All you need is a small space and the drive to get after it. I often use a free timer app on my phone or iPad and time myself doing each exercise for 30 seconds with a ten-second break in between, just as if I were training a circuit at the gym.
Plyometrics and speed exercises done as high-intensity interval training will improve cardio and strength in a very short period of time.
I recently heard a fighter talking about how he did only bodyweight exercises for four months leading up to a fight, and after fight time when he went back to the weight room at the gym he had lost none of his strength. I’ve found the same to be true for myself and others I have trained. Body weight exercise training has actually improved my other workouts, because my balance and stability have improved.
When you use fancy equipment at the gym, most of those machines remove the need for you to stabilize or balance your own body. They all restrict motion to one plane. The same is true of a lot of powerlifting. You strengthen one small part of your body, but the surrounding muscles aren’t involved or used to stabilize you, as the equipment does it for you.
We can increase our flexibility and core strength fast by utilizing just the weight of our own bodies. From there, we can step it up another notch by using other forms of strength training equipment such as kettlebells, slam balls, and small free weights.
No more excuses not to workout, because it’s free and we all have thirty minutes we can put in a day.