How To Work Out — Without A Gym
If you’re traveling or don’t feel like hitting the gym, this bodyweight workout will keep you in shape using nothing but your own bulk.
By Brian Matthews
You don’t need a gym membership to get in a tough workout. Having access to squat racks, dumbbells, and barbells is great, but if your distaste for grunting meatheads and sweat-soaked equipment prevents you from using it, all that equipment is useless. But if you have enough room in your home to perform a push-up, you have enough room to do this work out that relies on nothing but your body weight (and a couple pieces of furniture). We’ve put together five exercises and created a workout plan (see the last page) that’ll leave you exhausted and more ripped than Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport. Really! Okay … not really. But we promise it’ll be hard as hell.
Elevating your feet works your upper chest harder and improves torso stability; the higher your feet go, the tougher it’ll be. Start with a slight incline (maybe on a footstool, moving up to an ottoman, then onto an exercise ball when you’re feeling diesel.)
How to do them:
• Get into a push-up stance — shoulders directly over your hands, spine straight
• Put your feet onto a box, love seat, stack of Cheri magazines, etc.
• Descend at the shoulders, NOT the hips (your chest should make contact with the floor, the hips should not).
• When your chest touches the floor, drive your palms into the ground until you’re back at the starting position.
Good for upper-back development, improving your posture, grip strength, and seeing if any gum is stuck under your kitchen table.
How to do ithemt:
• Lie down underneath a study table and squeeze the tabletop with an overhand grip.
• Adjust your legs accordingly; the straighter they are, the tougher the exercise becomes.
• Keep your core engaged and your hips frozen in place (no herky-jerky motions).
• Pull yourself up and try to touch your chest to the bottom of the table; squeeze at the top of the movement and hold for a two-count.
• Slowly lower yourself to the starting position until your arms are straight; repeat.
The obliques — what most of us must call love handles — are often neglected. But strengthening them is essential if you want to build a strong core and not look like you have gallons of Silly Putty oozing over the waistband of your pants
How to do them:
• On the floor, roll to one side and prop your body up with your feet and forearm.
• Keep your ankles, hips, shoulders, and head in a straight line, and hold.