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.