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5 Ways to Work Out Without Weights

Build muscle and lose weight by making the most out of your body weight exercises.


With all the knowledge that’s out there now about exercise, there’s really no excuse for not achieving your fitness goals. You can’t argue that you don’t know what to do because there are hundreds of coaches offering thousands of different programs (pick one!). People love to say they don’t have time to work out, but there are dozens of routines that can be completed in minutes.

The one defense I do hear come up again and again that has some merit is a lack of equipment. If you don’t have a gym membership or haven’t gotten around to outfitting your home with some dumbbells or bands, you have to train with your own body weight, and that can be confusing to people. Of course you can do pushups, pullups, situps, and body-weight squats, but they do get boring after a while. How do you challenge yourself with body-weight exercises alone, and keep your training interesting and evolving?

Here are 5 ways you can work out without weights.

1. Count Down From 10

Most of us fall into a rut with pullups and dips. We plateau at a certain number of sets and reps and can’t seem to get unstuck. Try performing sets of descending reps. Do a set of 10, then a set of 9, and so on down to 1 rep. As your muscles fatigue, the workload gets reduced, so you get just enough recovery to build up a good volume of exercise—55 total reps, a number most of us never approach with three sets to failure.

This countdown method is often used by guys who do all their training on monkey bars in your local park—the same ones who can knock out dozens of pullups in one shot.

2. Train Like An Animal

The best thing you can do to stick with any workout plan is to make it fun. Treat your training like play. You probably haven’t performed exercises like the bear crawl or crab walk since you were a kid, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t do them again. As a grownup, you’ll see how much harder it is to move in those postures, and you’ll immediately recognize any tight muscles or weak areas.

Training with kids exercises, goofy as they may look, will strengthen your core and increase mobility, as well as get your heart rate up and challenge your endurance. And honestly, they’re so silly you can’t help but enjoy performing them. Do them with your kids, or your girlfriend.

For the bear crawl, walk on all fours with your legs fairly straight so your hips are above head level. On the crab walk, sit on the floor, bridge your hips up, and walk forward and back on your hands and feet.


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