Over the years, I've worked in a number of fitness environments, but by far the most challenging is training a client at home with no equipment. Getting a good workout can be tricky if you don't have extra resistance around to boost the intensity. There are a few tricks you can use, however, to create great workouts with no equipment necessary:
- Be creative. Even if you don't have traditional weights, there are other things you can use to add resistance. A staircase is a great place for step-ups, decline pushups or dips. You can hold a briefcase, laptop bag or a heavy book overhead during squats and lunges to add more resistance and full water bottles can substitute for light dumbbells for exercises such as lateral raises or overhead presses.
- Slow things down or add slow, controlled pulses. If you don't have weights, some lower body moves like squats and lunges may feel a little easy. You can add intensity by slowing things down (e.g., 4-8 counts for each part of the movement) or adding small, controlled pulses. A short range of motion can really get the blood flowing to the muscles.
- Try unilateral moves. Doing exercises on one leg or with one arm at a time can add intensity when you don't have much equipment handy. One-legged squats and one-arm triceps pushups are good examples of challenging unilateral exercises.
- Try compound exercises. Sticking with multi-muscle exercises like pushups, squats, lunges and dips will add intensity to workouts by engaging the entire body.
Be sure to leave a comment and share your own favorite body weight workouts and exercises.