T Nation

Best Bodyweight Workouts


#1

Hey everyone. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some really good bodyweight workouts. I really don't want to pay for a gym membership right now, so I'm trying to do everything at home. Any suggestions would really be appreciated...


#2

For around $50 you can get Steve Cotter's Bodyweight Conditioning Dvds. He has something like 200 different exercises.

I know his kettlebell work is insane, and I've heard the same about his bodyweight stuff.


#3

Push ups, BW Squats. Burpees. Hill Sprints.

Is it really hard to think of shit???


#4

Wow, that was original, insightful, AND helpful....


#5

I am in the same boat while I save up for an OL setup for the house.

I've been mostly swimming, jogging, and doing hill sprints a few days a week. I also do intervals where I alternate two minutes of jumping rope with sets of pullups, pushups, dips, or thrusters.


#6

Thrusters?


#7

hm what about chinups, pullups, dips, one-arm-pushups, one-legged-deadlift, one-legged-squat and regular pushups.


#8

go and buy "never gymless" from rosstraining.com


#9

What does he cover? Sandbag training? Jumprope? Burpees?


#10

second that... you will never ever regret you bought it.


#11

1) stand erect holding a bar or dumbbell(s) in the racked position
2) smoothly and quickly lower into a front squat position
3) without pausing at the bottom, smoothly and quickly stand up and press the weights overhead as your legs reach full extension.
4) repeat 10-20 times quickly

It's not exactly weight-less, but it can be done with dumbbells, a sandbag, or anything you can hold in a racked position. You don't need much weight at all if you are just using it as part of a circuit. I like to alternate sets of them with jumping rope, pullups, and dips.


#12

I also love to do bear crawls. Pick a spot (not that this matters that much) about 10 yards away and bear crawl to it and back (1 lap). Rest 30 sec. Then do 2 laps. Rest 30 sec. Then do 3 laps. Ladder back down. Play around with the parameters. Do a set of pullups, single leg squats, pushups, then bear crawl 1 lap. Just be creative and have fun.

Another tough bodyweight exercise is the handstand. If you can't do a handstand:

1)Squat with your back to a wall
2)Put your hands on the ground in front of you
3)Kick your feet up behind you
4)Walk your feet up the wall and your hands back towards the wall until you are as straight up and down as you'd like to be
5)Do handstand ups, just hold the handstand position, or "walk" your hands and feet sideways back and forth a few times.


#13

I'm about to fly out to Afghanistan next week, and where I'm going, there is NO gym, so I'll be doing a lot of bodyweight work. Especially the handstand stuff. I also got some ankle and wrist weights, as well as a weight vest, to make things interesting. This is going to be a pretty wicked year. I imagine I'll end up losing about 30 more pounds while I'm out there.


#14

The deck of cards is really good. That and alot of other good bodyweight information is at Rosstraining.com.


#15

Hey, check out the book "Convict Conditioning" by Paul Wade. It has progressions for basic calisthenics, where you can build real low-rep strength in some tough exercises. Ten-step progressions on 6 basic exercis es. Not enough? Pushups to close grip, to basketball roll-outs, to one-arm pushups. Pullups progressing to eventually one-arming them. OR, think of Rocky IV, the training in the movie. Not enough? Can't help ya then, dude.


#16

I hate the deck of cards. My triceps blow.


#17

Don't bother. Total waste of money. I got it and it has separate segments for every minor variation he can think of, so there are a ton of exercises, most of which boil down to the pushup and squat. He's a great athlete and is strong as f*k, but what he should have done is told people how to get a good workout without equipment. I doubt seriously he does any of those exercises as part of his standard training, so it misses the boat.

Probably the best for my money is still Ross Enamit's stuff. He's a boxer and just plain nuts -- just the kind of person you want who will actually do everything he says and want to tell you all about it.

http://www.rosstraining.com/blog/

Check it out.

-- jj


#18

x2
Ross's stuff definitely. Go for it. I own all of his books and you know what? The best stuff i have about hardcore training. He is not some sort of guru or something,he's just shares the knowledge in plain language which is free of bullshit. And he makes it easy to understand core principles of training and put it all together. If you want just bodyweight training look up "Never Gymless"


#19

Don't forget camels and cats! These cover the 3 main types of locomotion possible when you are on all fours

bear crawl = front limbs together, then legs hop together
camels = arm & leg on one side move, then the other
cats = opposite limbs, so right arm & left foot, then left arm & right foot.

(actually when most animals run they do "bear crawl", but that's beside the point). Caution with bear crawls is that animals have 4 legs = 4 limbs of equal length & strength. Humans have arms and legs so it's easy to overshoot your arms and faceplant. Make sure you use your legs like legs and not just let your lower back do all the work!

Now if you really want fun, try my fav: do a tabata, but alternate bear crawls (or whatever) with pushups. So

20 sec crawl + 10 sec rest
20 sec pushup + rest
20 sec crawl + ...

for 8 reps = 4 minutes total. I love dive-bomber pushups, but that's probably just me.

Fun, fun, fun!

-- jj


#20

Heard of the 25 workout?
Before you try it you should be able to do 50 push ups easily.
Find a program that can count down 25 minutes and bleep every minute until the end.
When you start perform 25 push ups followed by 25 squats then rest until the next bleep. At which point you do another 25 push ups and another 25 squats. Repeat until the end.
It is important that you don't start the next set until the next bleep and that you complete the set of push ups and squats before the minute is over.
This is much more brutal than it sounds. I have yet to make it to minute 16. My gym instructor has completed this and taken it to the next level by adding 25% bodyweight.

This is more of a challenge than anything. Like a 5 minute mile or something. If you want real body development then go to rosstraining he offers great advice. I do this workout once every two weeks.