5 Exercise Workout Plan Without Gym Equipment
Provincial Health Ministers may have given the green light for fitness centers to open but not everyone is rushing to get back into the close-quartered gym environment. In addition, a large number of facilities are not yet able to accommodate the health and sanitation mandates required to reopen their doors. Whatever the case may be, Canadians continue to look for alternative ways to stay in shape without access to gym equipment. As your guide to health and wellness InnerGood is here to keep you inspired with a practical workout program that you can do from home, your backyard, a park, or track and field near you. Perform the following twice per week (evenly spaced for recovery) for best results.
Five Very Effective Exercises You Can Do Outside of the Gym
Amidst the Demand for Social Distancing
1. Pushup Trifecta
Pushups are the ultimate upper body conditioning exercise. They work every muscle above your lower extremities and they can be done from anywhere. However, traditional pushups alone won’t cut it. To provide better overall upper body muscle balance you will want to do traditional, incline, and diamond pushups. Here is a breakdown of the sets and reps:
i) Traditional pushups (3 sets of 10-20 reps)
Take the conventional pushup position, placing your hands beneath your shoulders or slightly wider. Your back must be straight and you should be up on your toes. Slowly lower yourself to the ground (within an inch) without letting the front of your body (chest, stomach, legs, etc) touch ground, then exhale and push yourself back to the starting position, and repeat. As you progress, widen your hand placement from time to time for variation and to prevent plateauing.
ii) Incline pushups (3 sets of 8-16 reps)
Find steps, a bench, or other structure that will allow you to elevate your legs by placing your toes on the sturdy surface (see featured image above) while taking an otherwise standard pushup position. You won’t be able to do as many pushups while inclining, but it’s great for your upper chest, upper back, and shoulders.
iii) Diamond pushups (3 sets of 6-10 reps)
This is a challenging exercise that works the inner and lower pectorals while also giving your triceps a serious pump. Take the conventional pushup position BUT place your hands closer together (narrower than shoulder width), positioning them so that your two index fingers and thumbs touch. The space in between your two hands should form a triangle – or diamond shape. Don’t worry if you can only two, three, or four reps per set to begin with. It takes time to find your balance and develop the strength required for multiple repetitions.
2. Running Stairs (10 sets / 20-30 minutes)
There’s little instruction needed for this lower body and cardiovascular exercise that builds muscle, tones the body, and burns a ton of calories. Even better, is that there are plenty of places in your area where you can find a set of stairs without crowds. For best results, find bleachers or sets of stairs with at least a dozen (two-dozen preferred) steps. Each “up and down” counts as one set and overall the workout should last approximately 20-30 minutes, similar to a session on an elliptical machine.
3. Dips (3 sets of 6-12 reps)
This advanced exercise does wonders for your triceps, chest, back, and core. For beginners it will take time to reach the suggested number of reps per set, so don’t be discouraged if you can only do two or three to begin with. You’ll feel the difference the next day regardless. Find a place where there are rails on either side of a path that allow you to raise your body with hands placed firmly on each. Alternatively, you may find a rail that connects at a 90-degree angle, which is commonly found around outdoor wheelchair access ramps and along rails for stairs that change direction on ascent. With your legs raised, your hands should be placed just under your shoulders as you inhale and lower your body so that your elbows align with your shoulders. Then, exhale as you slowly raise your body back up to starting position and repeat.
4. Hanging Crunches (3 sets of 10-20 reps)
This is an ultimate abdominal workout exercise. You’ll need to find playground monkey bars, a soccer field goal, or other overhead bar that allows you to hang with your lower legs tucked behind your thighs. Firmly grip the overhead bar with your palms facing forward. Raise your lower legs so that they are behind your knees and thighs while keeping arms fully extended. Then, exhale as you bend your knees and bring them slowly toward your abs. Inhale as you slowly release and repeat until you simply can’t do another.
5. Deep Squats (3 sets of 12-20 reps)
You don’t need to load up a bar in the gym or have access to a squat rack to perform this core-building exercise. Deep squats using your body weight alone can be very effective, especially when you do it in a slow and controlled manner. That said, if you have access a kettle ball (which can be purchased from your local big box retailer) you can hold it with two hands, centered between your chest while squatting for added resistance. Alternatively a 4-quart jug filled with water or sand can also provide the resistance you need to get more from this exercise.
Begin by standing upright with your feet planted wider than shoulder-width apart and with your toes pointed out. Keep your back straight as you push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat and stop when your gluteus maximus (your rear end) is in line with your knees before slowly retreating to the starting position, and repeat.
CONCLUDING NOTES ON WORKOUT NUTRITION
To fuel your workouts and post-exercise recovery while ensuring you consume the right nutrients to build lean muscle mass you will need to complement your diet with natural health supplements (as allowed by your physician). The following brands come highly recommended by InnerGood.
i) Klean Athlete
Klean Athlete is a line of NSF Certified for Sport® natural health products which promote peak performance for athletes and casual fitness enthusiasts alike. View Klean Athlete products available at InnerGood.
Metagenics’ Sports Nutrition line features science-based, targeted formulas to support your workout plan and daily life alike. View Metagenics products available at InnerGood.
Genestra offers a line of vitamins and other supplements that serve as a nutritional foundation for successful workout plans. View Genestra products available at InnerGood.
iv) Douglas Laboratories
Douglas Labs has a diverse product line of supplements that provide bone, joint, and muscle support – a cornerstone of any successful workout program. View Douglas products available at InnerGood.
v) Pure Encapsulations
Products tailor-made for pre-workout energy and post-workout recovery. View Pure products available at InnerGood.
vi) Thorne Research
Thorne Research is renowned with Olympic, collegiate, and amateur athletes along with professional leagues around the world. View all Throne Research products available at InnerGood.
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