If you’re not comfortable in the gym, there are always some good alternatives to standard weight training that need no special equipment and can be done anywhere around you – at home, in the park, even in your workspace.
Bodyweight training, as the name suggests, uses your own body to do all the moves and your own weight for the resistance part. It’s different from a gym training, but can be equally effective because the same principles apply. It involves a little more thought and vision, do. The lack of equipment will force you to think about the moves you do simply because you don’t have any guided machines, barbells or dumbbells with whom it’s obvious what you’re supposed to do.
Mostly, bodyweight is the best for all round full body routines. It involves some common exercises, like free squats, pull-ups, pushups, that can really work your whole body right, and usually without any danger of injury. Nevertheless, you should definitely start the routine with warmup and mild stretching, and then go for the training itself.
Standard pushups, wide pushups, incline pushups ( pushups with the legs on the chair or a basket ) are the best choice for chest. On the other hand, you have standard pull-ups, wide pull-ups, chin-ups to work the back right. Now, these are not easy exercises, many people have a real problem to perform it right, especially pull-ups, so you’ll need to make some adjustments until you’re ready and strong enough to perform it right. You can do pushups with your knees on the floor while trying to progress to a standard pushup. Pull-ups can be done halfway, or with the help of one foot on the chair for a little help. That’s where you need to use a little imagination.
With the legs you can’t miss it – the almighty squats are there to work them right. You can vary the stance, stand wider or narrower, and every stance has a little different impact on those leg and booty muscles. Then you have lunges, for the booty part in particular. Here also you can do some variants – bring one leg on the chair ( the Bulgarian way ) for more tension, but only if you can handle it.
What about the arms? Now, arms are included in every single of the exercises for the chests and back, so they’ll not be left behind. If you need extra tension, engage in some variations when doing pushups for the triceps – keep your hands close to the body, go for diamond push up where the palms of your hands are in front of the chests close together – or pull-ups and chin-ups for the biceps – adjust the move to impact more the biceps and not the back part.
Now, shoulders are a little tricky when it comes to bodyweight – usually, it involves some form of a handstand, so it can not be done by everyone, especially not for the rookies in the game. But, find anything fairly heavy, like a bag of sand, backpack with few books in it, anything similar, and lift it over your head with the elbows close to the body to stay safe when performing it. That should do the trick.
These tips, along with standard exercises for the belly – crunches, leg raises, planks – are enough for one workout to really make you feel more alive. It’s not an easy routine, just the different one. And the volume, how many reps and series, can add some spice to it.
If you don’t like the gym, go for the basics. Equally effective, great for your health, with fewer injuries if you keep your head on the job.