The ‘No Gym, No Problem’ Workout: Making the Best of What’s Available
Why pay a fortune in gym fees when you can get a great workout for free? Find out how to turn everyday items into temporary gyms.
Working out at a gym can be lots of fun. You get to use different types of exercise equipment, talk with people who share your interest in fitness and maybe take an aerobics class or dance class. But going to the gym isn’t an option for everyone.
Some don’t want to pay the high membership fees and some simply don’t have time to travel back and forth to the gym. Does that mean you can’t get a good workout? Absolutely not.
If you aren’t able to go to the gym or don’t want to go to the gym, you still have many workout options available. You can gain lean mass by doing bodyweight exercises, using household items like jugs of water, bags of rice or potatoes or even books.
Cardiovascular exercise is even easier to do and you can walk, run, swim or even perform high-intensity interval training exercises.
When it comes to building lean mass and increasing physical fitness, bodyweight exercises are way more effective than resistance training. Bodyweight exercises are closed kinetic chain exercises.
These exercises improve coordination and balance, use multiple muscles and joints per movement and are more functional. Three bodyweight exercises that you can do anytime and anywhere are squats, push-ups, and pull-ups.
Squats are a multi-joint exercise that works the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and the abdominals also get a workout because they are used to stabilize the body. Squats are a perfect exercise for strengthening and increasing musculature in the legs.
If you want to add some resistance to this exercise, you can squat using jugs of water or cans. At first it will seem very easy, but after 15 or 20 squats, you will feel the muscles in your legs working. This is a good sign that you are on your way to building more muscle.
Push-ups are another multi-joint bodyweight exercise. This exercise is great for the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Like the squat, you will use your core muscles as stabilizers so it works those muscles as well. Push-ups are great because they can be done in various ways to help you target different parts of your chest.
You can do push-ups with your hands shoulder-width apart or less than shoulder-width apart. You can do one-arm push-ups, incline or decline push-ups. If you want to add more resistance to this exercise, you can put on a backpack and put a bag of rice or some cans in the backpack.
Pull-ups are a great way to work your back, chest, shoulder, traps, biceps and abdominal muscles. These can be done anywhere there is a secure post that can be used as a pullup bar.
You can use pipes, rafters, tree limbs, soccer field posts, or monkey bars on a playground. The only thing to remember is to test these items thoroughly before attempting to do pull-ups to avoid injuring yourself.
Getting in a cardiovascular workout is not only possible without going to the gym, but it’s usually much more enjoyable. Go for a 15 minute walk after work or after eating during lunchtime. You’ll burn around 100 calories in that time and you’ll feel more energetic and focused.
If you really want to get a hard workout, then try jogging or running for 30 minutes or more. The only equipment you need to perform these exercises is some comfortable workout clothes and shoes.
One alternative to steady state cardiovascular exercise is HIIT. This type of exercise can save you time, but it still conditions your cardiovascular system while it helps you preserve lean mass. A good example of a HIIT routine is Tabata Training. This training lasts 4 minutes and alternates between 20 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest.
You can run, walk fast or jog during the 20 seconds (whichever will get you working the hardest) and then rest. If you prefer a longer workout, then you can do HIIT for 15 minutes. The work and rest periods can be divided up any way you like. You will get a great workout and you never have to go to the gym to do it.
The No Gym, No Problem’ Workout – Limitless Options
If you can’t get to the gym, it’s really not a problem. You can gain lean mass by doing bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and pull-ups. You can do cardiovascular exercises like walking or jogging and you can perform high-intensity interval training.
With the slightest bit of ingenuity, you can use what’s available to you and have workouts that will rival and surpass any that can be done at the gym.
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