I received a post the other day on a fitness forum which I help moderate and it was basically a guy who was asking for help on what he could do to workout quickly because he was going to be away from the gym for a few months and it was a last-minute issue where he was leaving out-of-town right away. He only had a few hours before he flew out and wanted to get a great workout in before getting on the plane.
Bodyweight exercises are of course the first type of training that came to my mind for a great workout since they do not require any type of machines, equipment or free weights. The problem you might run into is if you’re also looking for a quick cardio workout and have no equipment and limited time, then you might be in a crunch. However, even though it may seem impossible, it’s not! I have some great recommendations for getting a quick and killer calorie burning workout in a short amount of time no matter where you are!
Along with bodyweight exercises including pushups, pullups, chins, squats, calve raises, lunges and lower back extensions, you can also use certain items that can be found at home or in your hotel room to help add additional resistance and intensity to your workout.
You can do tricep dips using just a chair. This exercise is excellent for the back of your arms and also for your chest. You can use 2 liter water bottles in place of dumbbells for bicep curls, chest presses, shoulder presses, front deltoid raises, side lateral raises, squats and lunges.
If you do not have a bar to use for pullups and chins then you can use a tree limb while training outside or find a local park or school which might have some great items to use for many excellent bodyweight exercises.
One of the most important movements you want to include in any of your workouts are burpees. Burpees are the king of all bodyweight exercises since they combine strength training along with excellent cardiovascular benefits. This one exercise hits all of the major muscle groups including your chest, shoulders, triceps and legs. Burpees are perfect to add in between exercises like pushups, squats and lunges. Do a set of pushups, then move onto a set of squats and finish up with 10 burpees and see how you feel afterward! I guarantee your heart will be pumping like crazy and the sweat will be pouring!
Pushups come in several different forms. A few types include diamond pushups, feet up pushups, one arm pushups and hinge pushups. You have so many choices so if you are good at regular pushups the key is to challenge yourself with a style of modified pushup which is harder than the traditional style.
Squats can also be performed in several different ways. Starting a squat with your butt to your heels and then lifting to 90 degrees and holding this position for 20 seconds, will get your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings burning big time!
You can do overhead squats by holding a broom over your head while squatting down with your butt all the way to the ground (if you can physically go that far). Now try it with the broom along your chest while it’s supported with your arms folded, which ends up being a front squat. Do single leg squats by standing in a doorway while holding the sides and squatting with one leg only and making sure to keep your knee over the ankle the entire time.
To intensify calve raises without weights, try them using a single leg only and count 5 seconds up and then 5 seconds to lower your leg down to the bottom. These should be performed super slow and really help with toning up your calves. It’s a change to the normal way of doing them so it shocks your system which helps to encourage muscular gains. Lunges can be done with your front leg on a box, chair or desk. Side lunges can also be performed easily along with walking lunges which are very intense if done non-stop for a full 20 seconds per leg.
I admire the dedication this guy had since he felt he could not miss a workout and I hope my recommendations above can help out anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation. This is definitely the way to go when you’re in a time crunch and need something fast and effective that targets the entire body while also providing a great cardio workout!