Even for the most dedicated lifters, life sometimes gets in the way, and they are unable to get to the gym or need to skip a training session, even for weeks on end. Some new project came up at work so you were forced to work overtime or you had an unexpected trip come up, anything can happen. It can be really frustrating. But what separates pros from beginners is that pros don’t despair and make the most of the situation. They know that just because they don’t have access to a gym, it doesn’t mean that they can’t find other ways to exercise.
Quite the opposite actually. You can exercise almost any body part to a certain intensity in any place you feel comfortable, like your home, workplace or perhaps hotel room and even though there’s no substitute for the intensity loaded barbells and dumbbells can provide, at least you can stop the breakdown of muscle tissue and maintain your current muscle mass until you find yourself a proper place to train.
The routine described in this article is exactly for these kinds of emergencies. It doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete it, but it will target each muscle group effectively.
Who hasn’t done at least one push-up in their life? Or at least tried to ? It’s the quintessential exercise and a great way to determine strength levels. It primarily targets the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. Even though the majority of people know what it is, the fact is that it’s only a small number of people that can perform them properly.
Push-ups are supposed to be done in a controlled manner, not as a way to show off. The number of reps you can, whether it’s 20, 40 or even a 100 isn’t that important. What’s more important is that you really feel your muscles working while you go up and down in a controlled fashion. Also, doing them with a slow tempo is the best way to properly do push-ups.
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2. Dips between two chairs
Dips, like push-ups, are another great exercise which primarily works the same muscles as push-ups, while additionally hitting the lats. What you need to do these dips are two sturdy chairs. Place the chairs back-to-back, at a shoulder-width. Put the hands on the backs of the chairs and start pushing up, all the while being focused on not leaning too forward and losing balance.
If need be, you can support yourself by touching the floor with your feet and use the legs for a slight drive upwards. If not, keep the knees bent and the feet connected. It’s important to stress that you should use caution with this exercise and be careful not to lose balance and hurt yourself.
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3. Rows between chairs
This movement is excellent for targeting multiple back muscle groups, especially lats, and to a lesser degree the traps and the biceps. Find a broomstick or any solid stick of any kind and place it on the backs of two chairs that are 25” apart. Lie on the back between the two chairs and grab the stick with both hands exactly where the stick touches the chairs.
Keep the body rigid and straight, put the heels on the floor, and start pulling up until the chin passes the stick. The movement resembles a pull-up done at an angle.
4. Deep knee bends
This movement is similar to deep squats but without the loaded barbell and will target the things and greatly increase lung capacity. Put the hands on the hips and start squatting in a controlled and smooth manner. You should strive to squat as deep as you possibly can, inhaling when squatting and exhaling when going up. Once you reach the top of the movement, clench the quads. You’ll be begging for mercy by the time you reach the 50th rep.
5. Calf raises
Find a full box or anything that resembles a box and is solid, like a telephone book, for instance, and place it on the floor near next to a chair. Use the chair for support and let one foot hang while placing the other on the book, but just the upper part, while letting the heel hang in the air. Then start raising the leg up and down. Strive to do at least 50 reps with both legs.
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Crunches are the go-to exercise when it comes to training the abs. Lie on the floor, raise the knees up with the thighs perpendicular to the floor. Try rolling the body in, making it look like you are going into a fetal position and don’t keep the back rigid. You can lace the fingers together behind the head or put the arms on the floor beside the body.
The whole workout routine, as we previously said, shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Once you’re finished, you will be less frustrated at the thought of ever having to skip a workout session again and that you can keep yourself trained whenever you want.
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- Push-ups, 3 sets x as much reps as possible, going to failure
- Dips between chairs, 3 sets x 10-12 reps
- Rows between chairs, 4 sets x 10-12 reps
- Deep knee bends, 2 sets x as much reps as possible, going to failure
- Calf raises, 3 sets x 30 reps
- Crunches, 3 sets x 30 reps