Archive for the tag - no equipment

Cardio With No Equipment!

Devin-Thomas-Jump-Rope-ShirtlessHi Davey!

I can’t afford a gym membership and it’s getting really cold where I live! Are there any cardio exercises that I can do in my cramped apartment?

Thanks,
Jess

Hey Jess,

I have some great news! There are plenty of equipment-free cardio exercises that you can do at home.

Here are a few that I’d recommend:

  1. Jumping rope. While jumping rope may make us think of grade school recess, the truth is that it can be a great, heart-pumping workout. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can use an imaginary one – but it would definitely be worth the two or three dollar investment. If you’re 150 pounds, 10 minutes of jumping rope can burn 114 calories.
  2. Step aerobics. Even if you don’t have an aerobics step, you can make one with a small chair or stool. There are plenty of quality step aerobics videos on YouTube, so just fire one up and get started. With just 10 minutes of step aerobics, you can burn upwards of 120 calories.
  3. Jumping jacks. Much like jumping rope, jumping jacks can really get your heart racing. Just 10 minutes of vigorous jumping jacks can burn 92 calories.
  4. Dancing. Who said exercise can’t be fun? Feel the rhythm, feel the beat – and feel those calories burn away! If you dance hard (is there any other way to dance?), then you’ll burn nearly 70 calories in ten minutes. That’s about 20 calories per song!
  5. Yoga. When it comes to being a cardio workout, not all yoga classes are created equal. But a fast-paced yoga workout can burn up to 60 calories in 10 minutes. And you may even find your inner zen at the same time.

And really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The moral of the story is that not having a gym membership and/or not having fancy equipment is no excuse for sitting on the couch. 🙂

Love,
Davey

4 Great Leg Exercises With No Weights or Equipment!

Muscular legs like these make me weak in the knees.

Not everyone has a gym membership – and certainly not everyone has the time to take advantage of it. And that’s okay! There are plenty of great exercises that you can do at home using your body weight as resistance.

Four of my favorite body weight leg exercises include burpees, no weight squats, lunges and one-legged squats. Here’s how you can do ’em:

Burpees

  1. Stand with your hips shoulder width apart with your hands at your sides.
  2. Squat down to the floor placing your hands on the ground in front of you.
  3. Shift your weight to arms and kick your legs back and out straight so you are in a plank position.
  4. Jump your feet back in to their original point.
  5. Jump up and landing standing up straight.
  6. Repeat.

How to perform a traditional burpee.

No weight squats:

  1. Stand shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold your hands out in front of you, parallel to the floor.
  3. Keeping your back arched and not hunched over, slowly lower your butt like you’re sitting in a chair.
  4. Continue to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. Pause, and slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.

Lunges with no weights:

  1. Begin with feet about hip-distance apart and step forward with the left leg into a lunge. Make sure the knee doesn’t go over the toes (although it may go slightly over the ankle).
  2. Step the left foot back to meet the right foot.
  3. Lift the left knee up to hip level.
  4. Take the left leg back into a reverse lunge, again keeping the front knee behind the toes.
  5. Push off the left toes to come back to start.

One-legged squats:

  1. Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart and arms out in front of you. Raise your left leg out in front of you while maintaining a straight knee.
  2. Tighten your stomach and keep your hips level as you lower your right knee to a 90-degree angle (between the thigh and lower leg) making sure your knee stays behind your toes.
  3. Return to the standing position keeping the back straight and arms out front. Most of your weight should be directed through your right heel during this phase of the squat.

One-legged squat performed with kettle bell.

Hotel Fitness: Staying Healthy on the Fly!

I could give this daddy a good in-room workout. Or two. Or three.

So, here I am in San Francisco. My job doesn’t necessitate a lot of travel—so for me, this is one of those rare glimpses into the corporate world of frequent flyers, awards cards and sky miles. I feel a 5-year old playing dress-up.

Though I rarely find myself in hotels, a lot of you do. And sometimes those hotels have fitness centers—and sometimes they do not. The hotel that I’m staying at does have a gym, but it is rather meagerly stocked—as though it was receiving rations from Soviet Russia. In fact, I don’t think I’ve never seen a hotel gym with a bench press. Being a traveler (whether for work or leisure) certainly comes with a great deal of fitness challenge.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Be weary of room service! Taking a quick glance at this hotel’s menu, I’m tempted to order such delicacies as fried mozzarella sticks or “nachos grande” (I assume the grande refers to the effect it will have on your waistline). Even the sandwiches are loaded in heart-clogging toppings like mayo and American cheese. It’s fine to cheat every now and then, but I’d suggest hitting the town to find some healthier alternatives.
  2. Exercise in your room. No weights, no problem! Body weight work outs are great for travelers without access to dumbbells, barbells, bench presses and the like. For a great chest workout, try my 17 variations on the common push-up from the comfort of your hotel room. If there is park nearby you can do pull-ups on a tree branch (don’t laugh—I’ve done it before!), or triceps dips on a playground’s parallel bars. Use your imagination a little, or download some workouts that don’t require equipment.
  3. Avoid those salted nuts and lock up the mini bar. As we speak, I’m scrutinizing the mini bar’s contents. For the record, there is nothing “mini” about this bar’s caloric content. Candy bars galore, gummy candy, chips and—what’s that, mixed nuts? I always recommend a caveman style diet—some lean meat, lots of produce and mixed nuts and berries. My excitement is short lived however, as the nuts are literally coated in salt. Unsalted nuts are the way to go—but you probably won’t find them in the mini bar.
  4. Maintain the proper mentality. Just because you may physically be on vacation, your body is not. I always chuckle when people say that they can eat what they want on vacation. Your body doesn’t process vacation calories differently, and the effect on your body is obviously the same regardless. Eat healthy as much as possible—target 80% of the time. Obviously this is much easier at home, but it’s the worth the effort to maintain while away.
  5. Stay hydrated. It’s easy not to get your 8 cups of water while traveling. And it’s much easier to adopt for soft drinks, alcohol, etc. Make an effort to drink water – it will also help stave off some of your cravings.

Being a frequent traveler doesn’t need to be a death sentence for your fitness program or a prescription for obesity. Keep your game face on—and I think you’ll be pleased with the results: more energy, better sleep and increased immune system performance, just to name a few.

What recommendations do you have for staying fit with traveling? Please share your best tips in the comments below!

17 Push-up Variations. [Video]

For the next three weeks, I’m taking a break from civilized life by living in the wilds of New Hampshire. And though I’ve been here less than 24-hours, I’ve already secured a vacation gym. Obsessions! Priorities!

Despite being in the middle of nowhere, I was able to find a small gym only 10 minutes from my treehouse (yes, I’m living in a treehouse). I had my first workout this morning, and I was surprised to discover that my new gym lacks a bench press. In fact, the gym has no equipment with barbells – and only a small selection of dumbbells.

What’s a fitness enthusiast to do? Fear not.

I’m accustomed to limited gym equipment. In fact, my university gym only had a handful of machines and treadmills – there was not a dumbbell, free weight or barbell to be found. And I survived thrived for 4 wonderful years.

As it turns out, unless you want to look like Arnold, you really don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to stay healthy and fit. You may need a little innovation and creativity – but don’t let a lack of equipment hold you back. For the majority of Americans that don’t have a gym membership, this news is good news. But the “no gym? no problem!” reality also eliminates a series of powerful excuses:

  • I’m not going to workout because I don’t belong to a gym.
  • I’m not going to get in shape because there are no gyms nearby.
  • I’m not going to exercise because I can’t afford a gym.

As Wayne Dyer likes to say, “Excuses begone!” But I digress.

At any rate, here are 17 push-up variations for a crazy chest workout that requires no equipment or supplies:

Give these 17 variations a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!