Been sitting around just a little bit too much over the past few months? With gyms, public parks, and other potential workout spaces closed, it’s been a bit hard to get moving. But moving our bodies is as important as ever right now. Especially as the weather stays warm (and even cools down a little) over the next few weeks and months, socially distant exercises are a perfect way to get a workout in. No gym? No problem. The following list includes workouts that require no equipment at all!
So if you’re itching to get a good sweat on, this list just might be the inspiration you’ve been looking for. Here is a list of 10 no equipment workouts that are perfect for social distancing.
First up on the list of no equipment workouts…
1. Pushup Palooza
Sure, pushups might be the spawn of satan. But they never fail to make you work hard. ‘Pushup Palooza’- a term drilled into my head by my very own volleyball coach over all those years of conditioning- is a way to make pushups a little less mundane and actually kind of fun.
Here’s how it works… First, decide 5 variations of pushups. For example: regular, wide arm, narrow arm, scoops, and triangle-hands (or what I call, ‘heart-to-heart’).
Next, decide how many pushups you want to do. Feeling strong? Let’s make it 100!
Finally, create your sets… try 10 push ups of each variation. That way once you work through 10 push ups of each of the 5 variations, you’re already at 50 total. Take a minute break in between variations, and a 5 minute break before you do them all again.
2. Sprinter’s Workout
Track workouts are a great way to get a really intense workout in, in a pretty short amount of time! Take this workout to your local track or even in an open field nearby. A sprinters workout can be done around the track lanes or straight down a field. Wherever you decide to run, your sprinters workout can be done by deciding your increments. If you’re at a track with a field, here’s a sample sprinters workout for you:
*Workout to be done by running down the 100m straight or from end-zone to end-zone on the football field.
5 x 100yard/meter run (first 50 jog, second 50 stride)
10 x 20yd/m side shuffles (switch sides each 20yd/m length)
4 x 20yd/m high knees
10 x 50 yd/m sprint (taking a 45second break between each)
5 x 100yd/m cool down jogs
10 minute stretch
… once this sprinters workout has been completed, you will have run OVER a mile! This workout might take you anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much break you take and how fast you move. But regardless, this sprinters workout is a great way to get your body’s intensity up and blood (and sweat!) flowing!
And even if you don’t have a track nearby, find a trail or an open area instead! You can use the same distance markers if there’s a way to mark where you’re at, or you can create some of your own. “From this tree to that tree” can work, or you can run in time intervals instead of distance intervals. For example, sprint for 30 seconds, jog for 30 seconds, shuffle for 30 seconds… create a half hour run this way too!
For a more relaxed, less intense workout, yoga is the perfect option. All you need is a yoga mat, towel, or just some ground that you won’t slip on! Yoga classes can be found all over the internet. But if you just want to move your body without thinking about it, try to create a flow of your own. Turn on some zen or pump-up music (whatever mood the day brings!) and start flowing. Stretch what you need and strengthen what you need. The best part about yoga is that it’s all about how your own body feels in the movement.
Here are some yoga poses and postures you can try:
- Downward Dog. Hands and feet on the ground, butt pressing up towards the air. Your body will create an upside down ‘V’ shape. Bend the knees if needed and work your heels to touch the mat, but if they don’t (often due to tight hamstrings) that’s totally okay!
- Upward Dog. Flip your feet so that the top of your foot, or where shoe-laces tie, is pressing into the mat. Keep your hands pressing firmly and stretch your chest forward and upward with your hips hanging just above the mat. Try to keep your shins, knees and hips from touching down, though.
- Vinyasa. This means ‘flow’. A typical vinyasa will start in downward dog, shift your weight forward to a plank position, bend your arms halfway like a pushup, and scoop through to upward dog. Add this flow as a transition between poses.
- Warrior 1. Bring one with one foot to the top of the mat and keep the other at the back. Widen your feet as if you were standing on railroad tracks. Ground your back pinky-side edge down but keep your back foot pointed towards the top corner of the mat. Lift your arms up to the sky, keeping your chest and hips facing forward.
- Warrior 2. From Warrior 1, open up so that your arms span forwards and backwards as your chest opens up to the side, instead of the front. Wiggle your foot so that it is parallel with the short side of the mat, your front foot should be perpendicular to the back.
Each of these poses can be switched and wiggled through any way your body feels good. Bend a knee, open your back, look to the sky… just keep your body moving through these poses and more. A great playlist is a really fun way to get personal with your yoga practice- move to the beat and feel of the music through the yoga poses you want to. Just remember to stay aligned as to keep pressure and strength where it should be, and not somewhere unwanted (like a pulling on the knees if that’s a tender spot for you).
4. Bodyweight Circuits
Bodyweight circuits are a perfect workout for anyone without equipment! All you need for these workouts is your own body as the weights! Create a list of 5-10 exercises you want to complete using just your own bodyweight. The exercises can be something simple like a push up or pull up (which are great additions to any workout circuit), or something a little different. Need an idea for a different type of body weight exercise?
Try some box jumps (but if you don’t have a box, use a stair of two!).
Try some burpees (jump up, reaching your arms to the sky. Land and swiftly place your hands on the ground and hop your feet backwards to come to a plank position. From here, you can add a pushup, or hop your feet to meet your hands and jump to the sky again.).
Try some skaters (jump to the side with one foot and reach the opposite hand to touch your toes as the lifted leg stays lifted behind you. Then jump to the other foot, shifting your body weight to that side and touching that toe with your other fingers. Keep moving side to side for a count of 10-20 touches.).
Try some bench dips (grab a bench, chair, tree stump, or whatever you have available. Rest your hands on the prop and stretch your feet out in front of you. Bend and straighten your arms to put the weight in your triceps for this workout.).
Whichever of these body weight workouts you decide, or if you choose something totally different, body weight workouts are a great way to get moving without anything other than your own body.
5. Stair workout
Last but surely not least, a stair workout is always a good option to try out. Live in a two story house? Perfect. Live in an apartment building? Even better. Live near some bleachers or a department store? Try it there, too! (kidding about the department store, that could get quite annoying for the other customers).
Wherever you are, find a set of stairs and get to climbing. You can choose to run, walk, or lunge up the flight. Or you can do a mix of multiple! Try the stair workout for 30 minutes, if you can! And if you’re really wanting to add some sweat to the mix, adding some squats, pushups or another body weight exercise in between sets of stairs is a perfect way to do so!
These five no equipment, social distancing safe workouts are a great way to get moving when we need it most. They are simple (in theory, but may be quite demanding on the physical front!) and fun to try with friends. Turn on some music over a speaker or just in your headphones, get the workout mood flowing, and get to work!