Today, I’m going to show you nine exercises you can use to get a full body workout in almost anywhere, with very little in the way of equipment.
This is not strictly a “no equipment” workout, as it does require the use of some resistance bands, a suspension trainer or access to a local park. But most of the exercises can be done using nothing but your own bodyweight.
What prompted me to write this was an email that came in the other day.
Here’s what it said:
“I’m travelling around France for a month and a half. I’m very on top of what I need to do diet-wise however I’m unlikely to have access to a gym for most of the trip (and am not likely to seek one out when I’m only spending 2-3 days in each town).
“My concern is losing the muscle that I’ve worked hard to build. Would love to hear your thoughts on the most efficient way to reduce the impact given I may have access only to a hotel room or a park.”
If you’re in a similar position, and you want some exercises that will give you a full-body workout without the need to hunt down a gym, or lug a bunch of equipment around with you, here’s the sort of thing I’d recommend:
- Exercise 1: Bulgarian Split Squat
- Exercise 2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
- Exercise 3: Push-up
- Exercise 4: Inverted Row
- Exercise 5: Pike Push Up
1. Bulgarian Split Squat
If the split squat isn’t an option, either because you struggle to keep your balance, or you don’t have anywhere to rest your back leg, you can do the reverse lunge instead.
2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
4. Inverted Row
Inverted rows are only an option if you have access to a suspension trainer/gymnastic rings, or if there’s a local park with some bars/swings. If not, you can use some resistance bands and do seated rows:
Resistance Band Seated Row
5. Pike Push-up
If the pike push-up is too hard, you can do lateral raises with a resistance band, or even just isometric holds, using a towel to provide resistance.
Resistance Band Lateral Raise
Towel Isometric Lateral Raise
These are not full body exercises, but the workout itself is a full body workout. You’re hitting all the major muscle groups, the arms are getting some indirect work from the rows and push-ups, and the abs are also getting a bit of stimulation from the push-ups.
Aim for 3-4 sets per exercise, and push each set to within a rep or two of technical failure – the point where fatigue stops you from completing another rep. In terms of training frequency, aim to get it done at least twice a week.
This isn’t a workout that will maximize muscle growth, but it should be enough to keep things ticking over while you don’t have access to a gym.
SEE ALSO: THE MUSCLE BUILDING CHEAT SHEET
If you're fed up spending hours in the gym with nothing to show for it, then check out The Muscle Building Cheat Sheet.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORChristian Finn is the nation’s leading authority on science-based, joint-friendly ways to build muscle. A former "trainer to the trainers," he holds a masters degree in exercise science, and has been featured in or contributed to major media on two continents, including the BBC and Sunday Times in the U.K. and Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness in the U.S.