Some of the most common reasons people don’t exercise is because they don’t have access to a gym, can’t take time out of their day to go to one or don’t enjoy the gym setting.
But you already have the best piece of exercise equipment money can buy: your own body. And it only takes around 30 minutes to complete an exercise routine which will train all of it.
Step one: five minute warm up
Begin by performing a range of dynamic stretches to prepare your joints and warm up your muscles. You want to avoid static stretches, as these can decrease your performance.
With each stretch below you want to start small and gradually increase until you are at your full range of movement, then go smaller and smaller again until you’re at a stop.
Don’t push yourself beyond a comfortable range of movement – you don’t want to injure yourself before getting into the real exercise!
- Dynamic lunges with your arms twisting in the opposite direction to your forward leg, rotating at your trunk.
- Squats, keeping your feet and knees facing forwards.
- Move into a downward dog position and, if you can, an upward facing dog position.
- Windmill your arms backwards one after the other like a backstroke, twisting your back one way and the other.
Continue cycling through these stretches with no gaps in between for five minutes, prioritising areas of tightness.
Step two: 20 minute exercise routine
This sequence of exercises provides a full body workout without any additional equipment. It might take you longer than 20 minutes at first, so aim to complete the routine rather than finish under time.
Once again, don’t push yourself beyond what is comfortable. Some muscle ache is encouraged, but stop the moment you feel any sudden, sharp pains.
Each of the following should be repeated in sets of 10-20 depending on your capability, repeated three times.
- Squats, at the maximum range of movement achieved during the warm up.
- Stiff leg deadlifts, keeping legs and back straight and rotating at the waist.
- Abdominal crunches, whichever are your favourite.
- Dorsal raises, where you lie on your belly and lift your head and thighs off the ground.
- Glute bridges, where you lie on your back with your knees bent and thrust your pelvis into the air.
- Chest presses, on the floor or against the wall if you can’t do them from the floor.
- Tricep dips, putting your palms on a chair with your elbows pointed backwards, lowering yourself down to the ground and back up again.
- Body weight shoulder press, where you bend over in a V shape with your palms flat against the ground then press off from the floor.
Step three: five minute cool down
The cool down is an often neglected but essential part of your exercise routine which helps to reduce stiffness and post-workout pain. Like the warm up, these are a sequence of dynamic rather than static stretches.
For each of these you should gradually slow down the pace while holding the stretches for longer.
- Pigeon stretch, where you sit on the ground with one leg stretched behind you and the other crossed in front while you rock back and forth, then swap legs.
- Lay on your back, cross one leg over the other with the bottom leg’s foot flat on the floor while you do spinal twists side to side, then swap legs.
- Calf stretch, placing your hands flat against a wall and stretching one leg out straight behind you, forming a line from shoulder to floor, then swap legs.
Once your heart rate is back to normal and your muscles are feeling nice and loose, give yourself a pat on the back – you just completed a full body weight workout! Now you have no excuse not to get fit.
Want a demonstration? Come and see me
This complete body weight exercise is an essential part of your fitness tool kit. And it’s not just for beginners; I use it myself if I don’t have access to my usual equipment, such as when I’m on holiday.
If you want a demonstration of how to do a complete body weight exercise routine, with the added benefit of personalised exercises for your fitness level, book an appointment with me now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0207 937 1628.
BSc (Hons) Degree in Sports Science and Biology
Functional Trainer, AAPI Pilates Instructor, Ski instructor