If you want to train your strength using just your bodyweight, then there are a vast range of different exercises you can use. One of the best parts? You don’t need any equipment to get started.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that bodyweight training always means ‘without equipment’. Often you’ll use equipment to enhance your bodyweight routines and perhaps the most obvious example of this is a pull up bar or a dipping station. With either of these two items, you can get a much more intensive and effective workout in and thereby build muscle faster.
But it’s not just pull up bars and dipping stations you can use. In fact, one of the great things about training with bodyweight is just how versatile it is. Anything you can hang off of or lean on can become a piece of equipment to train with and it will surprise you just how much of a difference something like that can make.
Here are some pretty compelling examples…
Chairs can easily become dipping stations if you position two opposite one another. At the same time, they can also provide something for you to put your back leg on when doing lunges, or they can allow you to jump straight up onto them. Likewise, chairs can be arranged in a triangle in order to do ‘increased range of motion push ups’. These are simply push ups, except you are dipping down further than level with your hands.
Take two cans of coke and you can create very convincing push up stands. Place one palm on each and you now have to engage your forearm strength as well as your balance and core in order to perform a push up as normal!
A towel is actually an incredibly versatile piece of training equipment. Hanging from a doorframe, this can provide something for you to hold while performing neutral grip pull ups, which will also train your grip. Likewise, you can use it to perform tricep extensions in the same position or you can trap it in a door and lean back in order to perform leaning back rows.
A punch bag is an actual piece of training equipment that can be fantastic when combined with a usual bodyweight workout. This is an example of resistance cardio and one of the best ways to build muscle, burn fat and get your hormones pumping. What makes a punch bag so effective is that you are accelerating through the movement. This means that you’re engaging all those fast twitch fibers just as you would when lifting heavy weights!
Instead of an ab roller, consider using a skateboard. You can then also use this to perform crawls along the ground (for pec training) as well as many other wonderful exercises that require one or two limbs to slide along the ground or move independently from the rest of your body.
And this is just scratching the surface! Take a look around you and see what else can be turned into a piece of training equipment!