On the road without a good gym option? Short for time and still want to get in a workout? Or maybe you're strapped for cash and can't afford a gym membership. Don't worry, you can still gain mass and get strong with only bodyweight exercises. This is an all-bodyweight routine I do occasionally while traveling that hits all of the major muscle groups.

The Routine

  • Step-ups: 4 x 20 (each leg)
  • Pull-up or Inverted Rows: 4 x 10
  • Handstand Pushups: 3 x max
  • Standard Pushups: 3 x max
  • Ab Work: Planks and Side Planks

Step-ups

Grab a chair or find another elevated, flat surface that can support your bodyweight to perform this exercise. If regular step-ups are too easy, use a higher platform or try your hand at pistol squats.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises and there are a lot of variations to the standard movement. I find it's easier to target my lats when I do these with a wide, overhand grip. If you can already do pull-ups for sets of 10, you can make this exercise more difficult by adding weight, or even moving slower to increase the time under tension.

On the other hand, if you are not near a pull-up bar, or standard pull-ups are too difficult, inverted rows are another great option. Just lay down under a table or secure desk and pull your body up using a horizontal rowing motion. You can make these more difficult by elevating your legs on a chair.

Push-ups

You've probably already done thousands of these in your lifetime so it should come as know surprise that we finish our strength work with push-ups. Since our handstand work has already exhausted our shoulders and triceps, I like to perform these with a wide grip to focus more on the pectoral muscles. It's near the end of your workout, but be sure to keep good form and make these easier if you have to by doing them on an your knees or against an incline in order to get in at least ten reps each set.

Ab Work

A great thing about bodyweight workouts is that they already hit the core a lot since you're using your body as resistance for each exercise, but that's no reason not to do more targeted training for our abs! I like to finish with planks. Do one set of standard planks, followed by one set of side planks for each side, then rest for a couple of minutes and repeat once more to complete this workout.

Conclusion

We're all at different skill levels, if the above workout is too difficult or too easy for you, or you just want more variation, check out the reddit r/bodyweightfitness recommended routine for more ideas.



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Bryan Alger

- Gravitus profile

Bryan is the Co-Founder & CTO of Gravitus. A Marine Corps Veteran, the only thing he likes more than hacking on code is pumping iron.