Total Body Weight Exercises
Have you ever taken a class with using only your body as equipment? This total body weight workout can be done outside or inside the comfort of your own home.
Body-weight exercises are often undervalued and underused, but come in handy for home workouts or when equipment is limited. Many people want to advance rapidly, and they end up neglecting important functional (and foundational) movement patterns. Body-Weight Barrage blends popular strength training moves with cutting-edge training methods in a way that will challenge you at any fitness level without using barbells, dumbbells or any other equipment. You will train like an elite athlete without risking injury or feeling out of place. Not everyone is an athlete, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train like one.
Warmup (5 Minutes)
Jog in Place – 16 count
Jumping Jacks – 16 count
Repeat 2 times
Then perform these warm up exercises:
- Option 1: Raise alternating knees as you push and pull arms up and down, 30 seconds.
- Option 2: Do regular high knees, 30 seconds.
- Option 1: While standing, alternate dynamic quadriceps stretches, bringing heel to hamstring (keep it moving), 30 seconds.
- Option 2: Do butt kickers, 30 seconds.
- Option 1: Combine basic inchworm (from standing, bend forward and “walk” down with arms, then back up) with 5-second plank hold, 6 reps.
- Option 2: Combine inchworm with push-up, 6 reps.
Hip Flexor Stretch
- Option 1: Do kneeling lunge pulses with overhead reach, 30 seconds per leg.
- Option 2: Do deep lunge with right leg, place left hand down, and twist R. Alternate sides, 60 seconds.
- Option 1: Do scapular pushup (protraction and retraction) from hands and knees, 8 reps.
- Option 2: Do regular scapular pushup to downward-facing dog, 8 reps.
- Option 1: Hold regular plank, or plank from knees, 30 seconds.
- Option 2: Alternate between elbow plank and hand plank, 30 seconds.
- Option 1: Do jumping jacks, 30 seconds.
- Option 2: Do vertical jump, 6 reps.
Work Phase (45 Minutes)
The main body of the workout is broken into lower-body and upper-body sections, with a total-body finisher.
Lower Body (30 Minutes)
- Do 3 sets of good mornings, 15 reps.
- Progression: Perform single-leg Romanian dead lift, 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
Coaching notes: Both movements are hip hinges, so make sure you are engaging the entire back of the body. Keep neutral spine, flat back, soft bend in knees and flexion/extension at hip, finishing with a glute squeeze.
- Do regular glute-bridge hold, 3 sets at 60 seconds each (with minimal breaks).
- Progression: Perform single-leg glute-bridge hold, 3 sets, 30 seconds per leg.
Coaching notes: Each movement activates the core while simultaneously engaging the hamstring and glute complex. Make sure you have solid ground contact with your feet and come to full hip extension. Superset this with the hip hinge.
Cycle through as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) for 10 minutes total, 12 reps per movement.
- sumo squat
- plank jack
- calf raise
- jump squat
- power calf raise
Do either static split squats or dynamic split squats every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 6 minutes total, 10 reps per leg.
Coaching notes: Set a timer for 6 minutes. Since this is a unilateral movement, alternate between L and R each minute.
Upper Body (15 Minutes)
- From prone position, do “Ys,” “Ws” and “Ts” with arms, holding 3 seconds at each position, 3 sets of 10. Keep core engaged.
- Progression: Do prone floor dragging pull-ups, 3 sets of 10.
- Do regular pushups, 3 sets of 12.
- Progression: Do wall-assisted handstand pushups, 3 sets of 12.
Do as many rounds as possible of the following moves for 6 minutes, 6 reps per movement (per side, if unilateral).
- Pilates roll-up
- hand plank lateral walk
- wide-grip pushup
- dynamic roll-up to feet
- elbow-plank lateral walk
- wide-grip pushup on one leg
Coaching notes: Perform your reps with maximum speed and quality.
Total-Body Finisher (5 Minutes)
Finish strong by doing a bear crawl in one direction, then a broad jump back to start. Five sets of 10 for 20 yards. Progression: 5 sets of 10, 30 yards. Bear crawls are slow, precise and steady, while broad jumps are explosive and crisp.
Cooldown (5 Minutes)
- hip flexor stretch with reach, 30 seconds per side
- cat-cow, 10 breaths total
- pulsing chest stretch at wall, 30 seconds per arm
- lat-stretch wall reach, 30 seconds
- deep squat with deep breathing, 60 seconds
For more information on total body weight exercises, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.