Home workouts are all the rage right now simply due to the unfortunate events that continue to unfold by the day. But we owe it to ourselves to not let our circumstances prevent us from moving forward the best we can. Gyms will be back open eventually but for a lot of us, minimalist workouts are all we have.
Don’t worry though, there’s plenty you can do… and fitness YouTuber Bradley Martyn has joined in among many who have been offering a lot of very helpful at-home workout tips and ideas. “You don’t need a ton of equipment to get a great workout, like at all,” he said at the beginning of the workout video we’ve posted below.
So for this bodyweight workout, Martyn shows how to build your chest and back but he’ll continue to pump out more videos.
The exercises for this workout consisted of push-ups, dips, pull-ups, and variations of the back row. Martyn acknowledged that sometimes you have to get creative and use alternative methods to make an exercise more challenging. He even proposed getting a 50lb bag of rice or two 25lb bags for additional weight if you don’t have much equipment.
“You got to understand you’re not going to get the best workout possible because you cant progressively increase the weight but you can take less rest time, do higher volume, you can include jumping rope, you can include other things in between exercises to keep your heart rate high.”
He emphasized how higher volume and intensity are key for home workouts.
So, the first exercise Martyn showed was the dip which is excellent for triceps and chest (front delts and traps gets a little work too). He has a station for dips that he uses and if you have one too then great! But if not, you can use one or two sturdy chairs, countertops or any elevated surface to do them (he shows these variations in the video too).
To make them more difficult you can use a constant tempo, pause reps, and other techniques to make the exercise more difficult.
The next exercise was the pull-up and Martyn also recommended changing up the tempo, pause reps, going to failure, etc to further challenge yourself if it gets too easy. If you don’t have a pull-up bar, use a broom or mop handle and place it on two sturdy surfaces.
If you hit failure too earlier and can’t get in enough reps for the traditional pull-up, you can use jump up to the top and slowly lower yourself back down. This is also a great method for getting stronger at the pull-up if you can’t do them.
Martyn noted that you can do exercises in between such as jumping rope if you want to keep your heart rate up and/or if your goal is to lose weight.
For shoulders, Martyn showed an effective dip variation using a small table. Now yes, it’ll work the triceps too because it’d be impossible not too. But the reason this exercise hits the shoulders more, is because rather than tucking your arms into your sides as you would with a typical triceps dip, you’ll flare your elbows out. If you’re someone who has shoulder pain with this arm position, tuck your elbows in a little more.
Another back exercise Martyn demonstrated was an inverted row using a broomstick which he placed across his kitchen counters. Make sure to have a sturdy broom or mop for your safety. This is also a great alternative exercise if you don’t have a pull-up bar.
You can also place a broom on two chair tops if you don’t have counter space. Use an overhand or underhand grip, different hand widths, and various foot placements to work a different area or to make this movement more challenging.
For the last exercise, Martyn showed some push-up variations. Push-ups are great for building your chest, shoulders, and arms.
To emphasize your upper chest, do a decline push-up by elevating your feet onto a chair, table, or something similar. To emphasize the lower chest, or to make the exercise less challenging, elevate your upper body onto something do push-ups on a wall.
Martyn explained how very beneficial push-ups are…
“I guarantee you, I guarantee you, that if just did push-ups no more barbell work… whether or not you had a gym, I wanted to make this a point… if you came back to the gym after not using barbells or dumbbells and just did a bunch of push-ups, I bet you your bench press is going to be stronger because your body’s going to be a little bit more stable.”
He also notes that the upper posterior chain (shoulder blades and posture) benefits from push-ups as well. To get the best out of the push-up, vary your hand width and upper arm position which will allow you to benefit all-around. You can also use a mechanical advantage by elevating your body to pump out more reps.
To end the video, Bradley Martyn encouraged viewers to keep going despite current circumstances and to do what you can. His advice was to focus on what you can do rather than doing nothing at all which would leave you worse off.
There are plenty of great exercise options while gyms are closed so no one has an excuse of not being able to workout. You may not be able to lift maximal loads for every exercise but using different techniques and will ensure you get the best results possible.