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10 Effective Ways to Workout Without Lifting Weights

10 Effective Ways to Workout Without Lifting Weights

Working out doesn’t always have to entail getting your weights out, if you have any. You can get a great workout by using only your body, meaning that at work or at home, there is no excuse not to keep moving.

In addition, most, if not all these exercises are super easy to do. They can be used in combination with your weight training to add a change of pace or as warm-up, and is a great way to test your strength when you can’t make it to the gym.

1. Blurpees

Is that a typo? Nope—you’ve heard of a burpee and this is similar except you’re adding a lateral movement.

You will squat down and extend your legs out behind you to get into pushup position. Jump your legs back up, but then have them land outside of your hands—you will be pulling with your lats in order for your legs to get ready to jump, and then come up. When done right, you will feel it in your back the day after.

2. Pushups

So many people hate pushups, but the good news is that there is an easier way to do them. Instead of keeping your legs straight out, do them on your knees if needed.

Another alternative is that you can do them while standing against a wall. You will be working out your chest area as well as building up strength in your arms.

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push-ups

    Image via Pixabay

    3. Leg Lifts

    Having your legs straight out, raise them in front of you and do as many reps and sets as you’d like. This exercise is ideal for building the muscle and strength in your legs. This is easy to do anywhere you are—at home or in the office.

    4. Crunches

    This is the best exercise for building and strengthening muscles in the abdomen. If you are just starting out, you probably won’t be able to bring your head up all the way and that is okay.

    Just as long as you are going up and you are feeling your muscles stretching, you will be reaping the benefits. And as time goes on, it will get easier for you.

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    crunches-2

      Image via Wikimedia Commons

      5. Squats

      Work out your legs and back by getting into squats. When getting started, an easy way is to just sit and then stand up from a regular chair.

      It isn’t necessary for everyone to start off here—only if they are difficult. You will be getting the benefits of squats when you are doing squats with a few repetitions.

      squats

        Image via Pixabay

        6. Dance

        Do it alone, or do it with a partner—getting up and dancing is amazing for your heart. It is one of the easiest ways to exercise and admittedly one of the most fun.

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        Turn on your favorite music and boogie down in your home, or take up a formal class. No matter how you do it, you will be getting the blood flowing and actually lift your spirits.

        7. Jog in Place

        If you are limited on space, jogging is not totally impossible. You will be raising your heart rate while watching your favorite television shows or listening to music.

        All that you will need is a good pair of shoes so that you are not putting too much stress on your legs.

        8. Step Exercises

        If you have access to steps in or near your home, take full advantage. Be careful in using them!

        Whether you decide to go up and down a few flights at a time, or use just a few steps to go up and down like in a step class, any type of repetitions will work to tone the muscles in your legs.

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        step

          Image via FreeStockPhotos.biz

          9. Jumping Jacks

          Feel like a kid again with fun jumping jacks. Use them as a warm up or main exercise! Jumping jacks are a great way to get your cardio for the day.

          10. Walking

          If cabin fever is getting you down and the weather is nice, go outside and take a walk to enjoy the scenery. If you live in an area that is easily accessible by walking, think about opting to walk to work rather than drive, or walk a portion and take a bus the rest of the way.

          Walking tones our legs and provides you with a way to get low impact aerobic exercise. If you can only walk around your home, ramp it up by carrying a load of laundry—you will be getting exercise and working on chores at the same time.

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          Sasha Brown

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          Last Updated on September 4, 2018

          How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

          How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

          Avoiding sore muscles requires several commitments to your overall health and well-being. We’re going to examine several aspects of how to recover from workouts, and how to avoid sore muscles.

          Avoiding sore muscles isn’t something you merely achieve through dietary habits; it requires dedication to the full recovery of your body by way of sleep, and pre-habilitation – the primitive rehabilitation of your body which is typically done as post workout stretching and mobility.

          I would like to preface this article by saying that I’m an Ambassador for MobilityWOD – health and fitness organization founded by Dr. Kelly Starrett,[1] the author of NY Times Best Seller Becoming A Supple Leopard. That means I promote mobility and an overall top to bottom healthy lifestyle. I partnered with MobilityWOD because we share a common goal of helping people move better and live healthier, longer.

          Sore muscles can occur in several ways that aren’t just exercise, such as illness or injury. We’re going to just focus on sore muscle recovery from exercise, however some of these remedies are applicable to the other aforementioned causes of sore muscles.

          We’re going to cover quick fix remedies for sore muscles that you can apply immediately, as well as preventative things you can do to avoid sore muscles in the future. So let’s get to it!

          What are sore muscles?

          Sore muscles as a result of exercise, occur due to delayed-onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), which begins hours afterward and peaks (on average) around one to two days.

          Generally, exercise scientists agree that people who experience muscle soreness are doing so as a result of muscle damage and rebuilding. Proteins exit the injured cells while fluid and white blood cells rush to rebuild.

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          Over time, muscle cells are repaired and new cells are developed – all being injected with contractile proteins. Some or all of this process may be inexorably linked with muscle soreness.

          How do muscles get sore?

          There’s many fitness experts that I’ve encountered who preach they do not experience muscle soreness, and contrary to that many still do.

          I’m of the belief that ‘newer lifters’ or those ‘new to exercise’ will experience soreness more dramatically when compared to those that have been working out for several years.

          Now if you’re reading this and thinking “c’mon Adam, I’m going to experience muscle soreness more because I’m new to exercise?!?”, I get it you!

          Here’s the upside, it’s because there’s SO much growth for you to do! Personally having been training for several years, I still notice sore muscles when working out muscle groups that I don’t normally, such as doing a day of just shoulder raises and presses (bodybuilding style) – I’ll feel the DOMs for sure.

          However, if I do a heavy deadlift workout, generally I’ll avoid DOMs due to my recovery regimen (which I’ll share below) and because its an exercise I perform often.

          Those that have been exercising for several years, and of course not including those that use steroids or other recovery substances, are close to/approaching their genetic potential in terms of muscle mass.

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          There’s several online calculators for Lean Body Mass which can come close to revealing your genetic potential by measuring limb length, and bone density. I suggest a quick google search and use several to compare as they may vary slightly in result, however you can try Drug Free Muscle & Strength Potential calculator created by ‘Stronger by Science ‘.

          Myths about sore muscles

          There’re many myths to cover, but let’s quickly hit a few:

          Myth #1: Leaving sore muscles to heal on their own is the best thing to do?

          Common misconception! In fact it’s often a good idea to perform light exercise to aid in recovery by way of promoting blood and oxygen circulation to the muscles, and Synovial fluid within the joints.

          Synovial Fluid – also known as synovia, is a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. The principal purpose of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints during movement.

          Often if you leave sore muscles without doing mobility or stretching after training, you’ll end up shortening your range of motion (due to tightness) and healing those muscles in less than optimal positions (end-ranges of motion) and circumstances.

          Myth #2: It’s a bad idea to workout with sore muscles?

          Light exercise can actually help in recovery, but don’t go heavy or over-exert yourself as it can be counter productive.

          Myth #3: Eating or protein shake immediately after a workout will prevent sore muscles?

          This is ultimate bro-science, and though consuming a fast acting carb may help with muscle discomfort/aches after a workout, there’s nothing which directly proves that immediately consuming a protein shake after a workout will reduce muscle soreness or DOMs.

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          Myth #4: DOMs have nothing to do with sleep?

          The majority of muscle repair is done during REM sleep.

          Myth #5: DOMs have nothing to do with gut health?

          During deep sleep/REM sleep, the body heals and recovers muscles through the gastrointestinal tract, which directly correlates with GUT Health.

          How to get rid of sore muscles fast

          Here’s how you get rid of sore muscles quickly after exercise…

          1. Refine what you eat

          One important aspect of muscle recovery is quality protein.

          Don’t go reaching for your synthetic, or all natural protein powders and expect to avoid sore muscles entirely. Aim high for quality sources of protein, and amino acid complexes that will put you on the path to muscle repair, rebuilding, and recovery.

          Here’s some suggestions below for sources of protein.

          • Meat – Various types of beef steaks
          • Poltry – Chicken, pheasant, goose, turkey..etc
          • Fish – Salmon, tilapia, cod, halibut, haddock..etc
          • Hemp or pea protein – If you are deficient of hitting your macro nutrient requirements (typically 1g – 2g of protein per lb of body weight while recovering from exercise), then add a bit of these protein powder sources to your diet. Avoid whey protein, or isolate if you can, however if that’s all you have access to, it will suffice.

          Checkout my recent article on Healthy Food to Gain Muscle.

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          Try these anti inflammatory remedies:

          • Krill Oil (suggested) or wild Alaskan salmon fish oil – The natural fatty acids and antioxidants are known to aid in pain relief. Krill oil will naturally help reduce inflammation and decrease pain within your joints, and in turn help recover muscles by improving overall circulation.
          • Probiotic (supplement or natural plain greek yogurt such as kefir). Your gut health is important and reducing inflammation means less soreness!
          • Hemp oil or CBD oil (non psychoactive). Excellent way to reduce potential inflammation and recover from muscle soreness quickly.
          • Pain relief topical creams – There’s loads of options to choose from, and though many are not 100% proven, some have been said to be quite effective at temporarily mitigating pain from muscle soreness. These are a great quick fix if you want to reduce discomfort and ‘turn down’ before bed.[2]

          2. Treat your body well

          Besides refining your diet, you should do something about your body and muscle:

          • Epsom salt bath with essential oils if you have them available.
          • Compression lightly applied to promote warmth and blood flow – Don’t overdue it because you can stop circulation, which is the opposite of what we’re going for!
          • Massage or acupuncture is something I’ve tried many times over and it has proven results by improving circulation and blood flow to the muscles to aid in recovery.
          • Stretching and mobility is an absolute must! Pre-workout active mobility and foam rolling, followed by post workout static stretching. When you perform stretching and mobility you’re improving circulation and the end-range of those muscle groups by elongating them to their fullest. When your muscles are sore and tight, it’s often because they have been strained, damaged from training, and shortened as a result. We need to open up your range and elongate the muscles with stretching for optimal recovery.
          • Light exercise and walking can be extremely effective for aiding in recovery by promoting circulation.

          3. Have sufficient sleep

          Sleeping is an absolute must for muscle recovery and to avoid muscle soreness! I cannot stress this enough! Please do yourself a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and 8-9 hours as needed on days when the workout was extra strenuous.

          You do the majority of your muscle repair when the muscles shut down during heavy deep sleep states. Protein synthesis occurs under conditions of sleep but it occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, not the muscles. Research suggests that it’s during REM (Rapid Eye Movement: explained later) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone.

          Conclusion

          Thought sore muscles aren’t something you can do away with entirely, and honestly who would want to? It tells you that your exercise efforts are not in vein!

          If your muscles are sore, it means you’re putting them to work and they’re rebuilding and growing as we examined earlier.

          No one wants to be completely frozen in soreness the day after training, so if you use these quick remedies for muscle soreness and preventative modalities, I’m confident you’ll be on track for sore muscle pain alleviation along with muscle and strength gains in no time!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

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