Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

        Advertising

        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.

        Advertising

        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.

          More by this author

          Sasha Brown

          Seasoned Blogger

          11 Obvious Signs He Wants to Marry You 11 Signs He Wants to Marry You (Even You Are at the Early Stages) 11 Must-Follow Natural Health Blogs for 2017 11 Must-Follow Natural Health Blogs for 2017 11 Tools to Help You Keep Track of Your Remote Employees 11 Tools to Help You Keep Track of Your Remote Employees 7 Ways to Effectively Cope With Emotional Stress Seven Ways to Effectively Cope with Emotional Stress 10 amazon review sites that will get you really good deals 10 Amazon Review Sites That Will Get You Really Good Deals

          Trending in Exercise

          1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on March 8, 2019

          How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

          How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

          When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

          Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

          Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

          How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

          How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

          Think about your current workouts:

          If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

          In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

          A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

            A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

            Advertising

            Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

            Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

            Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

            Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

            This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

            Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

            Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

            The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

            Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

            Advertising

            Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

            Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

            The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

            The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

            Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

            Meet Strong Stan

            Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

            While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

            While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

            Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

            Meet Flexible Fiona

            Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

            Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

            Advertising

            To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

            Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

            It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

            Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

            Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

            What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

            In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

            In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

            So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

            You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

            If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

            If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

            Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

              Final Thoughts

              If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

              Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

              Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

              With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

              More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

              Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next