Most people don’t realize that it is very easy to exercise at home or outside the gym with very little equipment. Hollis Lance Liebman, author of Outdoor Physique, uses the planes of motion and bodyweight exercises for a total body workout which you can easily complete nearly anywhere.
Below are 9 exercises which you can easily do outside the gym. All of the movements can be performed either indoors or outdoors, for nearly any age, sex and/or level. While you can do these by themselves, to get a complete body workout, it’s best to do these together in circuits and then combine the circuits. By grouping these exercises together, it will work most of the major muscle groups in the body.
You will perform one exercise after the other per each circuit, then rest and repeat each block a total of 3 times before moving on to the next sequence of exercises in the next circuit. Remember to warm-up prior to the exercise, and to stretch after as needed.
Elbow Bridge, 15-20 reps
Lie on your back with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle at your sides, fists skyward, and your legs bent and shoulder-width apart. Push through your elbows and triceps as you raise your pelvis until your body is largely in a straight line. Lower in a controlled manner, and complete 15–20 repetitions.
Squat and Side Kick, 12-15 reps per side
In a standing position—with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, rear propped out, and fists up—squat downward while keeping your core tight. As you return to the starting position, extend one leg out to the side until it’s parallel to the ground. Complete 12–15 repetitions, then continue with the other leg.
Side Plank Rotation, 12-15 reps per side
Begin in a traditional plank position. Rotate your entire body to one side, while keeping one forearm planted and your core stabilized. Return, complete 12–15 repetitions, then switch to the other side.
T-Stand, 15-20 reps per leg
Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet close together. Lean forward slowly, allowing your arms to dangle as you raise one leg straight behind you, keeping your head raised. Return to the starting position in a fluid, controlled manner. Complete 15–20 repetitions, then switch legs.
Beach Scissors, 15-20 reps per side
Lie on your side, propped up on your forearm, with your other hand on your hip, your head straight on, and one extended leg on top of the other. Raise your free leg as high as you can, pause, lower, and complete 15–20 repetitions. Switch to the other leg.
Iron Cross, 15 reps per side
Lie on your back, with your legs straight up in the air and your arms out to the sides, palms downward. Lower your legs to one side while keeping your torso stabilized and your back relatively braced against the ground. Raise your legs back up to the starting point, and lower them to the opposite side, completing 15 repetitions per side.
Hip Raiser, 15-20 reps
Sit upright with your legs straight in front of you and your arms at your sides, palms down. Push through your heels and palms while raising your pelvis upward until your legs are bent to a 90-degree angle and your body is largely a straight line. Allow your head to float backward as you squeeze your glutes, then lower, and complete 15–20 repetitions.
Thumbs-Up, 12-15 reps
Lie face down with both arms outstretched and your thumbs pointed upward. Raise your head and shoulders off the ground while lifting your arms as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds, and complete 12–15 repetitions.
Diagonal Mountain Climber, 50 reps per side
Begin at the top of a standard push-up position. In rapid succession, bring one knee toward the opposite elbow and return to the starting point, then switch knees while keeping your hips down. Alternate for 50 repetitions.
Remember, fun and effective workouts can be performed anywhere, regardless of your current level of fitness. Outdoor Physique provides all of the answers you need to train nearly anywhere, safely and effectively. Outdoor Physique features all the tools you need to get started and stay the course, including exercises optimized for portable performance, tips for staying highly motivated throughout your training, nutritional information to get the most out of your fitness program, and more.
HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood’s elite, earning rave reviews. His previous books include Peak Physique, Complete Physique and more. Visit hollisliebman.com for more information.