Being stuck at home for a prolonged period of time means that we’re all figuring out how to adapt our daily routines, from our jobs, to socializing, to working out.
Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. of Athlean-X just broke down a home training regimen that will challenge beginners and advanced gymgoers alike. The workout requires no equipment (besides a pullup bar), and is designed to be done three times a week. You’ll take on two bodyweight circuit workouts, A and B, that you alternate on each allotted day.
“We’re not focused necessarily on a single muscle group, we’re covering all the major functions,” Cavaliere says. “There’s no rest occurring at any stage in this workout, and that’s why we’re staggering upper and lower… They’re staggered and structured in such a way that it should allow you to continue to perform even if you’re fatigued from the exercises before then.”
Cavaliere says that doing one of these circuit workouts twice will take around 35 minutes, and that 3 rounds will take just under an hour—perfect for fitting into your undoubtedly packed working from home agenda.
The first circuit is a series of squats to target the anterior chain, starting with a minute of single-leg box squats. That ‘box’ can be anything around the house—a bed or a couch, for instance. Cavaliere advises using a higher surface if you’re a beginner, and a lower one for a more advanced workout.
This is followed by a minute of 1-and-a-half bottomed out squats, which exploit the range of movement at the lower (and often weaker) end of the squat, and a minute of jump squats. You might struggle to complete a full minute of this move at first, after the box squats and bottomed out squats, but as Cavaliere explains, “that cumulative fatigue becomes something that is able to be progressive and overloaded, and that’s where the real benefit comes from.”
You then go right into your upper body push circuit, starting with one minute of handstand pushups. If you’re not quite ready to master that move, you can switch it out for a minute of power pushaways: both exercises work the shoulders, but the pushaway doesn’t require you to lift your full bodyweight. The second move is a rotational pushup, which targets your chest, and the third is a cobra pushup, which exercises your triceps. (Both of these moves can be done with your knees touching the ground if needed.)
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- Alternating Single-Leg Heel Touch Squats
- Alternating Sprinter Lunges
- Plyo Sprinter Lunges
The third combination goes back to the lower body. Alternating heel touch squats activate the posterior chain’s hinge motion by placing pressure on the glutes. The alternating sprinter lunge does the same, and then the plyo sprinter lunge takes a similar motion and makes it more explosive to maximally engage the glutes.
The upper body pull circuit starts with a classic pullup, which just requires a pullup bar. If you’re a beginner, Cavaliere suggests balancing the bar between two chairs, and attempting the move from a seated position. Next is the human pullover, an advanced exercise which really burns the lats (a more approachable version of this move is the sliding pulldown). Third is the inverted chin curl, which uses that same bar and chair setup to engage the biceps.
The fifth circuit is all about working the core, with reverse corkscrews, black widow knee slides, and levitation crunches. The reverse corkscrew targets the abs and obliques, the knee slide is a mid-range exercise that engages both the upper and lower abs, and the levitation crunch trains your shoulders.
The sixth and final round consists of angels and devils: A corrective exercise for the posterior chain.
The posterior circuit starts with slick floor bridge curls, which require you to lay with your shoulders on carpet and your lower body on a sliding surface: this trains you to engage both your hamstring and glutes and get them to work together. The long leg march looks easy but really fires up the posterior chain. Then the high hip buck, which can be done against a couch, uses your glutes to drive movement.
In the second upper body push, wall pushups (or decline knee to flat pushups for beginners) focus on the chest. The bodyweight side lateral raise trains the shoulder by doing the opposite of what we usually do: rotating the entire body around a fixed arm. Then the bodyweight tricep extension really stretches the long head of the muscle.
The next circuit starts with alternating crossover step-ups: “a great exercise for working the quads.” The alternating reverse lunge is easier on the knees than the regular lunges, because it doesn’t create the same anterior stress. Then the split squat jump is an explosive finisher to this combination.
The next upper body round has chinups, or seated chinups for beginners, then also employs the bar and chair setup with inverted rows, and finishes with back widows, which work the rear delts.
The core circuit begins with ab halos, which engages the lower abs by lifting the pelvis off the ground. The V-up tuck moves the upper and lower parts of your torso at the same time, and the situp elbow thrust works the obliques.
The final corrective exercise is the reverse hyper, which contracts the glutes and then engages the lower back.
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