“Dear Bally the Exercise Dog, I can’t do __insert exercise here___ but Craig always puts it in his workouts. Since you’re much smarter than Craig, do you have any better ideas?”
Woof, woof, thanks for barking.
Ol’ Bally the Exercise Dog here, and I’m happy to help. *wags tail*
Hi, I’m Bally the Exercise Dog. This is me as a puppy in 2006!
You’re going to LOVE this Master List of Bodyweight Substitutions I woofed up for you. These help you get in shape fast anywhere at any time without excuses.
And best of all, NO cats required!
Check out these results people are getting with my tips…
“Bally, I just really wanted to thank you for the four minute punisher and new cardio and abs! I almost feel like it was Godsend that I found your workout on YouTube. It’s worked wonders. I’ve lost over 25 pounds in just about three months, using those workouts almost everyday, of course with a change in eating habits and weights, but I really feel it’s a miracle workout. I really enjoy the new cardio because it challenges me to try more rounds and you feel great without running a whole lot on the treadmill or jogging outside. Plus it’s forgiving on the joints, and with the two 4 minute exercise options, it doesn’t get boring because you can switch it up on certain days.” – Jesse Limtiaco
1) Leg Exercises
Instead of using heavy dumbbell or barbell squats, you can do:
– Bodyweight Squats (wide stance and narrow stance) and Total Body Extensions
– Split Squats and Bulgarian Split Squats (stand near a wall to use for balance)
– Reverse Lunges, Diagonal Lunges, or Forward Lunges (make sure to hold your arms up in the “Prisoner” position to work your upper back, too).
Here’s another trick – if you want to make sure you don’t bulk up, you can cut back on how many sets you do. For example, if a program calls for 3 sets, only do 1-2. That way you’ll still get lean, sexy legs, but without the bulk.
But wait, what if my knees hurt from squats and lunges?
2) Pain-Free Leg Exercises
Never fear, Bally the Dog is here to help you out. Here are a few of my favorite exercises for giving you stronger legs without pain. Try these substitutions for Squats and Lunges:
– Low and High-box Step-ups (leave the working leg on the step at all times)
– Lying Hip Extensions and 1-Leg Hip Extensions and even 1-Leg Hip Extensions with your feet at an elevated position (like on a stool or stability ball)
– Stability Ball Leg Curls (essential for hamstring strength and reducing knee pain)
But Bally, how can I work my upper body without bench press or dumbbells?
Great question. Here’s some advice I recently barked to Men’s Health magazine.
3) Bodyweight Chest Exercises
You can replace dumbbell and barbell chest presses with:
– Kneeling Pushups or Regular Pushups (but keep your hands just outside of shoulder-width and keep your elbows close to your sides at all times…this reduces stress on your rotator cuff)
– Harder Pushups: Elevated Pushups (one hand elevated 4-6 inches), T-Pushups, Close-Grip Pushups, Decline Pushups, and Spiderman Pushups…or Decline Spiderman Pushups!
Now for something tricky…
4) Bodyweight Back Exercises
It’s almost impossible to work your upper back without equipment, such as a pullup bar, band or TRX-like piece of equipment. My favorite ‘bodyweight’ back exercises that rely on equipment are:
– Pullups and Chinups to replace all seated pulldowns
– Bodyweight rows to replace dumbbell and seated rows
– Band pulls to replace rows
The only other moves you can do for your back with absolutely NO equipment are Stick-ups (good for mobility), Prisoner-style leg exercises (putting your hands in the Prisoner position for squats, for example), or IRON CROSSES.
In the Iron Cross, stand with arms out to side and thumbs up. Brace your abs, squeeze your glutes (your butt), and then squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades while tightening the back of your shoulders. Squeeze like heck for 20-30 seconds. If you do 2-3 sets of that, it will be a really great challenge to off-set all the pushups you do. Let me know what you think!
Oh, and finally…
5) Ab Exercises
Forget weighted ab exercises like side bends and sit-ups and dangerous ab machines. Those are MURDER on your spine. Instead, use a variety of…
Bodyweight Renegade Rows…
X-Body Mountain Climbers
Variety of Side Planks
Your exercise pup,
Bally The Dog
PS – Success begins and ends with…
Your success depends on clear communication. This means communicating with others, laying down the law, and setting the explicit rules that you will be following to achieve your big goals and dreams.
This also means seeking out and communicating with other positive, like-minded individuals. Get social support by clearly communicating your goals and by asking for specific help.
And then comes the hard part – clearly communicating what needs to be done…with yourself. You must be clear about your own goals in your head. You must be clear about what it will take to succeed, and you must also be clear about what you will and will NOT do for success. Those are your rules. Know them, communicate them, and stick to them.
Finally, you must have a clear understanding of the consequences of all your actions and communication. Know what to do, know to do it, and know what will happen when you do. Clear communication = a smooth path to success. Get real and get loud about the great goals you have in life.
You can do it. I believe in you. Now is your time.