Bodyweight Exercise Substitutions

Early this week I was contacted by Men’s Health to give them awesome exercise substitutions to make workouts better.

I decided to do the same for you. Here are 5 bodyweight exercises to do in place of common free weight moves:

1) Pushup becomes a Harder Pushup

It doesn’t matter where you’re at with pushups, there’s always a way to make them harder.

Here’s a great progression:

– Wall Pushups (standing position)
– Kneeling Pushups
– Pushups with your hands on a bench or bar set at hip height
– Regular Pushups
– Close-Grip Pushups
– 1-Arm Elevated-Pushups (1-hand on 4 inch block)
– Decline Pushups
– Spiderman Pushups
– Decline Spiderman Pushups
– Decline Spidermand Close-grip Pushups <= Good times!

2) Dumbbell Squat becomes Jumps Squats or Total Body Extension

Dumbbell squats are a good start, but most people have grip problems. So let’s keep the intensity but eliminate the need for weights by switching to Jump Squats.

Put your hands behind your head, Prisoner-style, dip your hips and knees, and drive up. Land with your knees bent and hips back to absorb the force in your muscles, not your joints.

But only do this on a soft surface, not concrete. preferably a floor covered in gym mats, or outside on flat grass.

And if you are a beginner, than stick to the AWESOME Total

Body Extension exercise that we use in the Home Workout Revolution (HWR) System.

Get 71 HWR programs here <= NO-equipment needed

3) DB Row becomes TRX Suspension Trainer Row

DB Rows are great, but most guys use terrible form. With suspended rows, you must use good form, otherwise you can’t even do a single repetition. So keep your body in a straight line and squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades.

4) Leg Press becomes a 1-leg Squat Variation

Leg press can be dangerous for your low back because your spine will round at the bottom position. That’s a no-no, just like doing sit-ups and crunches.

So you’ll switch to a single-leg exercise to hit your quads and glutes (your sexy, curvy butt muscles) with a safer move.

If you are a beginner, use the 1-leg lying hip extension.

For intermediate, go with a split squat or reverse lunge.

If you’re advanced, use the Bulgarian Split Squat (back foot elevated on a bench or step) or the 1-leg squat. You can use a resistance band looped around a pole or a TRX Suspension

Trainer for support. Make sure to ‘sit back’ in the move to work your muscles better.

5) Pulldown becomes Pull-ups (overhand) or Chin-ups (underhand)

Pulldowns are fine, but pull-ups are harder, and almost any time an exercise is harder, that means it’s also better.

Your abs, upper back, lats, and arms all get more work from the pull-up.

Today I did chin-ups in my workout, and my entire body worked much harder to keep my strict form as my arms and lats tired out. Back in my days of personal training,

BONUS) Crunches becomes Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

Crunches are useless. Switch to a total body ab exercise that requires core stability and upper body strength. Plus, Mountain Climbers were one of the exercises used in a recent study that found 4 minutes of bodyweight intervals resulted in the same fitness gains as 30 minutes of slow cardio.

Put it all together and what have you got? Amazing exercise substitutions.

And amazing Home Workout options, like the HWR 4-Minute

Miracles and Workout Challenges.

Burn Fat in just 4 minutes with NO-equipment workouts <= Over 51 workouts

Long Live the Home Workout Revolution,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – Want 20 NEW workouts?

Twenty brand NEW Home Workout Revolution videos have finally been added to the site. You’ll get fourteen 4-Minute Miracles and six 6-Minute 6-Pack workouts PLUS all 51 of the NO-equipment

Home Workout Revolution programs.

Get those all here before it’s too late:

You’ll be amazed on what you can do with just your bodyweight and in a small amount of space at home, in a park, or even a hotel room.