DAY 1: UPPER BODY STRENGTH
This short session is a good intro to some body weight work for the upper body. Go beyond the pushup and into some interesting alternatives in this short, but effective training session!
Do each of the exercises for the recommended repetitions. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
This is a great exercise for naturally cueing good pushup form. It is far superior to pushups from the knees for those who cannot do full pushups because the spine tends to maintain the preferred alignment throughout the movement and the elbows stay tucked in.
For those strong enough for a high volume of regular pushups, the rocking pushup is an excellent upper body warm-up exercise that cues good form, and moves the shoulder through a large range of motion.
Side-to-Side Monkey Crawl
6-20 reps each direction
This Monkey Crawl exercise gives us a bit of rotational core stimulus and is good for training shoulder stability. As you get better at the exercise you can move your hips higher and move more slowly.
The goal of this exercise is to “catch” yourself with the elbows at about 90 degrees. This engages the muscle fibers of the pectorals very quickly. It adds a bit of power stimulus to your upper body routine.
If this exercise is too easy, you can also do catch pushups on the floor from your knees. Start with just a few reps. It's easy to overdo it on fast eccentric exercises until you get used to them!
I have not been impressed by any non-pullup bodyweight pulling exercises I've seen. So, the way I'm thinking about this during lock down is...what we really want most in upper body work is shoulder mobility, stability, and strength.
A lot of crawling based exercises (like the Monkey and others) will take care of that for us. The lats are activated in more of an isometric stability function, but that's still functional and relevant to our goal of staying healthy and ready to get back into ultimate when that day comes. They also have a bit of pulling motion though you're usually on all fours. I think with a mix of crawling-based exercises, we will not develop any major front/back asymmetries. That's not really a concern. My main concern, even for someone who decides to just do a bunch of pushups, is that they would not be getting in exercises with a larger range of motion in the shoulder.
This exercise is not a perfect substitute for pulling options, but it will target the lats at least somewhat similarly to a lat pulldown.
Not recommended for those with shoulder impingement or anyone who cannot do overhead lifts. Though you could vary the angle and maybe find a variation that's comfortable.
Day 3: Lower Body Strength
Today we are doing three pairs of exercises. The first two are primarily for warm up and activation. The second pair is the primary focus of the workout. The last pair of exercises are supporting exercises, one primarily for injury risk reduction.
You might prefer sneakers or you might prefer doing these exercises barefoot on a yoga mat or other soft surface. Either way will work.
A1: Plie Squat
This exercise is important because it targets the inner thigh/groin in the kind of way that it is used for activities like marking, lunging, and throwing with the hip externally rotated.
A2: Cook Hip Lift
Excellent exercise for glute activation. Keeping the knee tight toward the chest prevents compensation patterns like arching the back instead of squeezing the glute.
B1: Catch Squat
This exercise activates a lot of muscle fibers as quickly as possible. Stop yourself forcefully at the bottom of a squat position with your thighs close to parallel with the ground.
B2: Sprinter Start & Step
4-10 reps each side
The goal of this exercise is to explosively use your glutes and hamstring to push you forward. Think more power more so than strength in this exercise.
C1: Calf Raises
Go the whole way up on the balls of your feet for a full range of motion.
C2: Standing Hip Flexion
4-8 reps each side
This exercise targets the hip flexor. The use of a bench or chair is mainly so that you can tell if your leg is slowly dropping lower.
Day 4: Conditioning
Do each exercise for AMRAP in 30 seconds. Move immediately to the next exercise. Alternatively rest 15-30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
The first week, go through the circuit only once. This workout can be done up to three times per week.
Progress can be measured by:
- Decreasing your rest between exercises or not resting at all
- Doing more repetitions
- Finishing the circuit more quickly (same number reps, done faster)
- Building up to going through the circuit up to three times.
The circuit consists of these exercises (click for an explanation of form, along with a demo)
Day 5: Full Body Strength Endurance
Start with 2 sets of 6-20 repetitions for each exercise.
Exercise are done in pairs. For example for 2 sets you would do: A1 > A2 > A1 > A2, before moving onto the Bs, and finally the Cs.
This workout should be done only once per week.
A1. Pike Push-up
A2. Bodyweight Squat
B1. Speed Push-up
B2. Diagonal Lunge
C1. Diagonal Plate Raise
C2. Skater Squat
D1. Up-Down Plank
(may want a pillow for under the elbows)
D2. Scissor Jump for Height
Day 6: Core
Do each exercise for the specified number of reps and move on to the next one. No rest between exercises of sets. Go 2-3 times through the circuit.
- Plank Walk (12-24 steps. same number right and left direction)
- Side Plank (20-60 seconds each side)
- Rowboat (5-15 reps)