4-Week No-Gym Workout Guide

Shana Verstegen
by Shana Verstegen
Share it:

Whatever becomes the new normal of our gym-going future, we know we have to adapt and keep moving. The point of this program is to help you keep moving with whatever workout equipment you have available, in your home or wherever, safely and effectively.

Even with all of the equipment in the world, many of us still get into a rut of similar workouts day after day. With the popularity of HIIT, a large group of people smash themselves daily, without allowing for adequate recovery. No matter your situation, it is important to have variety in a week’s worth of workouts, filled with peaks, valleys and fun.

Here’s a plan to make that happen:

Day 1: Strength

Begin your week with a challenging resistance-training session, which ideally follows a day off, to allow for maximum effort. The goal of this session is to build overall strength and master your foundational movement patterns.

STRENGTH SET (See “Exercises” below)

Single-leg squat (each side)
Bent over row (with weight) (each side)
Single-leg glute bridge (each side)
T-Pushups (alternating sides)
Standing lunges (each side)
Front plank
Side planks (each side)

STRENGTH PLAN

Week 1: 1 set of 30 seconds each exercise
Week 2: 2 sets of 30 seconds of each exercise
Week 3: 3 sets of 30 seconds of each exercise
Week 4: 1 set of every exercise completed to failure (the point at which you can no longer complete a rep with good form)

Day 2: 60 Minutes of Fun Activity

This is your time to do something out-of-the box and fun. Depending on your individual situation this could be going for a bike ride, jumping rope in your backyard with your family, streaming a fun dance video, running, going on a challenging hike or anything you enjoy that still gets you moving and breathing.

Day 3: Interval Cardio

The goal of this particular workout is to challenge your anaerobic cardiovascular capacity. It’s a shorter workout (25 minutes) with an emphasis on getting yourself to the point of breathlessness during the working intervals, and recovering as much as possible during the rest periods. The mode of cardio is your choice. Running, stair-climbing, rowing and stationary biking are great options. This particular day is programmed around an RPE scale of 1–10.

After a 5-minute warmup, perform a simple (yet challenging) 1 minute on (RPE 7–10), 1 minute off (RPE 3–4) cardio interval for 25 minutes.

INTERVAL CARDIO PLAN

Week 1: Working RPE of 7
Week 2: Working RPE of 8
Week 3: Working RPE of 9
Week 4: Working RPE of 10 (maximum capacity)

Day 4: Functional Strength

The goal of this day is to focus on mobility, stability, balance, posture, alignment and core strength. The intensity is lower than that of the regular strength days, but the movements are just as, if not more, valuable. Do 1 minute of each exercise, and use the transition to the next exercise as the rest break (so, keep going).

FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH SET (See “Exercises” below)
Pec stretch
Hip-flexor stretch
Wall slides
Bear crawl
Single-leg hip hinge (each side)
Y/T/W/Ls
McGill curl up
Bird dog (each side)

FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH PLAN

Week 1: 1 time through
Week 2: 2 times through
Week 3: 3 times through
Week 4: 4 times through

Day 5: Long, Slow-Duration Cardio

This is your day to build your aerobic cardiorespiratory system. The cardio workout is longer than the interval cardio day (45–60 minutes), but at a lower intensity. Enjoy your favorite cardiovascular activity at a level in which you could talk to your friends while completing it, however, if you pick it up just a notch, speaking without deep breaths would be challenging (RPE 4–6).

ENDURANCE CARDIO PLAN

Week 1: 45 minutes
Week 2: 50 minutes
Week 3: 55 minutes
Week 4: 60 minutes

Day 6: Strength

On this day, you revisit the strength program you opened the week with. Because the exercises will be more familiar, the goal is to move better, cleaner, tighter and with more resistance (if possible).

STRENGTH SET (See “Exercises” below)

Single-leg squat (each side)
Bent over row (with weight) (each side)
Single-leg glute bridge (each side)
T-Pushups (alternating sides)
Standing lunges (each side)
Front plank
Side planks (each side)

STRENGTH PLAN

Week 1: 1 set of 30 seconds of each exercise
Week 2: 2 sets of 30 seconds of each exercise
Week 3: 3 sets of 30 seconds of each exercise
Week 4: 1 set of every exercise completed to failure (the point in which you can no longer complete a rep with good form)

Day 7: Rest

Although this day is labeled as “rest” it may be a good time to incorporate some flexibility, foam rolling or even some yoga to aid in your recovery process.

THE EXERCISES

Single-Leg Squat

The move: Stand on one leg with the other leg extended in front. Bending from the knee, press your hips down and back as low as possible while maintaining a neutral spine, with your knee tracking over your middle toes.

Progress it: Using a bench or step behind your hips, lower down and try to gently tap the bench. The goal is depth while still maintaining a neutral spine.

Regress it: Place the heel of your opposite leg on the ground in front of you, thus unloading some of your body weight.

Single-Arm Bent Over Row

The move: No dumbbells? No problem! Grab a jug by one hand, hinge at your hips, keep your shoulders down and back and row the jug to your chest. Ensure the shoulder blades are engaged.

Progress it: Add weights (and get creative)

Regress it: Empty out that jug to lighten the load.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

The move: Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart. Raise one leg slightly off the ground. Press into the floor with your other foot, lifting your hips in line with your knee and shoulders. Slowly lower down, tap hips gently and repeat.

Progress it: Elevate your leg onto a bench or step.

Regress it: Perform a regular glute bridge with both legs working together.

T-Pushups

The move: Holding a strong plank position, lower your chest to 3–5 inches off the floor and return to the plank position. Rotate one hand toward the sky and hold a brief side plank. Repeat and rotate onto the other hand during the next rep.

Progress it: Elevate your feet onto a bench or step.

Regress it: The pushup can be done on your knees, followed by a high plank and rotation.

Standing Lunges

The move: Begin in a split stance with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Lead the movement by bending your back knee down toward the ground, keeping your front knee tracking forward over your middle toes. Engage your glutes and press through your front foot and the ball of your rear foot, stand back up.

Progress it: Add weights.

Regress it: Decrease your range of motion by not lowering the back knee down as low.

Plank

The move: With your forearms on the ground and elbows directly under your shoulders, brace every muscle of your body (especially those glutes!) and hold a perfectly straight line.

Progress it: Add leg raises! Slightly lift and abduct (push away from the body) your right leg, return, then repeat on the left. Ensure there is no rotation or other movement with the plank.

Regress it: This plank can be done from the knees. Ensure your hips stay in line with your shoulders and knees with this modification.

Side Plank

The move: Line your elbow up with your shoulder and your shoulder with your hip and heel. With a very tight and braced core, push the ground away from you, staying active in the shoulder joint. Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward.

Progress it: Add leg raises. While holding a strong, straight active plank, lift your top leg up about 6 inches and slightly back to engage the glutes. Lower and return.

Regress it: This exercise can also be performed as a side bridge from the knees rather than the feet.

Standing Pec Stretch

The move: Bend one elbow to 90 degrees and elevate that elbow in line with your shoulder. Place your forearm on the edge of a wall or in a doorway and gently rotate away.

Progress it: Increase your range of motion (but go easy on those shoulders).

Regress it: Reduce your range of motion.

Half-Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

The move: In a half-kneeling position squeeze the glute of the rear leg and gently press that hip forward.

Progress it: Reach the same arm of your back leg overhead and gently lean sideways toward the front leg.

Regress it: Instead of kneeling, keep your back knee off the floor for a more gentle stretch.

Wall Slides

The move: Stand with your head, shoulders, upper back and hips against a wall. Press the backs of your hands into the wall in a “goal post” arm position. While continuing to press into the wall, drive your hands into a “Y” position. Stop the movement if the back has to arch away from the wall.

Progress it: Press back into the wall a little harder.

Regress it: Reduce your range of motion.

Bear Crawl

The move: Begin in a quadruped position. Elevate your knees about 2 inches off the ground. Move your right hand and left foot forward in a crawling motion, keeping your hips lower than your shoulders. Then, move your left hand and right foot forward. Depending on space, move about 10 paces forward, followed by 10 paces back.

Progress it: Move faster without giving up quality.

Regress it: Slow it down.

Single-Leg Hip Hinge

The Move: Balance on one foot. Hinge at the hips and extend your arms out in front, maintaining a neutral spine and balance between reps (don’t set down unless you have to!).

Progress it: Add weight.

Regress it: No need to hinge all the way, just slightly lift your leg off the ground.

Shoulder Y/T/W/L

The move: Begin by lying prone with your toes pointed and relaxed on the floor, and arms extended overhead, palms facing one another. Exhale, pull your shoulders down and back, and elevate your arms in a “Y” position. Gently lower down, and repeat in a “T,” “W” (goalpost) and “L” formation.

Progress it: Add very light weight in your hands.

Regress it: Skip the T and Y, and only do the bent arm options.

McGill Curl Up

The move: Begin by lying flat on your back with one knee bent. Place your hands under the small of your back to monitor movement, ensuring your back does not touch the floor. Brace the core muscles as if you were about to be punched in the stomach and lift your head and tops of the shoulders, keeping the spine in neutral.

Progress it: For an added challenge, lift your elbows off the floor.

Regress it: Only curl a little ways off the floor.

Bird Dog

The move: Begin by posturing the spine in neutral, with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and the knees directly underneath your hips. Find a neutral spine and gently brace your core. Extend your right arm and left leg out, reaching for opposite ends of the room and keeping your hips square. Hold for the designated amount of time.

Progress it: Try this on an unstable surface.

Regress it: Widen your arms and legs for a more stable base of support.

Remember, you can log this workout and more in Workout Routines!

About the Author

Shana Verstegen
Shana Verstegen

Shana, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, is a TRX and American Council on exercise master instructor and a six-time world champion lumberjack athlete. She holds a degree in Kinesiology
- Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a certified personal trainer through ACE, NASM and NFPT. An energetic and personable speaker, she is also the National spokesperson for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Shop Under Armour

chevron_left chevron_right

Related

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.

Great!

Click the 'Allow' Button Above

Awesome!

You're all set.

You’re taking control of your fitness and wellness journey, so take control of your data, too. Learn more about your rights and options. Or click here to opt-out of certain cookies.