Try This Easy, Go-To Workout With No Equipment

US Marine Corps candidate does push-ups.
Officer candidates perform push-ups during the Medal of Honor run at Officer Candidates School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. (Marine Corps/Phuchung Nguyen)

Ever need to work off some stress and just get out of the house or office, but don’t want to go to the gym? If so, here is a mix of classic workouts that are actually good at reducing stress, especially if you can get out and enjoy the fresh air on a sunny day.

These classics are from the pyramid family as well as corrective exercises that help with posture, work the upper body, lower body and core muscles and mix in some cardio. Here is how it goes:

Run 100 meters with Push-ups and Squats Pyramid 1-10 (run 100 meters in between each set) This is best done on a football field or a marked distance of 100 meters or 2x50 meters round trips.

1 push-up – run 100 meters, 1 Squat – run 100 meters 2 push-ups – run 100 meters – 2 squats – run 100 meters

…keep going up until you get up to 10 push-ups and 10 squats and stop.

If you do not have time for anything else this is over a mile of running mixed with 55 push-ups and squats. If you have more time, you can do the next exercise with no weights, water bottles, or light 5 lbs. dumbbells. Lightweight shoulder – video

The PT Reset: The following circuit is a series of upper back and lower back and core exercises that are great for posture. After sitting stoop in a chair or looking down at your phone for too long, these are great balance exercises help you work the muscles you need to work for perfect posture.   (Click for short video explanation of these exercises) Reverse Pushups: 20  Birds: 20  Arm haulers: 20  Swimmers: 1 min  Side plank 1 min (right) Plank 1 min Side plank 1 min (left) 

If you do not have time for anything else, the above workout has consumed about 15-18 minutes total. If you do have time to add in a classic speed pyramid, try this with a 20 minute time limit.

Push/Pull Pyramid

PT Pyramid 1-10-1 for time 20 minutes limit Pull-ups x 1 Pushups x 2 or military press x 2

Set 1: Pull-ups 1, Push-ups 2 or military press 2 (your choice)

Set 2: Pull-ups 2, push-ups or military press 4

Keep going up until you fail or get to 10. Stop when you fail at pull-ups.

I realize this workout requires a pull-up bar. If you do not have a park nearby, monkey bars, or a pull-up bar near you, you can simply replace with squats if you want to work the legs more or try bicep curls or rows for exercises that can work the opposing muscle groups of the push-up/military press with an upper body pulling exercise.

Get creative with this one, but see how quickly you can get through it on a 20 minute time limit. It is difficult to get 19 sets in 20 minutes. The first 5-6 sets are easy, but the beauty of the pyramid starts to challenge you when you hit the higher sets after what is basically a warm-up with sets 1-5.

If you are done – great! You completed roughly a 40 minute workout. But if you want to top it off with a total work time of an hour, add in an easy run or bike for the final 20 minutes. Focus on deep breathing and you will feel much more refreshed after any sections of this workout completed that if you skipped it.

Bike or run 20 min: easy

Get moving and feel better! Motion is lotion. Start Moving!


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