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Self Bodyweight Workout Help

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 07, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Hey there.

I want to construct a cross training regimin for myself. I am a dancer (modern and ballet 5 days/wk, 4hrs/day) and walk for low impact cardio.

I want to incorporate resistance training in a few days a week but have no access to weights, machines, etc. so self bodyweight and resistance bands are my only assistance tools.

As a young female adult, what are some exercises (including reps/sets/intensity/etc) that I could do for full body training?

Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Check out bodyrock.tv. Loads of bodyweight routines that are only 12 minutes!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I'm not questioning that dance isn't whole body at all, I'm just commenting that she can do stuff that's not dance that will end up crossing over into improving dance. I'm in no way saying dance is easy or low intensity or anything. I'm just saying that she could think about training something other than dance; and that's where she'll see the best improvement. I'd see a lot of conditioning if I (tried to) dance because I'm so bad and inefficient at it, but a dancer would see better conditioning by doing something they're not practiced at because they won't be as efficient at it.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:45 AM

Watch several modern dance videos on YouTube sometime & you will see how much it is a whole-body (and naturally cross-training) activity. Lots of variety, different intensity levels, etc.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:22 AM

I love that book.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Well, it all depends on what her goals are. If you want to be a better dancer then definitely you need to dance. But the question sounded more like she wanted to supplement dance and that's why I suggested to do something else. If you want to get better at something, then do that thing. But it does narrow your focus (and that's fine if that's what you want), and at some point you'll get so efficient at your sport that you won't get conditioned from it. Doing something different keeps the conditioning coming (at the expense of sport-specific practice).

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 11:24 PM

You obviously haven't done serious dance training, Mike.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Disagree, but then I'm a dancer and a personal trainer--so what do I know?

06935be03aaa3cc589afb3b5e01268ad

(158)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Whit Sisson's Primal Blueprint Workout as a starting point, there can only be missing the short intense set. Like Miked suggest.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:17 PM

Dragonfly - I disagree, she gets her sports-specific work with dancing, so doing something orthogonal to that will help with the all-around stuff much better than tailoring the workout to dancing.

06935be03aaa3cc589afb3b5e01268ad

(158)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Totally agree with Miked!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 09:32 PM

She's a dancer. I really doubt she needs anything more than some resistance work.

9e975c86f483555ed19e59c5628488ca

(823)

on April 07, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I was hoping to be the first one to chime in with that book but alas you beat me to it!

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6 Answers

4
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 07, 2012
at 07:54 PM

The good news is that you don't need to work out the full body to get a full body workout. What you want to do is something that will stimulate the hormone cascade that makes you stronger. So given your constraints, I would prescribe 2-3 times a week a high intensity short time duration workout. Start with a short easy mobility workout to open up your joints - this IS NOT stretching the muscles, but opening up the joints. Then pick a movement or two or three and string them together so that the workout is in the 3-7 minute range and go 100% for that time.

Some examples:

  • Tabata* running
  • 21-15-9: Squat, pushup
  • 5 rounds of 15: Burpees, sit-ups

My favorite rep schemes are:

  • 21-15-9 (That means you do each exercise 21 times, then cycle back for 15 of each, then 9)
  • 3 or 5 rounds of 15 or 10

You want to then mix those rep schemes with two or three (couplet or triplet) exercises that you can do quickly (i.e., not setting up a resistance band)

  • Pushup
  • Squats (or Pistols - 1 legged squats)
  • Burpees
  • Running
  • Box jump (if you have a box to jump on)
  • sit-ups
  • Pullups (if you have a bar to use)

The general rule is to go short and intense then take enough rest days so that your body can get the hormone cascade to work.

*Tabata means 8 rounds of 20 seconds of max effort followed by 10 seconds of complete rest. The workout then takes 4 minutes total. Max effort, means max effort, i.e., don't save anything for a future round, go all out each round.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 09:32 PM

She's a dancer. I really doubt she needs anything more than some resistance work.

06935be03aaa3cc589afb3b5e01268ad

(158)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Totally agree with Miked!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:17 PM

Dragonfly - I disagree, she gets her sports-specific work with dancing, so doing something orthogonal to that will help with the all-around stuff much better than tailoring the workout to dancing.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I'm not questioning that dance isn't whole body at all, I'm just commenting that she can do stuff that's not dance that will end up crossing over into improving dance. I'm in no way saying dance is easy or low intensity or anything. I'm just saying that she could think about training something other than dance; and that's where she'll see the best improvement. I'd see a lot of conditioning if I (tried to) dance because I'm so bad and inefficient at it, but a dancer would see better conditioning by doing something they're not practiced at because they won't be as efficient at it.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:45 AM

Watch several modern dance videos on YouTube sometime & you will see how much it is a whole-body (and naturally cross-training) activity. Lots of variety, different intensity levels, etc.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 11:24 PM

You obviously haven't done serious dance training, Mike.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on April 08, 2012
at 12:19 AM

Well, it all depends on what her goals are. If you want to be a better dancer then definitely you need to dance. But the question sounded more like she wanted to supplement dance and that's why I suggested to do something else. If you want to get better at something, then do that thing. But it does narrow your focus (and that's fine if that's what you want), and at some point you'll get so efficient at your sport that you won't get conditioned from it. Doing something different keeps the conditioning coming (at the expense of sport-specific practice).

3
E4f858a9178422502c42b9719690e52c

(603)

on April 07, 2012
at 07:55 PM

You are your own gym by Mark lauren is pretty encyclopedic (and cheap!). I've used the basic program with success, but there are a huge number of variants you could combine as you see fit. Have a look at the stellar amazon reviews for details if you're interested.

9e975c86f483555ed19e59c5628488ca

(823)

on April 07, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I was hoping to be the first one to chime in with that book but alas you beat me to it!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:22 AM

I love that book.

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 08, 2012
at 01:55 PM

Also a dancer (semi-professional flamenco) here.

Your options would increase dramatically if you were willing to invest in a set of dumbbells--cheap and easy to store. or even use two gallon jugs of water, although they're pretty clumsy. Or big cans of tomatoes for lighter weights. But if you're not willing to do that...

You may want to concentrate on arms/core/back/upper body rather than legs, which are probably adequately challenged by ballet (I'm assuming you do pointe work).

If all you have time for is pushups every other day and plank every day, it would be a good start. How many toe pushups can you do now? Start with one minute of plank and repeat twice if that's not challenging enough. Plank variations destabilizing your core (feet on medicine ball, lifting opposite arm and leg, etc.) also increase difficulty.

Mark Sisson also has a 'Prison workout' which can be done without equipment: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prison-workout/#axzz1rSMiD3V0

0
E55906cdb6839a23fd740ad85d160cc8

(1159)

on April 08, 2012
at 08:51 PM

I'm nuts about my TRX.

0
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on April 08, 2012
at 05:35 PM

I love the book convict conditioning for body weight strength training. Then I would sprint once or twice a week. Then tje dance stuff. You will probably be good to go.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I love Marks Sisson's Primal Blueprint Workout.

Free pdf here:http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-fitness/#axzz1rNxwuew0

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 07, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Disagree, but then I'm a dancer and a personal trainer--so what do I know?

06935be03aaa3cc589afb3b5e01268ad

(158)

on April 07, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Whit Sisson's Primal Blueprint Workout as a starting point, there can only be missing the short intense set. Like Miked suggest.

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