Training - the bodyweight guy
A lot of people either don't have access to weights or are just looking into using their own body to train with. Luckily for them, the body itself is a versatile tool and can be used for just about everything. Unfortunately people have a misconception that bodyweight training, or BWT for short, doesn't help achieve results or is made obsolete by weights.
Go on, tell this guy that push ups and pull ups are for sissies. I'm sure he'd love to hear your opinion.
So, for the stay at home or out and about person who wants to use their body to get into shape, what can they do? Well, quite a lot of things actually.
1. Push ups
A very well known exercise; get in a prone position on the floor with your body supported by your outstretched arms and your feet. Your body should be in a straight line from your ankles to your head. Bending in the arms, lower yourself till your chest touches the floor and then bring yourself back up. Several variations of this pushing exercise exist, such as:
-Standard push ups
-Close grip push ups
-Wide grip push ups
-Elevated push ups
-One handed push ups
-Handstand push ups
-Scapula push ups
-Clapping or plyometric push ups
Push ups strengthen your shoulders, chest and triceps, as well as your core as a stabiliser. They also strengthen the shoulder joint itself, especially scapula push ups.
2. Pull ups/ Chin ups (this one needs a chin up bar, obviously, but they're a sound investment)
Another well known exercise. Get under a bar and grab hold of it before pulling your body up so that your chin comes over the top of the bar.
-Overhand grip (pull ups)
-Underhand grip (chin ups)
-Palms facing one another (hammer grip chin ups)
-One handed pull/chin ups
Pull ups are hard. They're possibly the greatest test of relative upper body strength; you have to move your entire body's weight, not just some of it like on a push up. The biceps and, hell, most of the back are used with this exercise, making it a real upper-body builder. Done properly, they also help to address postural issues as well.
1. The Plank
Get into the push up position, but instead of your arms being extended have your arms bent with your elbows supporting your weight and your forearms lying on the floor. And then....just stay there!
A simple move that strengthens the abdominals, this doesn't even require any movement. Just get into position and hold it.
2. Leg raises
-Hanging knee raises
-Hanging leg raises
I put these in descending order of easiest to hardest. From learning how to engage your abs to crunch your hips and knees up, to doing it straight-legged on the bar, to flat out lifting yourself off of a pole so that your body is parallel with the floor, this is a good way to build up your abs.
-Straight legged bridges
The full bridge is that freaky move you've seen gymnasts do where they make themselves look like a coffee table, albeit an extremely arched one. This one isn't so much for your abs, but for your lower back. I can vouch for this, as it helps build strength in the lower back that makes squatting that much safer.
-Wide stance parallel squats
-Close stance 'ass to grass squats'
-One legged squats AKA pistols
Quads, calves, hamstrings and glutes. Getting familiar and experienced with the bodyweight squat will not only make sure your legs aren't neglected, it prepares you for barbell squats should you ever do free weight training.
Ever heard the phrase "White men can't jump"? To an extent, it's true; the Western lifestyle of sitting down throughout the day has completely killed our natural flexibility and power, something you'd know if you ever tried squatting. As you spend less time sitting down and start to strengthen and stretch out the muscles of your lower body your jump will increase, allowing you to one day either brag about being able to jump clear over little old people or being able to dunk.
3. Lunge jumps
Descend into a lunge and jump. While in the air, change your legs so that you land in a lunge on the opposite side. Rinse, wash, repeat. This will definitely be felt in your legs, even though it sounds very simple.
Whole body / cardio
Drop down into a push up position, do a push up, jump to your feet and then jump again, drop back into a push ups position, rinse and repeat. Do these quickly and you'll get your heart pumping fast, your upper body working and your legs screaming at you.
Pretty much a given that if you have your body to exercise with, you can run. Go for sprints or long jogs, either way it'll get your heart rate up.
Alternatively, if you want to run but don't want to go for a boring around-the-block style of run, I suggest doing suicides. If you don't know what these are, it's a simple concept. You mark 4 points in the ground in a straight line far apart from each other. We'll call them 1,2,3 and 4. You start at 1 and run to 2, touch the ground, run back to 1 and touch the ground, run to 3 and touch, back to 1 and touch, run to 4 and touch, back to 1 and touch. That would be a 'rep' or a cycle completed. And then you go again.
An example of what to aim for could be 5 metre distances between the lines. That way doing one cycle would be the equivalent of sprinting for 60 metres, and doing 26 cycles would be the equivalent of a mile. The number of points and the distance between them is totally up to you, the above is an example, but suicides are a true cardio killer, so give them a shot.
That concludes the body weight exercise section. As always, keep in mind that the body recovers the day after having trained, so continuous training isn't advised as it may interrupt your recovery. But with all the above, you have the means with which to train your upper body, your core, your lower body and your heart.
The end result of vigilant body weight training; a lean, functional body with stability.