Alternative Body Weight Exercises for Strength

Recently I had an athlete contact me and asked if it was possible to do strength training without weights. At first I thought it was someone just being a goofball and trying to pull a fast one on me.

So,I responded back "why don't you want to use weights for strength training?" "Do you want to use other forms of resistance for strength training like bands, sandbags, medicine balls or kettle bells"?

His return response was " I don't live near a gym and really don't have the money to purchase the equipment you mentioned." "I play outside linebacker in football."

My immediate thought was these pieces of equipment aren't THAT expensive, so he really must want the bare bones as far as training is concerned.

However, I was up for the challenge. I proceeded to research more extensively on body weight training for strength. Bear in mind that I start alot of my athletes off with various body weight exercises especially a young athlete, female athlete or inexperienced athlete of any age or gender. I keep them with body weight training for at least a minimum of 2 weeks before they advance to external resistance.

This was different. My research took me where I knew I would find my answers. And that was gymnastics training.

Pound for pound definetly one of the strongest athletes around. If you don't believe me read my article on body weight training on my website.

Anyway, after listening to an audio interview with Chris Sommer, a renowned gymnastics coach, I was even more blown away.

I won't get into the specifics because it will take too long for this newsletter but I will provide you with his thoughts about body weight training for football (American) players.

Since football is alot about physical strength, Coach Sommer called it max strength, he rattled off exercises that will help develop strength only by using your body weight.

And that was what the athlete who contacted me was looking for.

Here are a few:

1. To develop lower body strength, try Wall Walkouts.

Place hands on wall. Proceed to walk out as far as possible with hands still on wall. Hold and then walk back.The idea eventually is to get your butt as close to the floor as you can without losing and position. To challenge yourself even more, hold at end range 5-6 seconds. Try to work to 5 sets of 5-6reps

As you can see this will increase lower body strength as well as flexibility not only in the lower body but in the shoulder girdle as well.

More lower body

2. Hanging leg raises from a bar

Hold onto a bar with arms straight. Lift one leg off ground slowly to about 90 degrees other leg is on ground Hold 5 sec. and bring down. Do other leg the same way. Do 5 each.Too tough? Hold 1 sec. Too easy? Start with both legs off ground at all times and don't touch ground at all.

Upper body

3. Chinese pull-ups. Hold position of pull-up at top of bar and hold 5sec. and then immediately "spring down" FAST. Arms now straight on bar. Pull-up again and hold over bar again and repeat cycle 5 times.

4. Various push-ups.

1. Hold push-up position at bottom range for 5 sec. and then immediately push-up and then go down and hold again. Repeat 6-10 times for 4 -5 sets.

2. Same at top range.

3a. Go to football field and do the following: In push-up position, lock your arms and hips in other words keep them as straight as possible. Bounce forward 5-10yds. and then backwards Keep arms and hips from bending. Do 2-3 times

3b. Next in push-up position, keeping arms straight, drop just your hips down to ground and then thrust them up and bounce forward at the same time. Do same as above.

If you can go a further distance go for it.

It will be interesting to see if this athlete complies with this workout.

As always, I am here for your questions and comments about this particular newsletter or any other service.

Thanks for reading,


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