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updated: 7/25/2011 9:24 AM

Body weight workout quick and easy

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  • Prisoner squat

    Prisoner squat

  • Seated twist

    Seated twist

  • Bent forward rotation

    Bent forward rotation


Our body weight workout is a great routine to have during times where traditional workouts just aren't an option, such as while you're traveling, days when you don't have time to get to the gym or times that you just want something quick and not complicated. It's a great total body workout that can be done anywhere with no equipment -- just your body weight.

The workout consists of three circuits with each circuit containing three exercises. Perform each of the three exercises for 30 to 60 seconds and complete each circuit without resting between exercises. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds after each circuit. Once you complete all three circuits the first time through, repeat for three to five total rounds.

Circuit 1

Prisoner squat: With your hands behind your head and feet shoulder width apart, squat down until your upper leg is parallel with the floor. Keep your elbows wide and be sure not to pull forward on your head. Stand back to your starting position and repeat. To increase the challenge, add a jump at the top.

Backstep lunge: Begin with feet together and arms at your side. Take a large step back and drop your hips until both knees are bent about 90 degrees. Step forward to your starting point and alternate your feet between steps. If you want more of a challenge, keep your arms reached up overhead.

Speed skater: From a standing position, hop to your left and softly land on your left foot, allowing your knee to bend to absorb the impact. Now, jump to your right and land on your right foot, again allowing your knee to bend. Continue this lateral hopping in a continuous rhythm.

Circuit 2

Push-up: Assume a traditional push-up position with hands wider than shoulder width. Bend your elbows and drop toward the floor as you keep your body rigid. Push back to the top and repeat. To increase the intensity, push up with force so your hands leave the floor and clap between reps.

Bent forward rotation: Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and assume an upright posture. Bend forward at the waist while maintaining the natural curve in your lower back. Let your arms hang down in front of you and slowly swing your right arm outward and upward until it's pointing straight up. Return to your starting position and repeat on the left side.

Prone reach: From a push-up position, raise one arm straight out in front of you. Be sure to extend your arm while keeping your core engaged and your hips level. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. To increase the difficulty, raise your arm and opposite leg at the same time.

Circuit 3

Prone knee twist: Take a push-up position and drive your right knee forward toward your left elbow, twisting your hips and tightening your core as you do. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. To challenge yourself even more, shuffle your feet quickly as you move from side to side.

Crunch with leg tuck: Lie on your back with your arms and legs both bent around 90 degrees. Tighten your abdominals as you simultaneously crunch up and tuck your knees toward your elbows. Control back to your starting position and repeat. Try straightening your arms and legs to make it more challenging.

Seated twist: From a seated position on the floor, lean back slightly until you feel your core engage. With your arms straight, rotate to one side while allowing your upper body to twist. Now forcefully twist to the opposite side. Repeat quickly while keeping constant tension on your core. Raise your feet to make it more of a challenge.

So make your body work for you. Remember this workout the next time you can't get to the gym. Get moving and get results!

• Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at