The Best No-Gym Workouts for Strength

Found yourself without a gym but want to get some strength training in? Don't fret: using a combination of the right body weight exercises and some burn-inducing drop sets, you can still work on improving your strength, whether you're on holiday or just in your bedroom!

The idea is that these workouts start with the hardest exercise, then progress without any rest to lower-intensity exercises, which is effectively what drop-sets are all about. Drop sets are an amazing way to build strength because they push your body further than normal - just as your muscles reach their limit with one exercise, you switch to an easier exercise and keep going. This recruits more muscle fibres and so induces hypertrophy (muscle / strength gain) even more than regular sets. 

If you're into weight training and you've found that your progress has plateaued, try switching things up by doing these body weight exercises for 4-6 weeks. You'll notice some really fast improvements in the number of reps you can do, and when you return to regular weight training, you should have the added endurance to push out a few extra reps. Most body weight exercises massively engage the core, which will also help with all the major weightlifting exercises. 

No Gym Legs Workout

This is a great session for getting a real burn in the legs, especially the quads and glutes. I was walking around like Bambi for a while afterwards! It's really great to use your holiday as an opportunity to mix up your training - doing this highlighted to me how focusing mostly on squats and deadlifts for leg strength probably doesn't work the glutes as much as I'd hoped, as this was definitely the area that was really sore the next day!

  •  8 alternating pistol squats (4 each leg)
  • 16 alternating jumping lunges (8 each leg)
  • 8 jump squats
  • Rest 1 minute, then repeat 5 times

*If you can't do pistol squats, try lowering yourself down slowly on one leg, then using both legs to push yourself back up (known as negative repetitions). 


No Gym Chest Workout

You really feel this workout in the chest and triceps, but it also engages the core and works your shoulders a bit too. It's amazing how difficult push ups on the knees become after dropping down from the more difficult variations!

  • 10 wide alternating lateral press ups
  • 10 regular wide press ups
  • 10 wide push ups on knees
  • 1 minute rest, repeat 5 times

*the alternating lateral push ups are easier with a closer grip, so find a width that works best for you, so that you're only just able to do 10 repetitions.


No Gym Abs Workout

This is a killer abs workout... The first couple of sets may feel easy but getting to 10 sets is a challenge! It definitely helped knowing that my reward for finishing was being able to jump in the sea after to cool off. 

  • 10 lying leg raises
  • 10 ankle reaches
  • 10 arm swing sit ups
  • 20 bicycle kicks
  • 1 minute rest, repeat 10 times


No Gym Shoulder Workout

All of the final exercises in these workouts seem like they should be incredibly easy! But something as simple as swinging some water bottles around can be really difficult after you've dropped down from a more difficult exercise. If handstand push ups are too difficult, you can try just holding the handstand position against the wall for 30 seconds, or do some press ups with your feet raised up on a bench (or the bed) to target the shoulders more than regular press ups. 

  • 5 handstand presses
  • 10 straight arm swings (small circles)
  • 10 straight arm swings (larger circles)
  • 1 minute rest, repeat 5 times


No Gym Back / Lats Workout

All you need for this is something to hang off - a branch, a joist, or even some monkey bars! Then I used water bottles for the flies and rows, but two backpacks or bags of shopping of equal weight would work just as well. This workout targets your lats, back, biceps and core. 

  • 8 chin ups
  • 8 reverse flies
  • 10 bent over rows
  • 1 minute rest, repeat 5 times

If you give these workouts a try, let me know how you get on! I'd love to see your workouts so post them using the hashtag #meatfreefitness so I can check it out! 

Also let me know if you'd like more of these videos - I love doing HIIT training, especially when on holiday, so I can record a few of my favourites if you'd like!