Your Anytime, Anywhere Workout: No Gear Necessary

Forget gear. At least for right now. 

Here’s your ideal workout setting: In a gym, with barbells and dumbbells. There’s a power rack in one corner, a sturdy bench in another. You have some machines, a rower, medicine balls, maybe a rope to climb. Juice bar. Curved manual treadmill. 

Here’s reality: You don’t have any of that. You’re at home, with limited equipment, because really, you were never planning to have to work out hardcore at home anyway. But now you do. And now you need a no-gear session that’ll push your body. 

The bright side: That’s this workout. Training at home isn’t easy, because you don’t have the equipment you always want. But you do always have equipment, and even if you aren’t surrounded by iron and steel, you can still build some muscle. You’ll challenge yourself in this four-move workout more than you may expect. And you’ll have to get creative for it, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

Directions: Do this work out four or five times a week. Start with a simple warmup. Do 10 jumping jacks, a 30-second plank, and 5 bodyweight single-leg deadlifts per side, and 10 pushups. Then get to work. On days you don’t do this work out, aim to take a 20-minute run or walk. 

Move 1: Deadlift to Row

Yes, you can do this at home! You’ll need something heavy, though, whether you’re filling a backpack with books, grabbing a box, or just using a 5-gallon water container (that’s 41 pounds, by the way). Stand holding your item at your hips, glutes squeezed, abs tight, and shoulder blades tight. Hinge forward at the waist and push your butt back, lowering your torso until your back rounds or your hamstrings tighten, whichever comes first. Pause here and tighten your core. Then row your resistance up towards your ribcage. Pause. Reverse the movements. That’s 1 rep; do 4 sets of 10. 

Don’t have any resistance at all? Grab a broomstick, lower that down into the deadlift, then row it to your chest. You’ll miss the chance to use resistance, but still push your body through the motion it needs.

Move 2: Alternating Archer Pushup

Set up in pushup position, arms slightly wider than usual, fingers facing outwards. Keeping your right arm straight, bend your left elbow, lowering your torso towards the left. Watch your right arm as you do this, turning your torso to the right slightly. Press back up. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10. 

Move 3: Squat Hold to Reps Series

Start standing, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, toes pointed out just slightly, core tight. Bend at the knees and push your butt back, lowering your torso until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Pause here for 8 seconds. Do 8 squat reps. Lower into another squat with thighs parallel; hold for 7 seconds. Do 7 reps. Keep repeating that pattern until you’ve done a 1-second pause and 1 rep. Rest one minute; do two sets. 

Move 4: Hollow Hold to Rocks Series

Lie on your back, legs and arms extended. Press your lower back into the ground (your focus no matter what during this move). Lift your legs, while still driving your lower back into the ground. Tighten your core more, lifting your shoulder blades off the ground. Hold for 10 seconds. Do 10 hollow rocks, creating light momentum with your legs so your torso “rocks” upwards just slightly. Rock back and forth 10 times. Hold for 8 seconds. Do 8 rocks. Repeat until you’ve done a 2-second hold and 2 rocks. Rest one minute; do two sets.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

Fitness Director for Men’s Health Magazine and CSCS trainer -

Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He's logged training time with NFL and track athletes, and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men's Health in 2017, he served as a sports and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.