A recent study conducted by Cambridge University suggests the past 6,000 years of farming have turned the average human from an athlete into a couch potato, as technological advancements replaced running around frantically in the wild, looking for things to eat. With that in mind, here are some exercises — so you can look a little more “hunter/gatherer” and a little less “chips-eater/channel-changer.”
Most guys haven’t crawled since they were babies. It’s a shame too because it’s a fantastic way to build total-body stability, coordination, a strong core, and endurance.
Get on all fours with your knees slightly above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a tiny step with your right arm and left leg at the same time, and then another step with your left arm and right leg. Alternate while keeping your hips low and your head up.
Make it harder by crawling backward or sideways. (This will kick your ass in about 45 seconds.)
Pull-ups are a phenomenal exercise to build a strong grip and wide back. But you can also amp up those ho-hum pull-ups with this variation that blasts your core, too.
Grab a pull-up bar and lift your legs in front of you so your body forms an L. Hold this position and perform your pull-ups. At the top of your pull-up, make sure your chest is up and your shoulders are pulled back.
Single-Leg Hip Bridge
Gentleman, we all love a good ass, but how often do we spend pounding that ass? (Your ass, not your partner’s.)
Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up. Repeat. Do not use your lower back to pull yourself up; the force should be exclusively generated by glute contraction.
Single-Leg (Pistol) Squat
We all know the basic squat — but when you’re without equipment, how can we make it harder so we don’t have to do 50 of them? Easy… remove one leg.
Stand on a bench or tall step facing parallel to the edge with one foot over the edge. Squat down and try to touch your bottom leg to the ground, then pull yourself up with the leg on the bench without pushing with your bottom leg.
Challenge yourself with a higher surface.
I hate doing planks — they take too long and, frankly, suck. It’s always like, “Get into a plank position, hold it until your face turns blue, and repeat.”
Forget that. With this version, you’ll slash your time and skyrocket your core activation.
Get into a plank position, pull your shoulders back, and squeeze your glutes. Bring one hand to your forehead in a salute position and hold for three seconds before switching arms. Prevent your hips from twisting as you salute.
Regular pushups only move your body front-to-back. A pike pushup, however, moves your body up-and-down, which targets your shoulders and traps much more.
Start in a pushup position and lift your hips as high as you can; keep your legs straight and let your head go between your arms. That’s a “pike position.” Now, push yourself up and down.
To make it harder, elevate your feet on a bench or on steps.
Split Squat Jumps
Burn fat and build explosiveness anywhere with this quick, metabolic exercise.
Start in a split-stance: one foot far in front of the other with a very narrow width. (You want your stance to be long enough that when you squat down to the floor, both knees make 90-degree angles.) Squat down and explode into the air. Quickly switch legs and land in an opposite split-stance. Alternate between legs.
Regular pushups are monotonous, but this variation adds an extra move to hammer your upper-body and core.
Start in a pushup position. As you lower yourself, pull one knee toward that same side’s elbow. (At the bottom of the pushup, you’ll look like Spider-Man climbing a building.) As you rise, bring your leg back. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating.
Start from a stand and bend one foot behind you. Then, squat down while trying to touch your bent knee onto the ground behind you. Lean your torso and reach your arms forward as you descend.
If you can’t reach the ground with your knee, that’s fine — just go as low as you can.
Sprinting builds awesome strength, power, and athleticism while boosting your cardio and burning a ton of fat. Most guys, however, don’t know how to sprint correctly and risk injury by pushing their bodies at that speed.
Instead, add a small hill. This turns the sprint into a “self-limiting exercise,” which automatically encourages good technique. For example, when you sprint uphill, you’ll strike the ground with the correct part of your foot and create a better stride.