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Current Weight: 250 lbs. (74.49% of the way done!)






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Strength Training without Weights

I was on a discussion forum today and saw an excellent question:

I would like to start strength exercises as well as the aerobic stuff I am doing, but I cannot afford to buy any weights. Is there anything I can do? Does calisthenics count as strength training? Stuff like leg lifts, sit ups, push ups? If not, any other suggestions?
I meet with a trainer 3x per week. She quite often has me do strength training just using my own body weight. Some of the exercises include:

Push-ups (primarily chest and triceps):
Depending on your strength, start with regular pushups but on your knees instead of your toes. When you can do 15 on your knees, do them on your toes. When you can do 15 on your toes, do them with one leg raised behind you. (Keep the leg straight.) Use variations like these to increase intensity. Even your hand placement makes a difference.

Squats and Lunges
These two do well for your quads (front of the leg), your hamstrings (back of the leg) and glutes (behind). Make sure you know how to do these correctly so that you don't hurt you back or knees.

Pull ups will work your back. Change grip positions and type (overhand/underhand) to work different intensities.

Horizontal Pull-up
Secure a strong bar about 2' off the floor. Lay on your back underneath the bar. Reach up, grasp the bar and, keeping your body straight, pull yourself up. Done correctly, in the up position only your heels should be touching the floor.

Work Your Abs and Low Back
Having a strong core (abs and low back) is essential. Leg lifts, crunches, planks, side planks, supermans, and cobras all work. There are plenty of variations for these as well. Some include raising your legs off the floor as you are doing crunches. While you are doing your planks, pivot on your foot as you raise one arm up t the sky.

Adding Weight
Get a couple of milk jugs and fill them with water, sand, or other material. You now have weights with which to do bicep curls or to use with your squats, lungs or other exercises.

You would be surprised how great a workout you can get out of yoga. I'm not an advocate of the whole meditation thing that accompanies yoga, but the positions and movements will give you a great workout.

The above exercises are just a few ideas, but let me emphasize something very important. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or trainer. I also don't know your physical situation. Therefore, make sure you check with your doctor and/or trained professional before doing the exercises.


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CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING RELATED TO HEALTH AND FITNESS! I am under a doctor's care for my general health, and my workouts are overseen by a professional trainer. I consult with licensed dieticians about what I eat. I am blogging about my experience here in the hopes that it might inspire you to get healthy as well. However, you must realize that I am not a doctor. The views on this site are only my opinion or understandings about what I'm learning. In some cases, I'm just reporting about what I find from other sources. Therefore, before you do any type of exercise, change your diet or make other health related decisions, check with your doctor, trainer, dietician, nutritionist or other health professional.

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