Up Your Strength

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | July 21st, 2010 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness

Woman doing a push-up in the park

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that they just don’t have enough time to do their strength workout. Believe me, with three kids, a full-time job and a hectic travel schedule, I know that time is a commodity. In addition, another typical and frequent complaint is lack of equipment either at home or at the office.

Well, forget the excuses. You don’t need a lot of time or equipment to get some muscle work in your day. As a matter of fact, one of the best tools is your own body weight.

Try a few sets of each of these “up” exercises for a quick, total-body strength training workout that can be done almost anywhere and anytime. Remember, just because you can’t make it to the gym or don’t have a basement full of weight equipment doesn’t mean you have to forgo “upping” your strength!


Find a bench, a step or even just a phone book and step up, step down, up and down, squeezing your buns and engaging your quads.


Get down on the floor or use the wall for a beginner option. Either way, keep your abs tight and your back straight. You can start on your knees and graduate up to full push-ups as you practice.


Do this one while you shop! Keeping your elbow tight to your body, lift your bags or grocery basket several times with each arm while you decide on purchases.


Get down on all fours and lift your leg behind you. Squeeze your buns as you lower and lift for maximum benefits. Make sure to do reps with both legs.


If you don’t have a built-in bar at home, find a local playground jungle gym. Just like your gym teacher used to say, no arched backs allowed!


Bend your knees, hands behind your head, and curl up, folding like an accordion and engaging your abdominal muscles (like a crunch). Move slowly and don’t use the momentum of your body curl up. It’s quality, not quantity, that counts.

Full body roll-ups

Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead. Inhale your arms to the sky, exhale and slowly roll up into a “C” curve, reaching for your toes. Inhale and exhale as you uncurl your body one vertebra at a time, “dripping” your back into the floor.

Now you know how to use your body as a strength machine — so get UP and get GOING!


  1. Awesome list. I’d also suggest planks, dips, and jumping jacks as easy do (almost) anywhere exercises that require no equipment.

    Angela | July 14th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  2. Thanks for the suggestions – I love exercise that can be done anywhere, and with so little time. No more excuses.

    I talked about it in my Examiner column today. Have a good day!


    Ephraim | July 22nd, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  3. You are absolutely right. I used to have weight problems in the past ..but I started doing some exercises at home each morning. That includes only push ups and sit ups. I managed to lose 30 pounds in 2 months. Worked great for me

    Chifu | December 19th, 2010 | Comment Permalink

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