Today's workout is courtesy of the pain in my shaking legs for two hours after I was finished. It stems from two things I enjoy when working out: A lack of any pre-determined sets and reps, and exercises that flow together in a seamless fashion. A little further explanation:
My bodyweight routines tend to have a loose structure with a general goal in mind. For example, this workout I wanted to do several sets of pushups, work squats until my quads screamed and get warm enough to do some yoga poses. The overall goal was to go until my muscles, in particular my triceps, chest and legs, were spent. Here was the result, more or less...
Warm-up: Sun salutations, half moon to both sides and back, sun salutations then immediately to...
Modified Hindu Push-ups: Upward facing dog to child's pose. Then:
Pushups: This started as regular pushups, then progressed to walking pushups. Like this: Do a pushup, walk both hands one 'step' to the right, do a pushup. Then repeat on other side. Always do a pushup in the center.
Quad Sit-ups? From resting on your knees with your butt on your heels, use your quads to pull your body up to kneeling. Keep the glutes and stomach tight. Sit back down and repeat.
When you can't do another, immediately pitch forward and do more of the pushups as done above.
When you have had enough of this (I lasted about three rounds for ??? reps) do:
Pushup to Extended Side Arm Plank: Do a pushup and press up into an extended side arm plank. That is, the arm on the bottom and top are extended. Repeat on both sides until you can't do another one.
Elephant Walkout: At this point the memory gets hazy, so this may not be the exact order. However, these are great for the core. Stand up straight, reach your hands straight to the floor and walk out as far as you can go. All the way to a Superman plank if possible. Walk back the way you came. Do this several times and try to progress to:
Iron Cross Plank: Once fully extended, or close to it, walk your hands out to your sides. The goal is to have them parallel with the shoulders and the arms still extended. The reality is it will probably take you a while to do it that way! But try just the same. It's fun, and effective.
Now at this point you may feel like you need a break, but don't stop for water just yet! Instead, bring your arms in, drop to your elbows, keeping them extended in front of your shoulders, and press off the floor. These are basically triceps extensions, adjust your arms to place the emphasis on the triceps.
I can't tell you how long this went on for, or whether or not I left out some exercises. But this is how I finished:
Balanced Leg Extensions
Stand straight with hands on hips. Bring your right knee up as far as you can (your chest is ideal). Make your other leg strong and press it into the ground. From here, extend your right leg straight out in front of you. Try to hold it for at least 3 seconds.
Without putting the leg down, bring your knee back to your chest, turn the hip over and push the leg out to the side as straight as possible, driving with the heel. For you 'tae kwon do fans, this is a side kick.
Bring the knee back to the starting position and press it straight backwards. Hold each position for several seconds, and always struve to keep the leg at waist height.
With all three positions done, you can lower the leg to the ground. Now repeat on the other side. Remember to move slowly and in perfect form. Think 3 seconds to extension, 3 seconds hold, 3 seconds back to flexed position.
Do as many sets/rounds of these exercises as you need to get a thorough workout. Push yourself to get the best results. Feel like something is missing? Throw your own favorite in between these movements! Especially if it flows.
For more on the Elephant Walk-Out, click here:
Bodyweight Workout Routine: Whole Body Conditioning
For more on pushup variations, read these:
MosLadder: The Mother of All Chest Workouts???
Every Pushup Exercise you can Think of and the Celebrities Who do them