Labor Day Bodyweight Blast!

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Most of your gyms are probably closed, but there are no excuses here! Get your workout in before feasting on some barbecue!

It’s time to think outside the box with a bodyweight workout. You can easily make bodyweight exercises harder by adding tempo work and pauses. Check out this workout:

JYM Girl Labor Day Bodyweight Blast

Slow Eccentric Bodyweight Squat With Pause – 3 sets, 10 reps
On each rep, lower the weight slowly on the negative (3-5 seconds), pause at the bottom of the squat for 1-2 seconds, then explode up on the positive portion.

Tempo Push-ups* – 3 sets, 10 reps
On each rep, 3 seconds concentric (positive), 3 seconds eccentric (negative), with a 1-2-second pause at the bottom of the movement. You can do these as close-grip (“diamond”) push-ups or regular push-ups, depending on if you want to hit more triceps (close-grip version). Focus on using your lats to increase scapular stability.

“Reverse Snow Angels” – 3 sets, 15 reps
Look this one up. (Here’s a YouTube video showing it: Reverse Snow Angels.) Perform at a tempo of 5 seconds each direction.

Split Squats – 3 sets, 8-10 per leg
Lower the weight slowly (5 seconds on the eccentric), then explode up.

Deadbugs – 3 sets, 10 reps per side
Superset with
Bird Dogs – 3 sets, 10 reps per side
On Deadbugs, take 2 seconds for each extension (here’s a video demo). On Bird Dogs, hold for 3 seconds at the top of each arm/leg extension (bird dogs video demo).

Burpees With Plyometric Push-up – 3 sets, 15 reps
The only different between this and a standard burpee is that you’re doing a plyometric (“clap”) push-up on each rep; if you can’t get high enough to actually clap your hands, that’s okay. Just try and make sure your hands leave the ground at least a little bit.

As you can see, I just took normal bodyweight exercises and made them harder. It’s good to think outside the box from time to time and tweak exercise technique and tempo, instead of only using volume and intensity as a way to increase strength and muscle.

Labor Day is a perfect opportunity to try some of these new moves, since gyms are usually closed. Happy training, girls!

Meet JYM Girl Katie Kollath, MS