Gyms might be open again following the loosening of lockdown rules, but many are still opting to stay home and continue equipment-free workouts for the time being. In his latest tutorial video on YouTube, kettlebell flow coach Eric Leija shared 10 of his favorite “unconventional” bodyweight exercises which can be easily incorporated into your routine.
He starts with the loaded beast to front step; a mobility-focused move that will open up your hip flexors, and gradually elevate your heart rate too. The second move is the beast underswitch tap, which enables the body to move in multiple planes as it involves constant rotation of the torso. “You’ll also stretch and open up chest tissues, and build more rhomboid strength than you think,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. “Squeeze your shoulder blades to protect your shoulders.”
The third move is the side kickthrough, which requires more core strength. “Take your time and don’t rush this. It’s not a race,” advises Samuel. “And squeeze your shoulder blades when you pull that top arm back. Aim to keep your straight leg near the ground.”
Fourth is the crab reach, a classic stretch move which opens up the lats and hip flexors, as well as building strength in the abs and glutes. Samuel’s advice here: “Don’t overarch your back as you do this.”
The fifth exercise is a beast toe tap. “The goal here is anti-rotation,” says Samuek. “Try to balance a glass of water on your back. Don’t let that glass move. That’s how still your torso should remain for the entire series. Again, take your time. Not a race.”
This is followed by another anti-rotation move, the crab toe tap: this one will challenge shoulder mobility and open your chest too, because of the upper body position. “Hand position is key here,” says Samuel. “Make sure your fingers face back and do everything you can to not let your hips shift.”
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The ape under switch, meanwhile, is all about rotation. “The best way to do this is find a line on the ground and move along with it, so you force your body to stay in control.” Next up is the lateral ape crawl (Samuel recommends using the glass of water as a measure of even movement again), and then the squat sprawl.
“Be careful on the squat sprawl if you have lower back issues,” says Samuel. “The upward dog moment can be challenging. Other than that, essentially, you’re doing a slower, more controlled burpee. Make sure to maintain both core and mid-back tension when you lower. And squeeze your glutes when you stand from the squat.”
The tenth and final exercise in the routine is beast pushup variation which focuses on mobility, rather than creating a large range of motion. “Let your hips and knees open wide at the bottom and squeeze your glutes,” says Samuel. “Don’t let your elbows flare out. Doing so can cause shoulder issues so think about keeping them close to the body. Above all, don’t go too low on this one. If there’s a move to skip here, this is it.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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