How to Readjust Your Strength-Training Goals Without Access to Gym Equipment

Young woman doing push ups

Just because your strength-training routine revolves around gym equipment, it doesn't mean you have to ditch your fitness goals while social distancing. Even without a cable machine or leg press at your disposal, you can still tone your triceps, quadriceps, and glutes from home — all you need to do is readjust your muscle-targeting methods.

That's where the expertise of Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, comes in handy. He's offering up simple ways you can supplement your equipment-based exercises with at-home alternatives. This way, your muscles and mental health won't suffer from your gym hiatus.

Bench Dips

Durkin recommends replacing triceps press-downs using a cable V-bar with bench dips. The only equipment you need is a chair.

  • Facing away from the chair, place your hands on the seat behind you with your arms extended and your legs straight out in front of you. Your feet should be touching the ground while your arms support the majority of your bodyweight.
  • Bend at your elbows, and lower your body toward the floor — the backs of your arms should be parallel to the ground.
  • Pushing up through your arms, return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 15 times, rest, then continue for three sets.

Target your chest, shoulders, and arms without a chest press with some push-ups, Durkin says.

  • Assume a plank position with your knees off the ground and your arms straight so you are in a straight line from your heels to your head.
  • Place your hands a little wider than your shoulders, and spread your fingers as wide as possible. Be sure your core is braced and your back is flat.
  • Slowly lower your upper body by bending your elbows as much as possible so your chest is just above the ground.
  • Return to the starting position by pushing your hands through the ground and extending your elbows.
  • Repeat 10 times, rest, then continue for three sets.