It’s life Gym, but not as we know it.

These are unprecendented times, there is no doubt. With many either in partial or complete lockdown due to Covid-19, trying to stay fit and healthy can be a challenge; especially when you cannot visit a gym. Like many I am sure, I have tried to source weights online, but to no avail. So training at home without a full or even a partial weight set can be difficult to manage; but not impossible.

In a previous post, I have looked at a core training workout which helps for overall strength. However, here I want to show you how to perform a full-body resistance workout with little or no weights; in essence using bodyweight alone. All that you need is an over-head bar, resistance band and a chair; and of course plenty of motivation. See what you think and please leave comments below.

Good luck!

Day 1: Shoulder and Triceps

#ExerciseStart positionExerciseVariationSets x Reps
1Close Grip Pull-upsGrip over-head bar, shoulder width apart with hands facing away from the body. Lower body toward ground slowly, then raise again ensuring elbows are tucked in close to the body.Use resistance band to reduce weight3x12
2Pike Press-upsHand-stand position with feet on chair. Lower slowly towards the chest and raise again.Hand-stand press-upsTotal 40 reps
3Chest Expanders Hold resistance band at arms length, shoulder width apart. With band taught in starting position, pull arms apart and return.Hold at widest position for 2 seconds3x12
4Close-hand Press-upsIn press-up position, with fore-fingers and thumbs forming a triangle. Elbows tucked in close to the body.Lower to the ground and press-up again.One arm3x12
5Tricep Push-downsLoop the resistance band around the overhead bar. Holding the band with each hand, starting with forarms parallel to elbows. Face forward.Pushing the hands downward, keeping elbows tucked in and return slowly.Try hands facing different directions.3x12
6DipsBack to the chair, hands on the chair, with fingers facing forward.Lower the body until upper arm parallel with the floor. Raise again ensuring elbows close to the body.3x12

Day 2: Back and Biceps

#ExerciseStart positionExerciseVariationSets x Reps
1Wide Grip Pull-upsGrip over-head bar, elbow width apart with hands facing away from the body. Use resistance band to reduce weight if required.Lower body toward ground slowly, then raise again. Concentrate on 'pushing' elbows toward the ground.Lowering slowly.Total 40 reps
2Resistance Band RowsLoop resistance band around the overhead bar. Lie back gripping band with hands together.Raise the body by moving the elbows to the side of the body, then lower slowly.Grip with one hand.3x12
3Band Rotations (optional)Loop resistance band around vertical bar. Hold onto resistance band with both hands and stand side-on so that the band is across the body.With straight-arms pull the arms across the body. Change sides and repeat.Lower then higher band positions3x12
4Upright RowsPlace the resistance band under the feet in standing position. Hold onto the band with hands close together and facing downward. Pull the hands (still close together) towards chin. Lower slowly and repeat.With feet wider apart to increase resistance.3x12
5Bicep Pull-upsGrip over-head bar, with hands shoulder width apart and hands facing toward the body. Use resistance band if required.Lower body toward ground slowly, then raise again. Concentrating on the elbows tucked in toward the body.Try lowering slowly (>5 seconds).3x12
6Bicep curlStanding on the resistance band, grip with both hands either side of the body, so that the band is taught in upright positionCurl the band toward the neck ensuring to keep the elbows in position and tucked in close.Move feet apart to increase resistance3x12

Day 3: Legs

#ExerciseStart positionExerciseVariationSets x Reps
1BurpeesPress-up positionHop feet toward hands. Stand up. Hands back to feet and return to press-up position.40 reps
2Band SquatsStand on the resistance band and loop it over the head and around the next (squatting to do this)Stand up and lower slowly finishing with legs parallel to the floor.Piggy-back training partner3x20
3Dolly SquatsHolding onto a vertical bar or door frame, stand placing feet touching the bar/frame.Holding on with one hand, squat slowly and return.3x20
4LungesLoop the resistance band around over-head bar. Place one foot in the band and other in a stride positionLower front leg slowly and return. Switch legs.3x12
5Hamstring CurlsLie on the stomach. Loop band around a vertical bar with the other around your ankle. Curl the leg upward toward the buttock, ending at right-angle to the bar.3x12
6Calf RaisePlace hands against a wall with feet flat on the floor or so back, so that calves are fully extended.Raise, hold and lower slowly. Try one leg hooked around ankle or have training partner sit on hips (Donkey Raise)3x20

Day 4: Chest and Core

#ExerciseStart positionExerciseVariationSets x Reps
1Press-upsPress-up positionLower and raise so Chest just touches the floor.One hand raised - leaning on a ball - 4 reps then swap hands.100 reps
2Inclined PressPress-up position, feet raised on chair.Lower to top of chest and raisePlace resistance band under hands and around shoulders.3x20
3Declined PressPress-up position, with hands on the chairLower until bottom of chest touches the chair and raise againTry with one hand only, each time.3x12
4Leg ExtendLie on back, raise legs 6 inches up and straightRaise legs to the sky, rolling onto upper backTry rolling to shoulders.3x12
5Lying CyclesLie on back, raise legs 6 inches up. Straighten one leg without lowering, pulling the other up to stomach. The key is to do this SLOWLY.Training partner places hand in the small of the back, ensuring pressure on the hand throughout.3x12
6Side plankLie on side, raising body onto one elbow.Raise other arm to the sky, hold and place under other armpit. Raise and repeat. Switch.Place resistance band under elbow when pushing up. Switch at 10 reps.3x20
7Stomach CrunchLie on back, feet raised onto a chair.Raise shoulders toward chair, touch chair with hands and lower slowly.Alternate set with legs on floor, concentrating on upper stomach when crunching.3x20


  • If the number or sets is not stated, assume total number or reps over as many sets as it takes (even if you end up doing 10 sets)!
  • Unless otherwise stated, assume the exercise is repeated for the number of reps.
  • For the vertical bar, you can use a (sturdy) chair leg with a partner sat on it instead.

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