Doors, Walls, Bookshelves and Cabinets
You can mix up your workout routine using hard vertical surfaces. Make good use of doors, walls, bookshelves and cabinets. If it is not going to move and you are not going to damage it then you can put your hands, feet or back against it. By moving from the floor to the wall you change the angle and the amount of weight you are lifting.
When I did a standard push up I lifted 65 percent of my bodyweight. When doing a push up with my feet against a wall I lifted 86 percent of my bodyweight. For me that was a difference of 30 pounds without significantly changing the angle. For handstand push ups against the wall I lifted about 95 percent of my bodyweight. Pressing your feet against the wall takes some of the weight off your arms.
You can improve your grip by using your bare feet or wearing shoes. Press your toes against the wall. I just started doing wall exercises and I had to rush to get into position for the pictures. My camera's delay is only 10 seconds. So my form in the pictures is not the best.
Wall planks: Get into the plank position beside a wall. Put your feet on the wall and hold yourself up. Pull your stomach towards your spine. Try to hold the plank for 60 seconds or more. You can do it on your elbows or from the raised push up position. If you do it on your elbows you may need an exercise mat. Don't raise your head. Look at the floor. Before attempting this exercise make sure you can hold a plank with your feet on the ground.
Wall push ups: Get into the wall plank stance. Then do a set of push ups with your feet on the wall. Doing push ups against the wall significantly increases the weight on your arms. You can do decline wall push ups by walking your feet up the wall.
Wall side planks: Get into the wall plank stance then lift one arm and turn over onto your side to form a horizontal T. Try to hold the side plank for 30 seconds or more. Then repeat the exercise on the other side. It can be done on your elbow or with your arm fully extended. Practice side planks and wall planks first.
Wall climbs: Get into a lowered push up position with your feet against the wall. Do a push up and walk your feet up the wall while walking your hands closer to the wall. Get your feet as high as you can then lower yourself back down to the starting position. Keep going up and down without resting until you finish the desired number of reps or until you can no longer safely do the exercise.
Wall sits: Stand with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward and slide you back down so you end up in a sitting position with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Do not go lower than 90 degrees and do not let your knees go past your toes. Try to hold it for 60 seconds or more. Stop if it becomes too uncomfortable. The position of your body should be like sitting in a chair using good posture.
Shoulder Climbers: Squat down against the wall and get into the wall sit stance. Roll your shoulders up and back to pull yourself up the wall while pushing up slightly with your legs. Then reverse the movement to lower yourself back down to the starting position. Do a set of 6 or more. Lead with your shoulders and assist with your legs.
Mountain Climbers: Get into the plank or elbow plank position and walk your feet up the wall so your torso and legs are are parallel to the floor. Bring one knee close to your elbow, put it back against the wall and repeat with the other knee. Keep switching from one leg the other until you are finished the set. This exercise can be done at a fast pace for a good cardio workout or at a slow pace for a good core workout.
L Handstand Video
L Handstands: Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your knees on the floor under your hips. Then lift your hips as high as you can to form an upside down V. Your feet should be touching the wall. Walk your feet up the wall so they are level with your hips to form an upside down L. Try to hold the handstand for over 30 seconds then walk back down. When you repeat the exercise lead with the other leg. You can move farther or closer to the wall using your arms.
Wall handstand push ups: Get into the handstand position by doing a wall climb. Bend your elbows to lower yourself close to the floor then push yourself back up. Continue to lower yourself down and push yourself back up until you are finished the set. Then walk yourself back onto the floor. Be careful not to get your hands too close to the wall. You don't want to lose your balance and fall away from the wall. Wall handstands are a lot easier than freestanding handstands.
Wall bridge: Lie on your back with your bum against the wall. Place your hands out to the side on the floor, palms down and your feet against the wall about 3 feet off the floor. Raise you bum off the floor so your torso and thighs form a straight line and the lower legs are parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulder pressed against floor. You can focus on holding the pose or do a sets of them.
You can also buy exercise equipment for your door or door frame. The door frame is a good place to mount a pull up bar and doors are great for mounting exercise bands on. Pull ups and chin ups are great body weight exercises. Exercise bands, especially ones attached to your door allow you to do hundreds of different exercises. The Tower 200 or TRX Suspension Trainer along with a pull up bar can give you great results. You can workout your whole body and they take up very little space, unlike weights.
Doors and door frames are tough. So you can workout hard without damaging your door or door frame. Most resistance bands don't provide a lot of resistance by themselves. If you want an intense strength workout it is a good idea to use more than one. You want the option of adding more bands to the same handle so you can increase the resistance. Otherwise you will not be able to change your body very much.
The body weight exercises you can do against a wall or door without special equipment are pushing exercises. Pull ups bars and exercise bands allow you to do pulling exercises. Pulling uses one muscle and pushing uses another. An exercise routine that involves pushing should also include pulling.
If you workout your triceps then you should also workout your biceps. If you work your quads then you should also work your hamstrings. Working out the opposing muscle reduces the risk of injury. It can also improve your balance, your posture and your appearance. Most opposing muscles are on the opposite side.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Michael H