You don’t need rows of endless machines, stacks of free weights, and a roomful of treadmills to whip yourself into shape. In fact, all you need is what your city has to offer — it takes nothing more than a bar, a bench, a curb, and your own bodyweight to hit every muscle in your body. “There’s a lot you can do without any formal equipment,” says Al Kavadlo, a leading calisthenics expert and the co-author of the book Get Strong. “Push-ups, squats, and bridges can be done using nothing but the floor. Adding a bench allows for elevated push-ups and rear-foot elevated split squats. You don’t need to make things complicated to get a good workout.”
Your Street Workout
In fact, Kavadlo’s book features nothing but the most stripped-down workouts possible, including this challenging routine taken from phase two of the Get Strong program. All you need is a strong overhead support, like scaffolding, a sturdy street sign or jungle-gym bar, a wall, and a bench. Allow 60 to 90 seconds rest between sets, and be sure to perform a five- to 10-minute warm-up before you start the routine.
Push-Ups: 3 sets of 8 repetitions
Wall Handstand: 3 sets for 5 seconds each
Hanging Knee Raise: 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Air Squat: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
Split Squat: 2 sets of 10 repetitions per leg
Step-Ups On a Bench: 2 sets of 10 repetitions (5 per leg)
Straight Bridge: 3 sets of 5 repetitions
Alternative Exercise Options
If you can’t perform any of the suggested moves, sub in these alternatives where appropriate.