Workout Wednesday: Bodyweight Workout with Jessie Allen

On this week’s edition of workout Wednesday, we’ll follow along with Jessie Allen for an awesome full body home workout.

This workout is a nice blend of familiar exercises and yoga style flows, giving you the best of both worlds.

Prisoner Squat to Oblique Crunch

  • Muscles involved: legs, glutes, abs, obliques

Why just squat when you can throw in some crunches too? Building glutes is always important, of course, but let’s be honest. Everyone wants better, more defined, abdominal muscles. This exercise combo is a fantastic way to reap the benefits of both.

  1. Stand in a shoulder-width stance with toes pointed slightly outward. Keeping an upright torso, place your hands behind your head while pulling your shoulders and elbows back.
  2. Lower into a squat position by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until the crease of the hip drops below knee level. 
  3. Pausing at the bottom of the movement, slowly crunch toward the right thigh, then the left. Come back to upright position
  4. Extend hips and knees upward, explosively pushing yourself back to the starting position.

Good Morning to Squat Jump

  • Muscles involved: Erector spinae, abdominal muscles, glutes, legs
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, knees softly bent. Hands can be behind your head, straight down, or crossed over the chest. 
  • Tightening your core, hinge at hips and push butt straight back, without moving the legs.
  • Maintaining a flat back, continue to lower torso toward the floor until noticing a stretch in hamstrings or that back begins to round. 
  • At the bottom of the good morning, swivel back into the bottom of a squatting position
  • Driving through your heels, power up, and jump while contracting your glutes. 

Split Squat to Sumo Jump Squat

  • Muscles involved: legs, glutes, abdominal muscles

How To Do

  • Stand upright with your feet a couple inches apart and your arms held in prayer position over your chest
  • Jump lightly in the air and gently land in a split squat position; your right will be forward with the knee bent so your right thigh is parallel to the floor, and left leg is backward, standing on your toes so your lower leg is parallel to the floor. 
  • Without pausing, jump in the air again and reverse the position of your legs.
  • Coming up from the split squat, adjust your stance to wider than shoulder width, toes and knees pointed outward (you’ve seen cartoon sumo wrestlers walk, it’ll look like that, just without the diaper or accumulation of mass so great there’s a gravitational pull)
  • Slowly squat down, like you’re about to toddler charge your opponent, then pause at the bottom. 
  • Driving through the heels, power upward and jump.

Side Glute Bridge

  • Muscles involved: abdominal muscles, glutes, obliques

How To Do

  • Placing your left elbow on a yoga mat or floor, extend your left leg outward, so that from hip to knee, your thigh is at a slope. Your knee will be on the floor, bent at about a 45 degree angle, and your lower leg & foot is resting on the floor. Your right leg should hover, bent, over your left. Rest your right foot on your left. Your right hand will be on your hip — for attitude’s sake
  • Add a resistance band to increase difficulty. It should be wrapped around both legs, at about mid-thigh
  • Keeping your core tight, rise your hips higher upward, and slowly rotate your body so that your right shoulder is gliding back toward the ground. During the movement, contract your glutes and try to add some separation between your legs like you would if using a hip adductor machine
  • Hold this bridge position for 1-3 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps. 
  • Once finished, repeat the exercise on the opposite side — unless you like being totally imbalanced, of course.

Plank to Bear to Mountain Climbers

  • Muscles targeted: literally everything, except maybe biceps

reason to do

  • You know how to do a plank — abs tight, body straight, toes on the ground stretched out, hands shoulder width apart. This is your starting point.
  • Keeping your spine aligned, slowly come back into bear position by pushing your butt back, and maintaining solid foundation with your hands so that they’re overhead. It should look a little like a crouched downward dog. 
  • From bear, return to a plank position and perform mountain climbers. Three reps per leg. 
  • This is one repetition. Perform for desired reps.

Push-Up (from the ground)

  • Muscles involved: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominal muscles (kind of)

The biggest difference between a regular push-up and a push-up from the ground is that the starting position is off the ground. This allows you to release the tension, create an extra stretch, and increase starting power since you’re ROM is greater, and forces you to keep momentum out of the exercise. 

  • Start with your hands a little wider than shoulder width, and your body laying on the floor. 
  • Maintaining a tight core, and sturdy foundation with your toes, push through your hands, primarily through your upper palms and even the balls of your fingers, as driving through the base of your palms can put more strain on your wrists.
  • Come up to the top of the push-up position. You can lock out but this isn’t entirely necessary, so long as you are getting full ROM.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
  • Here, lift your hands and toes off the floor by a couple inches to release the tension. For the lower body, this should look/feel a little like performing a “superman pose”. 

One Leg Tricep Push Up to Down-Dog Toe Tap

  • Muscles involved: all of them

Triceps pushups (also referred to as close-grip pushups) are often employed into workout routines to provide more focus on the triceps muscles, because triceps are essential for anyone who wants toned, sexy arms — so, like, all of us. Keeping one leg off the ground during the exercise increases difficulty for stability, and lets everyone watching know you’re more graceful than they are, which is always a bonus. 

Building on the whole increased difficulty and therefore reminding any doubters that you’re the goat, (no relation to yoga with goats), this flow adds in some down dog to toe taps. 

  • Start in pseudo-plank position with your hands at the sides of your ribcage. Lift your left leg upward. Maintaining a tight core, slowly lower yourself. Be sure not to let your elbows flare too much. 
  • At the lowest part, your leg will still hovering above the floor and higher than the rest of your body. Bring your left leg down, touching your toe to the floor so both feet are on the ground, then come into an upward dog position.
  • Gently come back into a down dog position by pushing your hips back. Keep your spine aligned. Your arms will be overhead. Bring your right hand in across your body to tap your left foot.
  • Return to down dog then from there, plank position. 
  • Repeat the movement on the other side. That’s one rep.

Reverse Plank Knee Ups

  • Primary muscles targeted: shoulders, abdominal muscles

Think your regular plank makes you cool? Think again. The reverse plank is where the true coolness factor is achieved, and adding in the knee ups makes for an even more intense workout.

  • Sit with legs extended and place your hands slightly behind you.
  • Lift your hips into alignment with your legs and chest. Rest on your heels and palms, fingers spread.
  • Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to hips to feet. And your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
  • Gaze longingly up at the ceiling. Keep your chin off your chest, but not so far that you’re gazing longingly at the wall — cheater. 
  • Maintaining stability, bring your left knee up toward the middle of your abdomen. Repeat for the right side. 
  • Perform for desired amount of reps.

Boat Crunches

  • Muscles involved: abdominal muscles, stability

Boat crunches are the perfect exercise to prepare yourself for feeling comfortable on a boat — depending on your level of body dysmorphia and the weight of your insecurities, of course. They are effective for the stability functions needed for a strong core as well as the flexion, contraction, etc required for developing a flat belly. Kidding. Flat bellies are boring. These help get you a toned stomach. 

  • From a seated position, lean back on your sitting bones and tailbone. 
  • Raise your legs into the air to form a V shape.
  • Extend your arms in front so they’re parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly elongate so that your body is nearly flat. You should still have your spine aligned, and you’ll want your legs and back hovering slightly off the floor.

Learn about more of the top ten back workouts.

Handstand Practice (optional)

  • Muscles involved: core, shoulders, patience and will

Putting it all together

ExerciseSets & RepsRest Time
Prisoner squatOblique crunch3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
Good MorningSquat Jump3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
Split Squat Sumo Jump Squat3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
Side Glute Bridge3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
PlankBearMountain Climber3 x 12-20 circuits 30-60 seconds
Push-Up (from the ground)3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
One-leg Triceps Push-UpsDown Dog Toe Tap3 x 12-20 circuits30-60 seconds
Reverse Plank Knee Ups3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
Boat Crunches3 x 12-2030-60 seconds
Handstand Practice3 x (up to you)User’s choice

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