No gym? No excuses! Body weight exercises are classics with good reason — they work. Pushups, pull ups and sit ups are just the beginning — learn how to vary each exercise to pop muscles you didn’t know you had. Good enough for the U.S. Armed Forces, good enough for you — if you can take it. Man up and pull up to see how you would fare against Uncle Sam.
Good enough is never good enough when it comes to the military, so aim to double the minimum to keep from looking like a loser.
Standard: Start with a straight-arm hang, elbows locked, feet off the ground. Arms completely straight between reps, chin must clear the bar every time. No swinging, just straight up and down.
Minimum: USMC: max (up to 20), Army Rangers: 6; Navy SEALs: 8
No time limit — you quit when you fall from the bar.
Mix It Up:
- Vary the width of your grip to work your back and shoulders from different angles.
- Extra-wide hands hit the back, hands-touching grips concentrate on the chest.
- Try an underhand grip to hit the biceps and chest.
- Do it one-handed (yes, people really do that).
- Clip barbell plates to your weight belt. Do this one-handed.
- Raise your legs straight in front of you at the bottom of every rep to work your abs. With ankle weights. And one hand.
Standard: Palms planted under shoulders, toes on the ground. Body should form a straight line — don’t stick your butt in the air, and don’t let your junk sag. Elbows must lock at the top, bend to 90 degrees at the bottom.
Minimum: Army: max in 2 min.; USAF: 33 in 1 min.; Navy 37 in 1 min.; Army Rangers: 49 in 2 min.; Navy SEALs: 42 in 2 min.; Green Beret: 100 in 2 min.
Mix It Up:
- Vary the width of your hands to hit the chest from different angles. Hands wide apart hits the outer edge of the chest, hands touching makes that deep cut between the pecs.
- Point your elbows in different directions — elbows straight back hits the triceps, elbows straight out to the sides concentrates the force on your chest.
- Do push ups on your fists instead of flat palms to put more pressure on the biceps.
- Do it one-handed.
- Stack your feet.
- Bring a knee to the elbow at the bottom of every rep to work your waist.
- Push your body off the floor and clap your hands at the top of each rep.
- Put your feet on a chair and your hands on the floor to force all of your body weight toward your arms.
- Between reps, jump your feet to your hands and stand up, then jump back into push up position.
Standard: Feet must remain flat on the ground, and hands must not leave the back of the head. Raise to a complete sitting position, lower only until the bottom of your shoulder blades touch the ground.
Minimum: Army: max in 2 minutes; USAF: 42 in 1 min.; Navy 46 in 1 min.; USMC: max in 2 min. (up to 100); Army Rangers: 59 in 2 min.; Navy SEALs: 52 in 2 min.; Green Beret: 100 in 2 min.
Mix It Up:
- Touch your elbows to the opposite knee to work your obliques for that V-shaped waist.
- Keep your upper body flat on the ground and raise your legs from the ground to over your head to hit the lower part of your abs.
- Start laying flat on your back, then raise your straight legs and upper body at the same time to touch your toes straight up in the air.
- Do sit ups on an incline with your head lower than your feet to add intensity.
How do you feel? Tired? Well princess, now you have to run!
Army: 2 miles in minimum time (scored accordingly)
USAF: 1.5 miles in 13.36 min. max
Navy: 1.5 miles in 13.30 min. max
USMC: 3 miles in 18 min.
Army Rangers: 5 miles in 40 min.
Navy SEALs: 1.5 miles in 11.5 min. max.
Green Beret: 2 miles in 14 min. Max
Shake that booty, cupcake!