Top 5 Strength & Conditioning Exercises without Equipment
When you write a strength and conditioning program, you don’t always need weights to have an effective strength training workout. Using your body weight, or that of your partner can be a great way to add resistance to your training. Our guest author Human Kinetics has compiled 5 of their top strength and conditioning exercises to perform with a partner – no equipment necessary, adapted from Partner Workouts.
Pistol squats are effective for unilateral training and highlighting muscular imbalances.
Stand facing each other and reach with the right hand to grasp right forearms.
The arms should be parallel to the floor, the elbows bent, the shoulders relaxed, and the core active. Partner B’s other arm is relaxed along the side or the hand is on the hip.
Partner B lifts the left leg straight out in front, flexing the foot.
Bend the right leg to lower the glutes toward the floor.
Keep the extended left leg straight as it lowers, parallel to the floor, with the hamstring almost touching the floor.
Bend or straighten the locked arm to ensure appropriate tension and alignment throughout the exercise.
Pause at the bottom, and work together with partner A to straighten the right leg, lifting back up to the start position.
Partner B repeats for reps before switching to the other leg.
Switch partner roles and repeat for reps.
Squat & glute lift
In this drill, the lower body gets an intense workout, both while holding sumo squat and while lifting into a glute bridge.
Facing each other, partner A lies on the floor and partner B stands near partner A’s feet.
Partner A bends the knees and draws the feet toward the glutes with the heels in line with the sitting bones, keeping the spine and the pelvis in a neutral position.
The feet should be flat on the floor, the core active, and the arms resting along the sides of the body.
Partner B moves closer to partner A’s feet and drops down into a wide sumo squat position, keeping the knees behind the ankles and dropping the hips low toward the floor.
Partner B places the forearms on the top of the thighs, shifting the weight slightly back and keeping the spine in a neutral position.
Partner A then lifts up both feet and places the heels in partner B’s hands; partner B may wish to interlock the fingers.
Partner A lengthens through the back, lifts the glutes off the floor, and moves onto the shoulder blades, keeping the shins parallel to the floor and the knees bent.
Partner A lifts one leg and either flexes the foot or points the toes toward the ceiling, lowering and lifting the glutes with the leg extended for reps.
Partner B remains in an isometric low squat position for the remainder of the set before the partners switch legs and then switch roles and repeat for reps.
Reverse tabletop & tricep dips
As an option, partners may choose to perform these exercises side by side versus on each other.
In this sequence, both partners begin in a standing position, one in front of the other, facing the same direction a couple of feet apart.
To begin, partner A sits on the floor with the knees bent and places their hands near the glutes.
The hands should be directly under the shoulders, the fingertips together or slightly spread and facing toward the feet.
The heels are placed directly in line with the sitting bones and hip-width apart.
Partner A lifts the hips up off the floor, maintaining a neutral position with the spine and pelvis, keeping the core engaged, and the neck long.
Facing in the same direction, partner B places their hands-on partner A’s knees and walks the feet forward until the thighs are just above parallel with the floor.
Once in position with the arms straight, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, partner B bends and straightens the elbows to execute a triceps dip.
Partner A holds the reverse tabletop while partner B completes the triceps dip repetitions.
Switch partner roles and repeat for reps.
Plank & Row
This exercise uses your partner’s body weight as resistance to work the back of the body.
To begin, partner A places the hands on the floor, elbows under the shoulders, and walks the legs back until they are extended, feet positioned slightly wider than hip-width apart and the toes tucked under, then lifting up into a high straight-arm plank position. The shoulder blades are together, and the chest is open.
Partner A keeps the core very active and the torso in a neutral position.
Partner B stands with a slight knee bend and neutral spine in between Partner A’s feet, then hinges from the hip to pick up each of partner A’s legs, holding them just above the ankles.
Partner B slightly bends the knees, lowering partner A’s legs until they are parallel with the floor.
While in this squat position, partner B begins to row partner A’s legs slowly and with control; moving them from a low to a high position, while contracting through the back muscles and keeping the eyes slightly forward.
Partner A focuses on keeping the body position long and strong.
Once the reps are completed, partner B lowers partner A’s feet back to the floor and partners switch positions to repeat for reps.
Wheelbarrow push-ups & squat
To begin, partner A starts on the floor in a kneeling, tabletop position on the hands and knees. The hands are under the shoulders, the core is active, and the shoulders are stabilized.
Partner A moves into a plank by extending the legs back, tucking the toes under, keeping the arms straight with the shoulder blades together and chest open, and maintaining neutral alignment through the torso, hips level, and legs straight.
Partner B squats down to grasp both of partner A’s legs at the ankles and holds them at approximately midthigh height, with partner A’s feet approximately hip-width apart.
Partner A adjusts the arm position and performs a push-up, lowering the chest toward the floor, then pressing the hands into the floor to return to the high plank position.
As partner A lowers into the push-up, partner B squats down, shifting the weight back, keeping the chest lifted, and driving through the feet to lift back up as both partners return to the starting position.
Repeat for reps before switching roles.
To switch positions, lower partner A’s feet to the floor one at a time.
We love these exercises because not only are they great for strength training and conditioning, but they also require grabbing a workout buddy, helping you stay motivated and make working out even more fun!