Home Workouts

Here’s How to Be Creative with Backyard Exercises

Part of learning to train at home is learning to be creative with your exercises. Because equipment is limited you need to find ways of using what is available to you.

Here are some ways you can be creative with your backyard shed exercises:

1. Change the way you do existing exercises

This is one of my favorite methods because it doesnt require doing anything new. Let’s say you want to change your shoulder workout but all you can do is the overhead press. Well, you can change it by doing a number of things. For example, change the speed at which you do the exercise making your declines super slow and your pushes fast and explosive. Or, you could change the height you lift the weight to so that you target only the lower part of the exercise. Changing the way you do an exercise is a simple way to get more out of it and take it to the next level.

2. Adapt bodybuilding exercises

Check out some bodybuilding exercises on the web and adapt them to things you have around the home. For example, arnold presses can easily be done with some paint cans or bricks and lateral side raises can be done with your dads bbq deck chairs. The exercises require that the weight is heavy, not that it is a dumbbell.

3. Intensify your chosen sports natural movements

One of the things I used to do for soccer was take the natural movements in the game and make them more intense. For example, I would practice my throwins with a heavy medicine ball in the hope of developing those associated muscles. Or, to develop my leg power, I would do a set of jumping squats and then run and take a long distance shot. Mixing the resistance exercise with the explosive exercise really helped my power come a long way. Take the movements in your sport and intensify them to really push those muscles.


Weight training at home is about using what you have around you whilst still sticking to correct technique and lifting methods. It is not hard to workout with weights at home as long as you are creative with your workouts.

In the next post we will look at some random strange exercises that you can do with little or no equipment. They are simple but very effective.

Brutal Backyard Shed Workouts for Low Budgets

In this post we will be looking at some of the best weights exercises that you can do at home with some simple equipment to get some real strength, power and muscle gain.

Cheap equipment needed for home workouts
As mentioned in part one of this series there are a few little cheap bits of equipment that come in very handy. There is no need to have expensive dumbbells and machines to get big and strong. Most of the equipment needed in this post you can make yourself with some of the stuff you’ll find in your shed. Be as creative as you can.

Backyard shed workouts using weights
Let not kid ourselves. Bodyweight exercises are so important for strength and real world speed and power but if you want to get really big you need some weights. Continually adding weight to your workout is the only way to keep pushing your muscles into real growth. And, weights is the easiest way to do that.

This post will look at the best and most simple exercises you can do to pack on some real size and strength using only the most basic of equipment.

1. The basic barbell curl
The barbell curl is a very sexy exercise. It is so simple and smooth and easy to do. Again, you don’t need a fancy expensive barbell to do this. When I first started weight training back in high school I used a broom stick with two heavy paint cans full of sand on the end. It did the trick fine!

Make sure you keep your elbows still when you do this. It is a biceps exercise, not a leaning back and cheating exercise! Experiment with different hand widths and you will find you get a complete biceps workout. You really don’t need any other biceps exercise if you do this one well.

2. The old time overhead press
As far as weight lifting exercises go this is probably the oldest. I can just picture some warrior hunters 10,000 years ago lifting some heavy rocks or logs over their heads to show off their strength.

The great thing about the overhead press is you can do it with anything and still not really sacrifice your technique. I have seen strong men doing it with kegs, barrels, weight discs, barbells, logs, tables… anything you can think of.

Make sure you don’t lean back when you are doing it. Try and keep the movement slow and controlled with a slightly faster push on the incline. If you keep your technique sound your gains will be excellent.

3. The weighted crunch
Doing a crunch with a medicine ball or weight on your chest is almost spiritual. It is so hard and challenging yet you know it is going to bring excellent results. Many people give up on the weighted crunch because it is too difficult to do but if you can pump out a few sets with smooth technique and tight contraction you will see some amazing abdominal growth.

try experimenting with different styles of crunching. If you have a medicine ball throw it up in the air and then do a crunch and catch it. The drop will really hit your abs hard. Or, try some faster ones by throwing it against a wall and catching it for the decline. The more you can mix it up the better.

4. Heavy object holding
One of the best ways to develop your forearms is to stand completely still whilst gripping a heavy object like a barbell or tree branch. Martial artists should pay close attention to this exercise as it is one of the best ways to increase the size and strength of your forearm muscles.

Find a heavy branch or barbell or something that is quite wide and hard for you to grip. Perhaps some types of rocks will do. Pick it up and hold it for as long as you can. Once you drop it shake your hands and pick it up asap and do it again. Repeat this process for 20 minutes and by then end your forearms will be screaming for you to stop!