So yesterday when Ryan and I were doing some foam rolling stuff, I used a table for a couple of the moves.
It was just our little $10 Ikea table, but it was amazingly sturdy considering I put it together…Although that may be better than if Ryan put it together…Sorry Ryan…But it’s true…
Anyway, when I used the table, Ryan said to me, “I wonder if you could do a full body workout with just that table?”
My answer, “You totally could!”
Here are 10 moves you can do with just a cheap little Ikea side table! Love you Ikea! 🙂 (The moves are in no particular order)
1. Decline or Incline Push ups – You can make the push up easier or more advanced using the table. To make the push up easier, put your hands on the table and then perform the push up from your knees or toes. Doing the push up from your knees will make it easier than from your toes. To advance the push up, put your toes on top of the table.
2. Balance Lunges – The balance lunge is a great leg move to do if you don’t have weights. Place your back foot up on the table and hop your front foot out so you are in a nice wide stance. Then lunge down, dropping your back knee toward the ground. Really sit back into the lunge. Make sure you aren’t going forward and that your front knee is not going past your toe. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of the leg that is back when doing this move.
3. Single Leg Squats – This table is a great way for beginners especially to start working on their pistol squats. It is also a great way to really correct imbalances since you are working legs individually. If the table is too low for you at the beginning, start with a two-leg squat to bench. Then progress to one leg. Beginners can completely sit down on the table. As you advance, try to only barely tap the table with your butt before standing up. Do not rely on sitting on the bench to stand back up.
4. Incline or Decline Climbers – These aren’t mountain climbers. With climbers you are working your shoulders and triceps. Beginners should start in a plank position with their forearms on the table. Next climb up one hand at a time until you are at the top of a push up position. Then climb back down to complete the rep. Advanced exercisers should do this move with their feet elevated on the table instead.
5. Glute Bridge off table – A great way to advance the glute bridge is by putting your feet up on the table. You can do either a double leg glute bridge, which is a bit easier, or a single leg bridge, which is a bit more difficult. Start by lying on the ground with your heels on the table. Your butt should be close to the table. Arms are bent to 90 with elbows driving into the ground. Squeeze the glutes and drive through the heels, lifting your hips as high as you can in the air. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed. You should not feel this in your low back. To make the move even more beneficial, hold each rep at the top for 2-5 seconds.
6. Handstands – Handstands are a great upper body move. Using the table you can either do a beginner handstand hold or you can make the move more advanced by adding in a push up. To do the hold, place your feet on top of the table. Walk your hands back a bit and push your butt up towards the ceiling. Push off your toes to get as vertical as possible, creating a nice straight line from your hands, up your arms and core to your tailbone. If this is easy, add the push up in while holding this position. Drop your head down to the ground and then lift back up.
7. Plank Holds – Plank holds are a great overall core move and the table can be used to make the move easier and more difficult. Beginners can hold front and side planks with their hands on the table and feet on the ground while advanced lifters can have their feet on the table and hands on the ground.
8. Lying Bat Wings – One of my favorite moves is scapular wall holds. When playing with the table, I realized you could do the same hold while lying face down on the table. Lie down with your chest on the table. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and then pinch your shoulder blades down and back. Try to bring them together you are pinching back so hard. Hold that move. Beginners can hold for 30 seconds. Advanced can hold for up to a minute. If you want to make it even more challenging, you could add weight to each hand…even if it is just in the form of a book.
9. Reverse Hypers – A great move for the glutes and hamstrings and most easily done with a piece of equipment; HOWEVER, using a table is a PERFECT way to do reverse hypers at home. Lie face down on the table. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Squeeze your legs together and lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground. Hold for 2-5 seconds and lower. You can do reverse hypers with either bent or straight legs. Both have their benefits. You should not feel either though in your low back. Keep the core tight and really squeeze the glutes.
10. Dips – One of the most common home exercise moves, dips can’t be ignored. Place your hands behind you on the table with finger tips hanging over the side. Beginners can bend their legs while more advanced exercisers can keep their legs straight. Drop your butt as close to the ground as possible, bending your arms to 90 degrees and keeping your back and butt close to the table. You could even make the dips harder by doing two push ups followed by two dips for 3-5 rounds. Talk about a way to smoke your triceps….
If you like these moves and have enjoyed other Man Bicep posts, I suggest you head over to my new site Redefining Strength for a sneak peek and a few great workout freebies, including a COMPLETE FOAM ROLLING VIDEO LIBRARY!
P.S. Thank you Ryan for an amazing post idea!
So over the last week, Ryan and I have made a few trips to IKEA to buy furniture since we sold everything when we moved from Boston.
I love Ikea….the only problem is you have to pick up all the furniture and put it together.
And the picking it up isn’t the problem!
Anyway, yesterday we made pretty much our final trip there to buy the last couple of large things. We walked around their “marketplace” or whatever they call it and went down the aisle to pick up the boxes that we needed.
I of course don’t ever wait for Ryan’s help. I just start lifting the massive awkward boxes onto our cart the best that I can. And if it looks like I won’t be able to get the box or am about to smash myself in the face/foot/you name a body part, Ryan will step in to help me. Otherwise, he just lets me do my thing.
But so yesterday we were getting the parts for a dresser. I had managed the first box, but the second was super heavy so Ryan came around to help me.
All the while this shorter couple is standing behind us waiting to grab their boxes for the dresser. I hurried to grab our boxes so we could move down the aisle to grab the next piece.
As we moved down, I watched the short couple move to grab the boxes…or should I say I watched the husband/boyfriend/male grab the long awkward boxes by himself.
And while that didn’t make me think at first because I would have gone right at it just like him, what got me was the fact that when he struggled so badly that I even wanted to go over and help him, all she did was stand there.
SHE JUST STOOD THERE!?!?!!?!?
He was struggling hard and kept dropping the box as he moved it two feet to the cart and she just stood there!
Maybe she just stood there because he would reject the help. Maybe she stood there because she didn’t feel like helping. Maybe she stood there because she wasn’t strong enough to help.
I don’t know why she just stood there. But I can’t get over the fact that she didn’t help.
Am I the only weirdo slightly perturbed by this? You can admit it if I am….
Anyway, I turned to Ryan and said, “Aren’t you glad I’m strong and help you move everything?”
He just smiled and said, “Yup” because he has heard this statement every time we move.
I think it is just that every time Ryan and I move, I realize just how glad I am that when I workout I lift heavy stuff!
P.S. This will lead into a post tomorrow, if I haven’t died of frustration before then from trying to put everything together, inspired by my boss at Innovative Results who has created an “awkward weights” workout progression which may be just what some of us need to help make us strong so we can move boxes, furniture or any awkward, heavy piece of whatever.