The Prison Workout: A Total Body Exercise Routine
Some prisoners have nothing but a sink, a toilet, their bed, and a few square feet of space at their disposal. They need an exercise routine that can be done in a confined space without equipment. The "Prison Workout," which was nicknamed by some people who saw prisoners without access to weights doing it, is designed to develop strength, endurance, speed, agility, and balance. It also produces gains in muscle, losses in body fat, and plenty of stamina. It is a total body and cardio workout.
The Prison Workout consists of one classic exercise, the "burpee." This exercise works your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs and abs. The burpee is a six-count exercise:
1) Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands raised over your head. Then squat down and place your palms on the floor by your feet.
2) Kick both of your legs back so that you're in push-up position.
3) Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest touches the floor.
4) Push yourself back up.
5) At the end of the push-up, quickly pull both knees into your chest while keeping your hands on the floor. You're jumping back into the squat position of step one.
6) Stand straight up by straightening your legs and throwing your hands in the air over your head. You're now in the position that you started in. You can make the burpee more advanced and increase the explosive power in your legs by jumping into the air as you stand up.
The Prison Workout is done in descending sets. For example, begin by doing 20 burpees without stopping. Rest 30 seconds, and then do 19 burpees without stopping. Rest 30 seconds and do 18 burpees. Continue doing descending sets until you get down to a final set of 1 burpee. That makes a total of 210 burpees.
For most people, 20 sets will be too much to start with. In that case, pick a lower number of sets like 15 or 10 or even fewer for your first workout. Then add a set every 1-2 weeks until you reach your goal. If you're doing other exercises in addition to this workout, do your burpee workout 3 times per week on cardio days.
By itself, the Prison Workout will strip fat from your body, add muscle, and build stamina. If you have access to a gym alternate it with a weight training routine - good luck!
Other exercises you may want to try...
Upper Body exercise - The Card Game
This prison workout challenge requires a deck of playing cards and a hat/bowl. Sit across the room from the hat and flip cards toward it. Any time you miss and a card lands face up, do as many push ups as the card reads (face cards are 10). Work your way through a whole deck and you'll be working your way to some serious ripped abs and pectorals. And remember to keep your body level, no butts in the air (especially for actual prisoners).
Upper Body exercise - Tricep Workout
This is a simple dip. Place your hands on a chair, bed, or sink, and dip your body toward the ground.
Lower Body - Squat Leap
This is basically a burpee without the push up. Do a squat and spring upward. This works the quads.
Lower body - Jump Lunge
Lower your body into a lunge position, weight on the bent leg with the other leg stabilizing behind. Jump into the air and switch the position of your feet. Repeat as fast as possible.
Core body - The Prisoner's Plank
Drop to a push up position, body rigid and straight. Now hold this position for three minutes. It's not so easy unless you've got washboard abs.
For the Extreme exerciser - Handstand Push-ups
You may have seen Nick Cage squeezing these out in Con-Air. The concept is simple, Do a handstand-you can brace your feet against a wall for support-then lower your head to the floor and push back upwards. You will build better triceps and shoulder muscles.
For the Extreme exerciser - The Wall Squat
Back against a wall, lower your body until your upper and lower legs form a 90 degree angle. Hold this position as long as you can. Sounds simple? Try it for 5 minutes.