Apr10Try This At Home: Full Body Backpack Workout

What’s an exerciser to do when they’re stuck at home with no equipment, but they feel the urge to burn some calories?

The solution is to make your own equipment! Chances are you have what you need, they’re just lying around the house somewhere collecting dust. In this post, I’m going to show you how to get an effective full body workout with a backpack.

First: grab your backpack. Any old bag will do, preferably something a bit sturdy. You can also use a gym bag (which will allow you to use more weight). Next, fill the bag with anything that adds  some weight; you can use books, canned goods, or if you want even more resistance, grab a sandbag from your local hardware store for a few bucks. Your backpack should weight anywhere from 20-50 pounds, which is a lot to play with!

 

The Workout

For the workout, we have 7 exercises; here’s the video right below, and read on for details on the exercises.

A1. Squat/reverse lunge combo x 10 of each: A good leg burner that involves two staple leg exercises. Since it’s going to be hard to load the back pack super heavy, we have to make the workout more challenging somehow, and we do it by combining two exercises. Hold the bag in the front loaded position (zercher style) and keep it close to the body.

A2. Single arm bent row x 12 each arm: Classic upper body pulling exercise. Again, The backpack might not be too heavy, so really focus on explosively pulling and squeezing at the top, and going slow on the way down.

B1. Single leg deadlift x 10 each side: No full body workout would be complete without a hip hinge, which we get with the single leg deadlift. We are using less load for the same amount of challenge, since we are using only one leg. Hold the backpack in the opposite side arm (if you’re using your left leg, hold the bag in your right arm). If you don’t have great balance, hold onto a support in the non-working hand.

B2. Turkish getup x 8 each side: This one is more advanced, so if you can’t do the full version just opt for the modified “half getup” in the video. The full movement is more like 3 moves in one: a single arm floor press, a single leg glute bridge, and a lunge. Once you stand up, get back to the floor position; that’s one rep.

C1. Bear crawl with drag (forward and backward) x 1 minute: This is a fun conditioning exercise that involves the whole body. Just start in the bear brawl position, grab the bag in front or behind you, and pull it back under your body. Keep the hips nice and stable and don’t let the butt shoot up into the air. once you’ve gone in one direction, reverse the movement. go for one minute total!

C2. Reverse woodchops x 10 each side: Start the movement with the bag at side of your body, by the hips. Pivot on the feet, turn the hips, and raise the backpack in a diagonal arc going up across the body. It has to be explosive! return to the original position, and repeat for 10 reps per side.

C3. Swings x 30 seconds (switch arms halfway): Ah, the classic kettlebell swing. Nothing fancy here, just going for time; get as many reps as possible in the 30 second time frame. Make sure you’re hinging at the hips, and squeezing the glutes on the way up.

Complete each superset/circuit on their own, for the rounds listed in the video. After completing a superset or circuit, rest for 1-2 minutes (take breaks in-between sets if needed).

Give this backpack workout a try for your next strength training session!