Surrender 56: The No-Gym, Full Body Workout

I quit doing Zumba at the Y last fall, because of an extremely painful flare up of sciatica in my left leg. I have nerve damage in my lower back, as a result of a serious car accident in 1995. I’ve had problems with the sciatic nerve in my left leg since. This most recent bout of sciatica lasted for months, forcing me to use a cane as I walked, and limiting my ability to exercise. 

Thankfully, I’m much improved, only using the cane first thing in the morning as my leg “wakes up” and straightens out. I’m not ready to return to Zumba, and may not be able to participate in those fast moving dance routines ever again. However, I have felt ready to incorporate walking and exercising back into my daily regime. 

Ask, and the answer arrives. Into my Facebook newsfeed two articles from Prevention appeared, perfectly geared toward me. I tested the first routine today. The No-Gym Full Body Workout has only four moves, strengthens the entire body, burns fat and requires no equipment, other than a chair. I was intrigued!

Here are the exercises. 

Perform 30 repetitions of exercise one, 30 seconds of exercise two, 30 repetitions of exercise three, and 30 seconds of exercise four (on each leg). Rest and repeat for three circuits. Attempt to complete this series 5 to 7 days per week for some seriously impressive results. 


I was able to complete all four moves, although I definitely appreciated resting for a short time in between sets. While the exercises look simple, my heart rate was up after doing the series and my muscles trembling slightly in my leg. I didn’t experience any pain. The moves, especially the Forearm Incline Plank, felt really good!

In fact, I felt great all over after finishing three sets, and I was thrilled to be exercising again. My intention is to do this series every day. It took me less than 15 minutes to complete and the benefits are amazing for such a short time investment. 

Best of all, I didn’t go any further than my dining room to find my gym equipment. I have no excuses now!