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Exercise Modifications for No / Limited Equipment

Unable to access equipment but still want to follow your usual programming? This resource will allow you to modify your training to ensure you’re still benefitting from your normal program as much as possible.

Exercises are listed in alphabetical order, with the required modifications listed in bullet point form under each. In some cases, ‘no equipment’ and ‘limited equipment’ options are given.

 

Air squat

  • No change needed.

Back squat

  • Tempo jumping air squat. 5 second lower, then max height jump squat, straight back in to 5 second lower.
  • Add any weight you have available (dumbbell, kettlebell etc) to shoulder.

Bar dip

  • Use play equipment at local park / playground.
  • Push-up.
  • Dip on two wheelie bins (or any other objects).
  • You can do ‘bench dips’ (with both hands on a surface behind you) only if you have enough shoulder mobility to do them without your shoulders rolling forwards.

Bar muscle-up

  • Use play equipment at local park / playground.
  • Place hands on top of a bar/wall and jump up until you’re locked out above it.
  • Russian push-up.
  • Can also modify by doing one pull-up (see modifications for pull-up) and one dip (see modifications for dip) in place of one bar muscle-up.

Bench press

  • Floor press with kettlebell/dumbbell.
  • Push-up (with a slow 5 second lower, then an explosive clap push-up if you need to make more difficult).

Box jump

  • Jump on to any suitable household object.
  • Tuck jump.

Burpee

  • No change needed.

Clean (full squat)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height jump, straight in to max height jump squat.

Clean (full squat) and jerk

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height jump, straight in to max height jump squat, straight into clap push-up (or normal push-up if needed).

Cycling

  • Bicycle.
  • Run (or see modifications for run).
  • Walking lunges.

Deadlift

Double unders

  • No change needed. If you don’t have a rope, do small jumps.

Dumbbell snatch

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

Front squat

  • Tempo jumping air squat. 5 second lower, then max height jump squat, straight back in to 5 second lower.
  • Add any weight you have available (dumbbell, kettlebell etc) to front rack.

GHD sit-ups

  • Normal sit-ups.

Handstand push-up

  • No modification needed, though if you normally use bands for a HSPU, do a controlled lower to the ground, then kick back up for the next rep.
  • Push-ups (see mods for these if you normally use a band).

Handstand walk

  • No modification needed.

Jerk (push)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Handstand push-up.
  • Push-up.

Jerk (split)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Handstand push-up.
  • Push-up.

KB snatch

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

KB Swing (American)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

KB Swing (Russian)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

Legless rope climb

  • Rope/towel pull-ups (loop rope/towel over tree branch etc).
  • Pull-ups (see modifications for these if needed).

Lunge

  • No change needed if unweighted.
  • If weighted, complete either max height jump lunges, or use any object to add weight.

Muscle-up

  • See modifications for bar muscle-up.

Overhead squat

  • Tempo jumping overhead squat with broomstick. 5 second lower, then max height jump squat, straight back in to 5 second lower.
  • Add any weight you have available (dumbbell, kettlebell etc) to front rack and do a front squat.

Pistol

  • No change needed.

Power clean

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

Power clean and jerk

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height jump, straight into clap push-up (or normal push-up if needed).

Power snatch

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height vertical leap (for heavy lifts) or vertical leap to touch an overhead target (for reps).

Pull-up

  • Use play equipment at local park / playground.
  • If you usually use a band, do jumping pull-ups on a bar.
  • If doing as part of a strength session, jump chin over bar and do a slow 5 second lower.
  • If you don’t have a bar, try a tree branch.
  • If nothing to hang from do body rows under a table or loop a towel around something (like a vertical pole), and do rows.

Push press

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Handstand push-up.
  • Push-up.

Push-up

  • No change needed, though if you normally use bands for a push-up, do a controlled lower to the ground, then use your knees/legs to help get back up to the starting position. Alternatively, do full depth push-ups with hands on a raised surface, like a table. Don’t just do normal push-ups on knees.

Ring dip

  • Use play equipment at local park / playground.
  • Push-up.
  • Dip on two wheelie bins (or any other objects).
  • You can do ‘bench dips’ (with both hands on a surface behind you) only if you have enough shoulder mobility to do them without your shoulders rolling forwards.

Ring row

  • Body rows under a table or loop a towel around something (like a vertical pole), and do rows.

Rope climb

  • See modifications for pull-up.

Rowing

  • See modifications for power clean.

Running

  • No change needed. If you can’t leave the house, do skipping or jogging on the spot, one ‘jog on spot’ for every metre of running.

Sit-up

  • No change needed.

Ski

  • Ball slams.
  • Deck squats (or if you can’t do them, sit-ups).

Skipping

  • No change needed. If you don’t have a rope, do small jumps.

Snatch (full squat)

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Max height jump straight into max height jump squat.

Strict press

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • Handstand push-up.
  • Push-up.

Swimming

  • No change needed. If you cannot access a pool, avoid this movement.

Turkish get-up

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment.
  • Unweighted get-up.

Thruster

  • Complete with kettlebell, dumbbell or any available equipment (single arm if needed).
  • One jump squat, straight in to one push-up (clap push-up if possible).

Toes to bar

  • Use play equipment at local park / playground.
  • Sit-ups.

Wall ball

  • See modifications for thruster.
Dan Williams

Dan Williams

Founder/Director

Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.