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    Back Bodyweight Exercises for Bootcamp... with no Pullup bar?

    I perform my bootcamps in a martial arts facility and while I have some resistance band exercises to target the back, I really don't have a legitimate ability to work the back with any calisthenic exercises that I can think of. Buying a portable pullup bar is out of the question because I will have anywhere from 5-10 people needing to perform this at the same time.

    Do any of you guys have an answer for this? I've been racking my brain for months and have not come up with an answer. It sucks because every other muscle group than the back and biceps can be targeted without equipment...
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    Originally Posted by tovlakas View Post
    I perform my bootcamps in a martial arts facility and while I have some resistance band exercises to target the back, I really don't have a legitimate ability to work the back with any calisthenic exercises that I can think of. Buying a portable pullup bar is out of the question because I will have anywhere from 5-10 people needing to perform this at the same time.

    Do any of you guys have an answer for this? I've been racking my brain for months and have not come up with an answer. It sucks because every other muscle group than the back and biceps can be targeted without equipment...
    You could "buddy up" your clients. Have one hold their towel and be reisistance while the other rows or does face pulls. Odd numbers get you as their buddy. It would add a bit of time to the routine but might help. (just brainstorming here)
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    Originally Posted by kneedragger85 View Post
    You could "buddy up" your clients. Have one hold their towel and be reisistance while the other rows or does face pulls. Odd numbers get you as their buddy. It would add a bit of time to the routine but might help. (just brainstorming here)
    ^^^ That, you could have 2 of them sit down w/ feet together and row while the other person provides resistance.... Powers Sleds if you have the space...
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    two people grab a broomstick w/both hands hand hold it horizontally. One person tries to pull the other across x amount of feet while the other resists.
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    Strength Coach tovlakas's Avatar
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    Awesome, thanks guys will put these recommendations to use. Anyone have anymore that are more similar to pullups/pulldowns rather than rows? I think it would be hard for a partner to keep their footing while holding something that the other partner is trying to pull down at an angle.
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    Originally Posted by tovlakas View Post
    Awesome, thanks guys will put these recommendations to use. Anyone have anymore that are more similar to pullups/pulldowns rather than rows? I think it would be hard for a partner to keep their footing while holding something that the other partner is trying to pull down at an angle.
    One way to do it is have someone lie either facedown or face up on the ground (grass?) and have a partner stand w/ their feet spread a couple feet apart.

    From there the person on the ground can do a "lat pull" with the friction of the ground & their body weight for resistance.

    You could have the person standing do something (a couple burpees, pushups, etc.) while they reposition themselves for the other person to get in a position to do the ankle pull-ups/lat pulls as well

    NOTE: This doesn't work w/ women in skirts, or people w/ diarrhea
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    The Prone Row

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    though it's definitely not sufficient to be a proper pulling movement, the prone cobras would probably be good to add to somewhat counteract all the pushing and help reinforce good posture.
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    Strength Coach tovlakas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by askthetrainer View Post
    One way to do it is have someone lie either facedown or face up on the ground (grass?) and have a partner stand w/ their feet spread a couple feet apart.

    From there the person on the ground can do a "lat pull" with the friction of the ground & their body weight for resistance.

    You could have the person standing do something (a couple burpees, pushups, etc.) while they reposition themselves for the other person to get in a position to do the ankle pull-ups/lat pulls as well

    NOTE: This doesn't work w/ women in skirts, or people w/ diarrhea
    Is there a video of this or anything? Are you saying the bottom person grabs top person's ankles and pulls themselves along the ground to the top person, who then steps back and repeat? Seems like that would be hard on the clothes, haha
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    If there's something overhead that a resistance band can wrap onto, use it to fling a band over it, and get the person/people to do lat pulldown type movements.

    When i do home sessions, i use people's sturdy clotheslines for that above movement.
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    Registered User nickmanzoni's Avatar
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    two people hold a length of rope/towel/band in one arm. They are in a push-up position facing each other. Person A has the rope in the right arm, person B has the rope in their left. Person A does a horizontal lat pull using person B as resistance. They can be as hard/easy on each other as they want. Works great.
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    Have the clients, doing the class, then rotate one person over to the pull-up and then run back and get back into the class then the next person goes.
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    An exercise I use in my outdoor training is identical to a lat pulldown and can be done with assistance. I'll try to describe it but might have difficulty.

    One person sits on the ground legs straight out in front of them. The 2nd person stands directly behind them facing the same direction. Person on the ground puts their arms up as if grabbing a lat pull bar. The person standing then reaches down in front of the sitting person and grabs under their elbows/triceps. Now the person on the ground does a lat pulldown while the person standing does a squat while fighting the pull.

    Great exercise that works both people. Trick is to make sure the person standing doesn't do all the work with their back but instead uses their legs.
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    Originally Posted by nickmanzoni View Post
    two people hold a length of rope/towel/band in one arm. They are in a push-up position facing each other. Person A has the rope in the right arm, person B has the rope in their left. Person A does a horizontal lat pull using person B as resistance. They can be as hard/easy on each other as they want. Works great.
    This sounds awesome if I'm picturing it right. So they are pretty much doing a 3 point plank/bridge at the same time? Tough!

    Originally Posted by Boom782 View Post
    An exercise I use in my outdoor training is identical to a lat pulldown and can be done with assistance. I'll try to describe it but might have difficulty.

    One person sits on the ground legs straight out in front of them. The 2nd person stands directly behind them facing the same direction. Person on the ground puts their arms up as if grabbing a lat pull bar. The person standing then reaches down in front of the sitting person and grabs under their elbows/triceps. Now the person on the ground does a lat pulldown while the person standing does a squat while fighting the pull.

    Great exercise that works both people. Trick is to make sure the person standing doesn't do all the work with their back but instead uses their legs.
    Now that's creative lol. So does the person standing have a prone or supine grip on the other person's arms?
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    Originally Posted by DamNative View Post
    This sounds awesome if I'm picturing it right. So they are pretty much doing a 3 point plank/bridge at the same time? Tough!



    Now that's creative lol. So does the person standing have a prone or supine grip on the other person's arms?
    Prone, palms facing back. This allows the person standing to lean back slightly almost as if doing a deadlift.
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    There are so many variables that make this NOT work, but since I don't know your setup its worth a shot.

    Using those resistance bands, have people do lat pulldowns/chins, etc from their knees. If you have pretty much anything to wrap the bands around (from the ceiling, or a lower hanging beam, etc) you can get a bunch of people doing this at once.

    You can also have people partner up, get into an isometric lunge with a forward lean, and pull up from that position (with a partner holding the band)...may be overly complicated though.
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    I've actually been stumped with the same problem for a while. Though I don't run a boot camp, just trying to come up with a body weight exercise for back without a pull up bar or equipment is a challenge. One idea I had, though it needs tweaking to see how its most effective, is similar to dumbbell pullovers. Its not a rowing motion, but it should work the lats. Have your clients pair up. One standing, holding one end of a towel. The other on their knees facing the standing client, bent over, back straight, holding the other end of the towel, with their arms extended and slightly above their head. Then have them do a pullover motion until their almost straight up. I tried a few variations of this on my own, with mixed results. Maybe you can tweak it into something worth trying. It also slightly works core and tris. The standing clients will have to support the others weight, so they'll get forearm, bis, and back work too. Or have them in a deadlift type position with their upper backs at a 45 degree angle. Just an idea. Better than nothing.
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