Pull-ups in the Bathroom: 4 Little Ways to Keep Up Fitness

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

The best way to enact change is to find ways of working it into everyday life. This is true both for new skills and habits as well as for physical fitness. I have found that squeezing small workouts into any spare minutes helps to improve overall health. This not only keeps you actively exercising, but also taking full advantage of your time.

The trick is to blend these exercises into the things you would normally do every day. This way, it doesn’t feel like you are going out of your way to exercise. This helps you to remember to work out, and also makes it as quick and easy as possible. These exercises use your body weight and minimal, if any, equipment.

1. Pull-ups in the Bathroom:

Do a set of pull-ups each time you go to the bathroom, before, after, or both

The first step is installing a pull-up bar in the bathroom doorway. The best one sits completely inside of the doorframe allowing the door to close completely, and are hung high enough to avoid hitting anyone’s head. These usually sell for about $15-30 and last for several years. There are a few different pull up bars that I would recommend, that you can buy on Amazon, like the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar and Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar both work great. Each time I go into the bathroom, I do a quick set of pull-ups and then the same on the way out, after washing and drying my hands of course.

The number of pull-ups completed in each set doesn’t really matter in the big picture. Ideally, when working out, it’s best to go until the point of failure in order to get maximum results. However, this isn’t always practical to do before using the bathroom, especially if repeated anywhere from two to twenty times per day. Do what you feel comfortable with, but try to challenge yourself by increasing the amount each week little by little. And of course remember to have fun with it.

If putting a bar at the bathroom isn’t exactly a viable option, for reasons of comfort or ability, use a different room. Other options are an office or bedroom, but it’s best to place it in a room that you’ll be going in and out of several times each day.

2. Cooking with Pushups:

Do a set of pushups during cooking downtime

Whenever I cook there are always a few minutes when I have nothing to do. At a certain point, the food is cooking and I find myself standing around with nothing to do. The morning is an especially good time for this. This tends to happens at least once, and sometimes up to five times, while preparing each meal. These wasted minutes add up to a lot of downtime that can easily be filled with productive exercise.

The same principles mentioned with pull-ups apply here. Do as many as you can to keep challenging yourself, but still enjoying it. I also do the same while making tea: a set of pushups while the water heats up, and while waiting for my cup to cool down enough to drink.

3. Stop at Stairs:

Take stairs two or three at a time
Perform calf raises as you go up and down

For some, just walking up and down a flight of stairs each day is enough to be a workout. For others, it helps to get a little more creative. If you happen to have some stairs in your house/apartment/shack, you can make good use out of them other than just getting from one floor to another. For those who don’t, you’re bound to find a set of stairs somewhere throughout your day.

Instead of regular stair climbing, try taking two or three stairs at a time. This gets a deep stretch on the leg muscles and activates a fuller range of motion. You can also try to go down the stairs two at a time as well. Hold on to the railing while attempting this, as it can be pretty challenging for a while.

Additionally, you can perform calf raises on each stair. Stand with your toes and the balls of your feet at the edge of a step with the rest of your feet hanging off, while you raise and lower your body as far as you can. Don’t forget to hold on to the railing for support.

4. Work on a Ball:

Use a Yoga/Swiss/Exercise ball as a desk chair, do abdominal exercises while working

While extremely comfortable, sitting still in a luxurious office chair while trying to get work done, can lead to performing at a slower pace and can cause decreased productivity. Additionally, some studies suggest that sitting all day can be potentially detrimental to your health.

By sitting on an inflatable ball, your body constantly makes little movements, exercising the legs, and abdominals. Furthermore, you can consciously perform abdominal and balance exercises to get a more intense work out.

Another great option is a standing desk. By using a taller desk and keeping on your feet for most of the day, the whole body has the opportunity to stay active while getting things done.

Establish a Routine:

The most important thing about these tips is to establish a daily routine, working in any or all of these exercises. The benefits of a routine are innumerable. A steady routine makes it easier to stick to these habits, and encourage a healthier lifestyle. By doing a little bit every day, you constantly reinforce small behavioral changes into a solid regimen which in turn produces greater gains.

Here’s what a sample day may look like:

7:00 AM
Wake up
Go downstairs (Two at a Time)
Drink water
Go upstairs (Calf Raises)
Go to the bathroom (Pull-ups)
Go downstairs (Two at a Time)
Drink Water

7:30 AM
Drink Water
Cook breakfast (Pushups)
Make tea (Pushups)
Go upstairs (Calf raises)
Brush my teeth and shower (Pull-ups)

8:00 AM
Go downstairs (Two at a Time)
Pack lunch
Go to work

6:00 PM
Arrive at home
Drink water
Cook Dinner (Pushups)
Make tea (Pushups)

7:00 PM
Go upstairs (Calf Raises)
Write, check email, read the news and blogs, get things done (Yoga Ball)
Continue drinking water, making tea, going the bathroom, along with the respective exercises

Good luck with your routine, and enjoy your new-found fitness.

** Just as a clarification, DO NOT attempt to do pull-ups on your shower curtain rod. This is dangerous. Get a pull-up bar for your door frame. Thank you. **

1 Comments on “Pull-ups in the Bathroom: 4 Little Ways to Keep Up Fitness”

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