No Bar, No Problem!: 4 Exercises With JUST A Bumper Plate

by Vikki Schembri
No Bar, No Problem!: 4 Exercises With JUST A Bumper Plate

Building your home gym can be expensive. Even with prices as affordable as ours, stuff adds up quick! But thankfully, with versatile equipment and a touch of creativity, you can do endless number of exercises -- even if you don’t have all the equipment you want just yet!

Take our Bumper Plates, for example. Even if you don’t have a barbell (yet!), these Plates will be an incredible tool to add to your fitness toolkit!

I’m going to tell you about 6 different moves you can do with our bumper plates – plus a workout that incorporates them! – that will give you a full body buurrrrrrn. Oh yea, it’s gonna hurt so goooood!

1. Pinch Grip Row

Did you know you can do rows with and without a barbell? AND, when you work with Bumper Plates, you give your Grip and Forearms an extra challenge – did you know?!

Well now, you do!

Pinch Grip RowPinch Grip Row

Back (the latissimus dorsi and rhomboids), abdominal and lower back muscles, forarms, triceps, and biceps!

How to do this exercise:

  • Get yourself into a stable stance: start with your feet hip distance apart and from there, step one foot forward. Slightly bend your knees.
  • Keep your core engaged, shoulders pulled back, and your back in a neutral position. Bend at your hips to allow your torso to move down slightly, so your chest is angled towards the floor. This will put you in the Bent Over Row position.
  • Pick up the plate using a pinch grip at the top. You will be performing the Row on the same side as the foot that is further back, so hold the plate in that hand. Start with your arm fully extended, but don’t let your shoulder come forward – keep your lats engaged!
  • Pull the plate towards your body in a straight line towards your armpits.
  • When your upper arm becomes parallel with the floor, pause, then start lowering the plate back towards the floor until your arm is fully extended.
  • Perform 10-15 reps. Then stand up from the bent-over position and do the same thing on the other side!

2. Overhead Lunges

Lunges suck. Overhead lunges suck even more. Which is why you should totally do them!


Core, quads, glutes, traps, hamstrings, hip flexors

How to do this exercise:

  • Hold your bumper plate at 9 and 3 o’clock and press it over head. Keep your elbows locked out and shoulders engaged by thinking about brining them up to your ears.
  • Your feet will be just outside hip-width
  • Keep the bumper plate and arms in this position and take a long step forward with one leg, and allow the knee on the other leg to descend down to the floor. Your forward leg should be positioned with your knee at a 90-degree angle and your knee should be over your foot. For your other leg, your knee will touch the ground and your back-foot’s heel will be off the ground.
  • Once your back knee touches the ground, drive up using the front leg and return to starting position.
  • Alternate between legs until you have done 10-20 reps with each leg.

Overhead LungesOverhead Lunges

3. Plyo Plate Push Up

Push-ups can get boring after a while. You go down, you push up, you go down… WE GET IT!

But what if I told you EXPLOSIVE PUSH UPS WHERE A THING! Cool guys don’t look at explosions, but I bet you they do explosive plyo push ups! That’s what makes them SO COOL!

Plyo Plate Push UpPlyo Plate Push Up


Pectorals, deltoids, triceps

How to do this exercise:

  • Get on all fours with your feet slightly apart, your body straight from head to heels, and your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders. Your hands will begin on either side of the bumper plate, and the plate will be directly under your chest.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked towards your body (i.e. don’t chicken wing!), lower your torso until your chest touches the plate. Squeeze your glutes (i.e. your butt) and brace your core throughout to keep your body positioned in a straight line.
  • From this bottom position, push up with a lot of force! You will “jump” off the ground and land with your hands on the plate. Land softly at the top of a narrow-grip push-up.
  • Complete a narrow grip push-up. Push off the plate to “jump” into the starting position. Go right into your next rep
  • Complete 8-10 reps (i.e. 1 rep = 1 regular and 1 narrow grip pushup)

4. Standing Twists

Get your obliques in the game! It’s like the Bend and Snap… but instead, the Stand and Twist! Works every time!


Obliques, Spinal Erectors, Abdominals, Shoulders, Arms, Upper Back

How to do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet at hip width. Hold the weight at 9 and 3 o’clock and straighten your arms so the weight is in front of you and in line with your chest.
  • Without letting the weight lower, pivot on your right foot and rotate the plate and your torso to the left. Try not to swing in that direction using your arms; but rather, pull yourself over with your abdominal muscles.
  • When you have reached as far left as you can go, go back towards the right. Pivot on your left foot and twist towards your right side.
  • Complete 20-30 reps
Standing Twists Standing Twists

BONUS! WORKOUTS!: Bringing it all together

Now that you know how to do each individual movement, how about we put em together to make a workout??

Grab a plate and get after those gains! Each of these workouts only requires a bumper plate!

Workout 1: Ta-bumper-ata
4 x 8-round Tabatas, one immediately after the other
*Note: 1 round of Tabata is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest*
Tabata 1: Plyo-plate push ups
Tabata 2: Air squats
Tabata 3: Plank with Shoulder Taps
Tabata 4: Overhead Lunges with Plate

Workout 2: Bumper Cars
12 min AMRAP:
10 standing twists
10 pinch grip rows (per side)
10 overhead lunges (per side)
10 plyo pushups

Workout 3: Beach Ready
4 rounds:
20 Pinch Grip Rows
10 Plyo Push-ups
400 M run

Complete 5 rounds of:
15 standing twists
15 sec Plate hold overhead
10 pinch grip rows per side
15 sec Plate hold in front of body
10 overhead lunges per side
**Must not put the plate down until the full round is completed
**If Plate is dropped, must complete 15 burpees
Rest as needed between rounds

Whew! Who knew you could do so much with just a bumper plate -- am I right? Have fun doing these workouts this week. I’d love to hear what your favorite bumper plate-only exercises are!  Comment below! 😊

Or better yet, take pictures during your awesome Bumper Plate workouts, upload ‘em to Instagram, tag @synergeefit, and you will be featured on our website!

Until next week, Athletes!