Are you feeling a little flabby after the winter? Maybe you’ve been working out but want to change up your routine without breaking the bank. Skip the gym with its fees and sweaty bodies competing for machines.
Working out at home or on the go with bodyweight exercises is convenient, free, and will help you achieve your fitness goals. Building muscle mass and losing weight has never been so accessible with these proven bodyweight exercises.
1. Side to Side Push-Ups
Regular push-ups activate the core, upper arms, shoulders, and pecs. This side-to-side variation takes it one step further by adding controlled lateral motion to the exercise. Start in a plank position as if you were doing close-hand push-ups (with hands touching). Move your right hand out to the side and perform a push-up. Come back up, move your right hand back to the starting position, then move the left hand to the side and do another push-up. Continue this alternating side push-up for several repetitions.
Supersets are doing two or more exercises consecutively without breaks. This maximizes muscle development while giving you the benefit of calisthenics without having to go for that run. Superset exercises come in many varieties, and the options of customizing the workout are endless. A quick internet search will produce an infinite number of examples. Otherwise, feel free to combine two or three of your favorite bodyweight exercises. A basic workout consists of exercise one, followed by exercise two. Take a 1-2 minute break and repeat two more times. Your heart will be pumping!
With variants such as side squat, lungs, and mountain climbers, squats are an excellent way to build lower body muscle without equipment. Remember good form when performing these exercises. Keeping your knees in line with your feet and not overextending will protect your joints. These tend to get your heart rate up as well, making them a great addition to supersets.
These can be performed on a bench, chair, or even on the floor. Dips help build muscle in the upper arms. Good form slow, controlled movement is critical when doing dips. Start by sitting on the edge of a chair with your hands gripping the sides by your hips. Extend your legs straight out with your heels on the ground. Lower yourself down off the chair until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Then raise yourself back up for one repetition. Repeat 8-10 times for one set. Strive for the complete range of motion and get all the benefits from this exercise.
The plank and all its variations are an excellent way to target your abdominals. In its simplest form, the plank consists of holding the starting position of a push-up for a period of time. While it might sound easy, once you’re a minute into the exercise, you’ll be feeling it. The form is critical in getting the most out of the plank. Keep your back straight, head looking forward, and arms extended. Beginners can do a plank on their elbows or add some movement into the mix for a more intense burn.
6. Wall Sit
Another deceptively simple exercise is the wall sit. With your feet flat on the floor, brace your back on the wall and slide down until your knees are 90 degrees and over your toes. Hold this position for 60 seconds or as long as you can. This exercise will be sure to strengthen and tone your quads.
This traditional exercise is a staple in any workout routine. If you are worried about the strain on your lower back, you can easily modify the sit-up to a crunch. Alternatively, if you extra burn on those abs, supine bicycle or oblique crunches are the way to go.
Make Up Your Own…
The number of bodyweight exercises is endless and infinitely customizable. Since they don’t involve equipment or costly gym membership, it’s easy for anybody to incorporate into their daily workouts either at home or on the go. Be sure to practice good form and stay consistent with your routine, and you will soon see results.