For those of you that have trained and been coached by me before, you know how effective body weight workouts can be. “No time to get to the gym” is simply an excuse. While free weights and machines can certainly add to your athletic performance, you can still get a killer workout in when you can’t make it to the gym. Many of these “old school” body-weight exercises are still used as tests of muscular strength and endurance.
Body-Weight Workout Exercises
Pull-ups: You can build strength in your biceps, forearms and upper back by doing pull-ups., Explosive power on the way up and controlled motion on the way down is key. Also be sure to use full range of motion to get the best workout.
Push-ups: Push-ups target the pectoralis major and triceps muscles and even incorporate your core. Add variety to your push-ups by changing your hand position from extra wide to very narrow to target certain parts of the muscles. Using variations or tools like a medicine ball can give you a good workout.
Squats and Lunges: The squat is among the most effective lower-body exercises, as it incorporates most of the leg muscles. Starting with this large muscle group will get your heart pumping and get you warm fast.. Stand with feet at than shoulder width apart, contract abdominal muscles, bend knees and squat down while keeping back straight, as if you’re attempting to sit in a chair, until thighs are slightly past being parallel to the floor. Straighten legs and stand up to return to the starting position. When lunging be sure not to let your knee move forward from your toe, they should be aligned. Push back to the standing position using your heel not the ball of your foot.
Burpees: Also known as the “prison workout”. This exercise offers you a full-body strength and conditioning workout. Simply a squat thrust with a pushup at the bottom and a jump shot at the the end. Start with 3 sets of 25.
Core With many people on a never-ending quest for a flat stomach or six-pack abs, the key here is simply two things. First watch your diet, and the second to incorporate exercises that challenge your entire core not just your upper abs. Crunches, leg lifts, supermans and oblique crunches will hit your entire core.
To do crunches correctly, lie on back on floor, bend knees and keep feet flat on floor. Place hands behind head, elbows out to sides. Contract abdominal muscles and lift shoulder blades and upper back off floor. Do not raise middle and low back. Slowly lower head, neck and shoulders to floor.
Using these simple exercises as part of your body weight workouts will ensure your time spent training, is time well spent!
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