Sometimes you don’t need fancy equipment to train, especially when you embody everything you need for a great workout!
In this article we explore the toughest, most durable piece of equipment you can invest in – yourself!
The benefits of bodyweight exercises
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Even though there is no other equipment involved, you are still able to burn fat, work up a sweat and train well using just your body. It allows for a break from normal weight training routines as well as offering an opportunity to check and correct technique as well.
If you feel time isn’t on your side, then bodyweight training is perfect for squeezing in some training.
The trick with bodyweight exercises is to aim to do as many repetitions as possible in the amount of time given or to limit the amount of rest in between the different exercises.
Combines elements of strength and cardio
If you are looking to improve your general fitness, bodyweight training combines strength training and cardio to form a perfect blend of whole body fitness training. The higher amount of repetitions means your body utilises multiple energy sources to get the work done.
Bodyweight training is a great introduction to training and is great for fat burning! It is also a chance to watch your form and technique which can be hard when you’re lifting heavier weights.
The minimal rest combined with time based exercise or high repetitions means your heart rate stays high and your body keeps moving!
Use bodyweight training to split up your normal routine or use it as a new challenge.
With such a flexible structure, you can focus on whole body, upper body, lower body or core in one workout whilst improving both strength and aerobic fitness.
It can help when you may be getting bored with your normal routine or if you are finding that you have reached a plateau in your current training. With so many ways to perform exercises, there is always something new to learn.
Improve flexibility and tightness in muscles
Weight training can often lead to tightness in most muscles, with many seeing loss of flexibility in areas such as hamstring and quads.
Bodyweight exercise enables a chance to improve your range of movement through certain exercises and allows the muscles a break from the tension held when using heavier weights.
Bodyweight training can be done anywhere and is the cheapest option due to no equipment being needed!
You can train at home, in a local park, join a group fitness class or simply use this as a quick lunchtime session.
Six best bodyweight exercises
1. Push ups
Everyone’s favourite chest exercise! Start on your knees first and aim to get your chest close to the ground, aiming for good range of movement through the chest and shoulders.
Body weight squats are a great compound, cardio workout. Aim for parallel squats or half squats to limit pressure through the knees. If you’re up for a challenge, try a wall sit by having your back against a wall whilst holding the squat position for 1 minute.
If you have a bench or stairs then you can do dips! A great bodyweight exercise which works your triceps. Have your knees at 90 degrees, aiming to keep your back close to the bench. If wanting an extra challenge, do dips straight after push ups for a more upper body focused workout.
4. Ice Skater/ Side Lunges
This is a great variation of a lunge and is a great leg workout. It can also aid flexibility and balance and can be made more of a challenge when placing this exercise after squats.
5. Bear Crawl
A boot camp favourite, it’s always fun to throw this in between some of the main exercises. Using both upper body and lower body strength, aim to keep your hips low when doing the bear crawl.
6. Crab walk
An alternate to the bear crawl is the crab walk. This one will certainly test your muscles along with your coordination and balance!
Connect with Expert Lisa Dunn.