After yesterday’s Part 1 WatchFit Expert Polly Hale continues here with more superb bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.
It’s a misunderstanding that you need to do 100’s of targeted core exercises like sit ups and crunches to get abs. In fact most exercises, especially full body compound exercises, will use the core to some extent to stabilise the body, keep you in position and prevent you from toppling over!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
If it’s visible abs you’re after, diet plays an important part as you’ll need to reduce body fat levels through eating a caloric deficit to be able to see the 6 pack you’ve developed. That being said, core exercises do work, and will help build the 6 pack muscles as well as surrounding and back muscles that help stabilise your spine and prevent back injuries.
Oblique Twists – Basically a sit up with a twist, targeting the muscles at the side of your waist. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor, hands behind your head. Lift your upper body and twist left so that your right elbow is pointing towards your left knee. Lower and repeat on the other side.
Plank – Lie on your front, legs out behind you, feet hip width apart, and place your hands under your shoulders. Raise your entire body up, so that it stays straight, keeping your forearms on the ground. Engage the whole body but especially the core, so that you don’t sag at the middle.
Swimmers – Lie on your front, legs straight behind you and arms stretched out front. Raise your arms and legs off the ground, keeping your neck aligned with your spine. Both arms and legs pulse at the same time but opposite sides, so one arm will be up while the other is down, hence the ‘swimming’ name.
Cardiovascular exercise is good for getting your heart rate up, working your lungs, and improving stamina. But you don’t have to leave the house for a run or spend hours on the treadmill.
As long as you can feel your body temperature rising, your heart beating faster and your lungs working harder to get air in, you’ll be getting all the benefits of cardiovascular exercise from the comfort of your home or garden.
Burpees – The burpee is a series of smaller movements which create one exercise move when done quickly in sequence. Start in a neutral standing position. Crouch down and put your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump backwards to a push up position and do a push up. Jump forward, placing your feet behind your hands, before jumping in the air and landing and going straight into the next burpee if you can.
Tuck Jumps – Stand in a neutral position. Bend the knees then jump with enough force and power to bring your knees as high as you can to your chest before landing, bending the knees slightly as you land. Repeat.
Mountain Climbers – Place both hands and feet on the floor, facing down, as if in the starting position for a race but both feet are back behind you. ‘Run’ by bringing one knee forward at a time at speed, then quickly switching to the other knee coming forward.
I recommend setting a timer for 20 minutes, choosing an exercise for each body part, and doing a minute of each, then repeating – totalling 4 minutes x 5 sets, with 30-60 seconds rest between each exercise. Remember to warm up and cool down properly too.
There are literally 100’s of bodyweight exercise possibilities and many variations, progressions and regressions for each one.
But this list of bodyweight exercises should provide you with enough ideas to be able to get started working out from home, on holiday, or when all the equipment is being used at the gym.
Give these exercises a go and be amazed at how effective they can be when you put enough effort into them.
Which are your favourite bodyweight exercises? Let me know in the comments box below!
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