You’ve slept in, missed your gym session or your on holiday with no access to a gym, what do you do? Simple, perform some body weight training exercises.
Exercises that use your own body weight as opposed to machines and free weights can be just as good if not more so to your body. A great aspect of body weight training is that you incorporate strength and mobility together, most of the time holding a free weight or bar you are usually very rigid, limiting movement and mobility.
The beauty of body weight training is that one joint can focus on the movement whist another joint can focus on mobility, thus increasing overall strength, mobility is important as it helps your joint flexibility day to day, extending the life of your joints and ligaments.
These five body weight exercises are some of the best your can do, they each come with an explanation as to why they benefit overall body strength . If you are a beginner, go through the exercises as a circuit, performing 10 reps on each, repeat the circuit three times, if you are more experienced then crush all the exercises to failure.
Start by lying on your back on the floor with your legs extended fully out in front of you and your arms straight in the air.
Roll your knees to your chest and then quickly push them up straight in the air, bring your legs back to the starting position using the same motion in reverse, this is one rep.
Many people doing traditional crunches end up doing ‘neck-ups’ leading to neck ache instead of working your abs like they are supposed to, this exercise makes it easier to stabilize your back and neck.
Begin with your feet together and then jump into a split squat with one leg in front of the other, do not do a single leg lunge, do both legs simultaneously.
Now jump back into a starting position, repeat this for 20 reps alternating which leg will drop in front.
This workout works your hamstrings, quads and glutes of the leg in front, plus it works the stretch reflex of your hamstrings. The weight of your body dropping will make you go down further than if you were doing a regular lunge.
Get your balance on one leg with your knee slightly bent and the hip slightly flexed. Your other leg should extend a little bit behind you at a 45 degree angle from the ground parallel with your body.
Extend your arms fully toward the ground with hands open and thumbs pointed up.
Now lift your arms skyward focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together to help the movement happen, lift as high as possible without extending the hips or falling over, hold your leg position and extend the arms.
This is a very core-centric exercise, by balancing on one leg you are getting your glute medius working, this is the muscle that keeps your body upright when walking or running, the dynamic aspect of this is also added by extending your arms to the v-position, this strengthens your postural muscles.
Start in a normal push up position, press up and when your arms become fully extended, rotate and kick your left leg underneath your body and out to the right hand side, repeat this with your right leg, alternate sides for a total of 10 reps a side, 20 reps total.
The rotation develops the oblique muscles whilst getting all the benefits of a regular push up, it also helps stretch the chest muscles.
Drop into a normal push up position, now jump into a squat position, follow that up with a small jump about 6 inches into the air. Finally drop into a squat and perform an explosive ‘tuck jump’ getting as high as possible and getting your knees as tight in as you can, this is one rep.
This will not only raise your heart rate, your also working your hamstrings trying to jump as high as possible, tucking your knees up works your core too.
Body weight training has proven effective as a workout time and again, next time you are away from home with no gym or don’t have the time to go then use these workouts to help you maintain.
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