Bodyweight exercises are an important part of your exercise routine because they assist in skeletal development through the usage of the body’s stabilisation muscles. They are a fantastic way to tone all aspects of the body’s muscular structure. Body weight exercises are a great way to warm up or to end a resistance session. After your resistance session, try incorporating 3 of these bodyweight exercises.
The plank works the core but actually trains every muscle in the body. It’s great for activating and training the stabilisation muscles all over the body. To perform a plank, rest on your elbows with your forearms flat. Lift your body up with your toes and keep your back horizontal and straight. Try holding the plank for 60 seconds then add on time as you improve.
Press-ups (Various angles)
Press-ups are really good for emphasising all the aspects of the upper body when done from different angles and can prioritise different areas. Incline press-ups are great for targeting the lower chest where as diamond press-ups are fantastic for prioritising the middle of the chest and the triceps. Incline press-ups can be done with the hands on a bench, whereas decline press-ups can be done with the feet on a bench and target the shoulders nicely. Clap press-ups are also a great addition for developing explosive power – try the different variations on your chest workouts or simply as part of a full body routine to target the body in unorthodox ways and boost your training results.
Squats are a staple favourite exercise due to the fact they target every aspect of the lower body – the beauty of the exercise is that it can be performed in so many different ways that, much like press ups, they’ll all place a particular emphasis on slightly different areas. Standard squats will simply help tone and develop the endurance in every area of the lower body, but by altering the foot position and turning the feet out whilst adopting a slightly wider stance, the squat then targets the glutes and outer quadriceps more which will help develop a firmer, toned rear end. Then there are squat jumps, pop squats, alien squats and even tuck jumps that help to develop anaerobic fitness whilst working the muscles into overdrive and targeting various areas of the leg in the process. The key is variety – throw in these variants on leg day or as part of home based cardio workouts and attempt a couple of different variants for each session to make sure your legs are always challenged.
The pull up is widely regarded as being the king of upper body exercises and the measure of superior upper body strength – the truth is that it is simply a great exercises for all aspects of the back of the upper body. As with any exercise, the pull up can be performed with several different grip alternations that will all assist in targeting slightly different areas of the back, biceps and forearms. The traditional palm facing in chin up is great for developing the middle of the back and biceps, whilst the harder overhand pull up will help develop the lat muscles and create a “wing” like shape to the upper body. Other variants like the muscle up and around the world style pull ups challenge the shoulder girdles as much as the back infrastructure. These are incredibly easy to do at home with a simple pull up bar – these can be attached to any door way or wall and can help totally transform the body. Invest in pull-ups and they’ll deliver a potent return!
You can complete these bodyweight exercises in a circuit or you can add on a few of them after your cardio workout or resistance workout. The beauty of these is that there is no set or strict routine way to do them.