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5 Bodyweight Exercises To Maximize Your Fitness

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We’re big fans of the “no gym, no problem!” mentality, and with these 5 bodyweight exercises, you can get fit and challenge yourself like never before. This was originally published on Zen Labs Fitness, makers of C25K.

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Want to liven up a stale fitness plan and see better results? Or get started on a fitness plan and make sure that you get off to a proper start and see the progress you are hoping for?

But, the catch is, you don’t want to visit a gym.

You might wonder whether this is all possible. Can you really get fit in the comfort of your own home?

With the following five bodyweight exercises, you definitely can.  Your body weight can be a very challenging load to be moving when you’re doing the right movement patterns, so let’s walk you through five great exercises to make sure you add to your fitness routine.

If these aren’t in place yet, now’s the time to get them there.

Related post: Mad Minute Bodyweight Workout

Push-Ups

First, few exercises will hit the upper body like the push-up will. Working the chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and core to a small degree, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

Just remember as you do it that you must lower yourself all the way down to the ground in order to see full results.  A part-way push-up doesn’t count. If you don’t use the full range of motion, you won’t get full results.  Simple as that.

With so many advanced push-up variations you can do, this one is also perfect as your fitness level progresses.  Try triangle push-ups, incline push-ups, decline push-ups, spiderman push-ups, or try out the Push-Ups Trainer for complete workouts doing this movement.

Pull-Ups

After you’ve finished off your push-ups, next you should be getting into place some pull-ups. These will work the opposing muscles that you hit with the push-ups including the lats, back, and biceps.  Perfect for rounding out that physique.

Like the push-ups, make sure that you come all the way up to the bar while doing these and perform them in as slow and controlled movement pattern as possible to avoid shorting yourself of results.

Try different variations for added difficulty.

Squats

When it comes to lower body moves, the squat must be in the picture. No other exercise is going to challenge your body as well as this one, and it’ll hit the glutes, hamstrings, quads, as well as calves. It’s a complete lower body move all in one.

When doing squats, the biggest point to remember is to go all the way down so your bum is as close to the ground as possible. This will help you get maximum glute activation, which is what you need to see the shaping effects you’re after.

If you’re feeling like a challenge, either try single leg squats, or take part in the 200 Squats Challenge. It’ll push your limit to the max.

Burpees

For cardio benefits as well as total body strengthening, turn to the burpee. The burpee can either be performed on its own or while doing other exercises as well and is a perfect way to help boost your overall fitness level.

It’ll crank up the calorie burn as it is a full body movement with lowering yourself down and then pressing back up to jump up as high as possible.

When landing, make sure your knees move over the toes to avoid knee pain development. In addition to that, also make sure that you’re on a well-cushioned surface while doing these so that the impact upon landing isn’t as great on the body.

The Plank

Finally, last but not least, consider trying out the plank move. This one is great to do in conjunction with the 200 sit-ups challenge and will help you strengthen the entire core region.

There are also many different variations of the plank exercise you can do including single leg planks, spiderman planks, planks with the feet or hands on an exercise ball, or side planks to hit the oblique muscles.

Just be sure as you attempt any of these variations that if you ever start to move out of proper form, you immediately stop until you can do it again using good form.

Form is an absolute must when doing this movement.

So there you have the top five bodyweight activities to start doing as part of your fitness plan.  Aim to do these three times per week, hitting 20-30 reps of each (or building up to there), and you will be seeing great results shortly.

Do you have any other bodyweight activities you’d add to this list? Which are your favorite bodyweight moves to do?

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