Six bodyweight exercises to help hit your fitness goals9 March 2021
Keeping fit doesn’t mean complicated exercises and hours in the gym. Though we all love being in the gym, you don’t have to spend hours and hours on the squat rack or bench press to keep your body in shape. All you need to keep your body in tip-top condition is…your body.
With a bodyweight workout you can hit all major parts of your body without weights and if you work out for a good 45 minutes and are constantly moving it will increase your metabolic rate and burn that fat. So, let’s share some key bodyweight exercises and get those muscles pumped!
The most common movement that people do when doing bodyweight, but also it is the most common movement people do wrong. A press-up is not a press-up if you don’t go chest to the floor. The number of times we have seen gym goers only going partially down to the floor and hovering above the ground – well it is a lot!
Get into the press-up position by getting on your hands and toes. Ensure that your hands and positioned underneath your shoulders and keep your body straight. Your toes should also be in line with your shoulders too.
Keep your core straight – no snaking – and lock in your abs in tight. Lower your body to touch the floors and then explosively drive your body up fully extending your arms.
Depending on your strength you can change the rep scheme to suit. A good starting point is to do 5 sets of 10, with a 30 second rest in between. If you feel stronger go up to 15/20/25 etc.
Or if you really want to challenge yourself do a 100 press-up challenge. Don’t worry you don’t need to rep out 100 in one go, chip away at it until you hit the 100 mark. Great way to keep you focussed.
This is an effective exercise, especially if you want to tone your legs and help keep your strength, plus a great way to raise your heartbeat too.
Simply stand upright and plant one foot straight out in front of you and lower the knee on the other leg to the floor, then stand back up. Make sure the knee touches the floor to ensure a range of motion. Then alternate with the other foot and so on and so on. You can feel this out, depending on how tall you are, but it good to lunge out about 2 feet to ensure you can get the depth. Remembering to stand tall at all times.
Pick a number to aim for. But 15 reps on each leg ( 30 in total ) is a good number to reach for. Then rest 30 seconds and go again.
3 Jumping lunges
Following on from the above. Jumping lunges are a great way to give your legs a real burn. Especially following a set of lunges if you really want to push yourself.
The movement is simple, but trust us, they will slowly creep up on you and your legs will be on fire before you know it.
Start in a squat position and drive up and jump, then land back in the squat position and go again.
If you can manage 20 reps of this, you are doing well! This exercise starts off easy, but slowly creeps up on you, Great for overall leg strength and cardio, so keep at it and enjoy the burn.
A more intense version of sit ups, this exercise will really have an impact on your abs.
Lie down on your back with your arms and legs outstretched, with your hands and feet hovering just about the floor.
Then in a ‘snap’ movement, quickly bring your legs and torso up and touch your feet. If you are not that flexible, then aim for your knees.
If you want to increase the intensity, once you have touched your feet then lower yourself back into your starting position counting to five.
15 reps over 5 sets will have your abs popping out in no time.
When anyone mentions burpees in a workout, there is usually a groan let out around the gym floor. Yet this may be the most hated movement, yet it is the most effective full body exercise. It is basically a squat, press up and a jump.
Start with your feet shoulder with apart and squat down, then place your hands on the floor and kick out your legs behind and drop into a press up position. Then reverse it. Pull your legs in under your body and push yourself up and then jump up as high as you can.
This is an amazing calorie burning exercise that attacks almost every muscle group in the body.
If you can do 15-20 reps wait 30 seconds then go again for 5 sets – you’re doing good.
6 Wall Walks
Great for the shoulders and your posterior chain but can be a little challenging. Position yourself lying flat on your floor with your feet against the wall that you are effectively going to climb up.
Now, move yourself backwards towards the wall and using your bodyweight, start to slowly walk up the wall. As you do, keep your abs tight and keep your body in a straight line. The end should see you performing a handstand position against the wall, with your nose a few inches away from the wall. If you can, hold for a few seconds, then slowly ‘walk’ back down the wall to end up back laying down on the floor.
So, there you have it. Fitness doesn’t have to be all about how much you can lift, it is about challenging yourself with a mixture of exercises. All the above movements don’t require any equipment, just dedication, and are perfect for those of us who are time pressured and can always fit the gym in but still want to achieve their fitness goals.
Fit these into your exercise routine and you’ll see gains in no time.
Now, go and get yourself ready for a bodyweight blast!