Are you a bodybuilder looking to flex in front of judges? If not, weights are not a necessary attribute in your fitness journey. Sure having muscle is nice but there are many ways to look aesthetically appealing that doesn’t involve you going to a gym and pumping iron. I personally find that working out with just your body weight is much more fun and allows more creativity to flow through. The type of moves you should be doing most is ‘compound exercises’, primarily they use more than one muscle group and mainly are aimed at the larger muscles. With so many choices here we will discuss the best choices and why.
Squats! This Calisthenic power moved is one of the top praised moves for beginners and experienced people alike. Using some of the largest muscles in your legs and bum, it helps to burn some serious calories and tone up troubled areas. There are many variations of a squat, and you can perform them without any equipment or if you need you can use a chair to help you lower yourself down.
Lunge is the next exercise to include in your body weight training. Aiming to hit the same muscles a squat it also contributes to increasing your balance and hip stability. The other benefit of lunges over squats is it is a movement that increases functional mobility in later life. Getting into a street workout, you can use benches, steps or even the end of a children's slide at the park to increase the intensity!
Plank, easy as it looks it will make your abs burn! Holding this position either on your toes, knees or even on the side you will need to stabilize your body using your abs. The great things about this move are that while your abs work to support, your shoulders, precisely the trapezius (one of the largest muscles in the back) has to work to hold your body weight. Like the lunge, you can also use raised areas to increase the intensity of your plank.
The powerful push up is also easy to perform, so this is an exercise you can add. Using the pectoralis major and minor the two largest muscles in the chest, it also incorporates the triceps and back stabilizers. By using a raises surface for your arms will make the push up easier, raised feet to make it harder; this isn't the only way you can change your push up- by widening your hand placement you will engage more of your large pectorals, close hand placement will work the triceps more.
Now these are just some of the best exercises to include as they work for big muscle groups, but you can find some really effective body weight exercises. You can do a street workout actually to improve your fitness, it's free, and it's easy to get started with.
- Tricep dips
- Step ups
- Sit ups
- Wall sits
- Pull ups
- Handstand Holds
There are countless variations of these exercises and it is up to you to get creative with it!
As a beginner, you will see the benefits in body weight exercises fair quick and you can always increase the intensity with speed, variations of the exercise or trying new exercise to improve your fitness.
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