Body Weight Workouts
Body Weight Workout: Introduction – By Scott Keppel
These next series of articles are going to explore several cardio vascular and strength exercises one can do with just their own body weight as well as discuss the many benefits exercising with your own weight offers.
Before listing some of the most common cardio and strength exercise, let’s look at the benefits of body weight exercises.
- Quick and Efficient. You do not need to worry about switching weights or someone getting on the equipment you want to use if you are at a gym.
- Cheap-It’s you, no extra cost! You do not need to join a gym, buy equipment, purchase a video, etc…
- Not much space needed. You just need enough space to do pushups, crunches, squats, etc… You do not have to worry about cleaning out an entire room or having a home gym if you do not want one.
- Great for self confidence! Being able to push your own weight up, pulling yourself up, perform crunches, squats, etc… empower you and help you to build strength and muscle endurance.
- Safe- While one can injure themselves doing an form of exercise (always consult a physician before starting an exercise program) do to the fact you are not adding any more weight to your joints then your own it is less likely you will lift too heavy and pull or tear something.
The first part of our series on using your own body weight to exercise explored the benefits exercising with your own weight offers. Part two is going to discuss how one can manipulate the exercises to make them more challenging without adding any weight.
Based on one’s goals will determine how many sets one should perform as well as reps. If your goal is to lose weight incorporate more calisthenics and cardio throughout the workout to keep the heart rate elevated. If you are looking to build strength, complete less reps and rest more in between sets. If the exercises are too easy, you can use one arm (one arm pushups, one arm pull-ups, etc…) or one leg (Bulgarian squats, 1 leg squats, etc…) to make them more challenging. You can also manipulate the tempo of the movement. The slower you go the harder it will be as you are putting more time under tension. You can also work your fast twitch muscle fibers by implementing plyometrics. As you can see there are a number of ways to manipulate your own weight to make a workout challenging, safe, effective, and cheap. I do recommend you consult with a certified personal trainer if you are unaware of the proper form on any exercise and/or if you do not know how to manipulate the following exercises to achieve your fitness goal(s).
In this the 3rd and final article in our series of 3 dealing with both cardiovascular and strength training exercises that can done using just your body weight I will list some of the most common exercises that can be done, keep in mind there are many more you can do.
Video & Photo Links Coming Soon!
- Close grip Push- ups
- Wide grip Push- ups
- Push-ups with feet elevated
- 1-Arm Push- ups
- “Plyo” Push- ups
- Pushups into Side Plank rotation
- Chair dips
- Pull-ups, chin ups
- Neutral grip Pull-ups
- 1-Arm Pull-ups
- Negatives for any of the previously listed
- Double crunches
- Cross one leg over crunch and twist
- Bicycle kicks
- Feet in the air and crunch
- Pelvic raises
- Superman’s on all 4’s opposite arm and leg raises
- Hip thrusts
- Leg raises
- Plie squats
- Side lunges
- Walking lunges
- Reverse lunges
- 1 leg Dead Lifts
- Donkey kicks
- Seated, straight single leg raises
- Squats to Side Kicks
- Lunge to Side Kick
- Laying Abductor Lifts (on your side, pull leg that’s on floor up)
- Laying Adductor Lifts (on your side, raise top leg)
- Step ups
- Jumping Jacks
- Side Step ups