Check out the 9 Best Bodyweight Moves that you can perform right now with no weights or machines!
1) Squat The squat is one of the best bodyweight moves that you can perform. It incorporates your whole lower half of your body including your core. Recruiting more muscles is going to ultimately lead to getting stronger and burning more calories! The squat can be performed with many variations but a couple things should always be watched. First, keep your back straight, don’t hunch and roll forward. Second, keep a tight, solid core. Here is a great page explaining in detail about the benefits of squats and how to do them properly! —> NerdFitness Squats
2) Jumping Jacks Yes, I know, it’s like middle school all over again but this time you aren’t worried about being picked last! (If you’re still worried about not being picked, try these 10 Tips on How to Get Chosen for the Job). Ok, you’ve done jumping jacks before and you need to do them now. They are an easy way to get your heart rate going with low risk of injury. Try out these variations from Men’s Fitness.
3) Plank The plank is a fantastic move, or hold, for the core along with many other benefits. Of course it works your abs, but it also strengthens the back, the shoulders, quads, and glutes. (Pictured above) Start a plank by facing the ground and hold yourself up on just your toes, elbows and forearms. Hold your body still for 30-60 seconds. Rest and repeat. To challenge yourself more, try holding one foot off the ground, then next rep hold the other foot off the ground. You can also do single arm, and single leg/single arm, and side planks. Check out Women’s Health’s instruction and variations of the plank.
4) Pull Up/Chin Up The pull up and chin up are the ultimate definition of strength. It is your fight against gravity to simply pull your entire weight off the ground. They work your back muscles, your biceps, triceps, lats, deltoids (shoulders), and core. Working basically all of the muscles in your upper body has the benefits of gaining strength and burning fat! There are a few different hand positions and depending on which you choose, you will work different muscles. The standard pull up is the overhand wide grip. Start with arms straight and pull your chin up over the bar, then lower with control back to the start position. Master the Pull Up now with help from Men’s Health. The chin up has the reverse hand grip; palms facing you, about shoulder width apart. Pull your chin up and over the bar and lower with control. Here’s your comprehensive Chin Up guide.
5) Push Up The push up should be a staple in your workout regime. It is a great move to perform to hit your chest, arms, core and even shoulders. There are many variations to a push up; here is the basic set up. Start by laying in the prone position on your stomach, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and in line with your pectorals. With feet together and legs straight, slowly push your body up until the arms straighten, pause, then lower your body under control until your elbows go to a 90 degree angle; that’s one repetition. Be sure to keep a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and a solid core. No drooping and no raised butts! There are tons of different variations of the push up such as the close grip to put more emphasis on the arms, wider grip for more emphasis on the pectorals, and the pike push up for more shoulder action. Click here to watch a Declineand an Incline push-ups as well.
6) Mountain Climbers Knock out 60 seconds of these bad boys to boost your cardio and get that heart pumping! Start in the high push up position, arms straight, hands in line with the pectorals and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend the left leg and bring the left knee towards the left elbow, return to start position. Then bend your right leg, bring your right knee toward your right elbow and return to start position. Continue to alternate legs for the total time.
7) Burpee You’ve heard of them, you might have done one, but no doubt you’ve heard that people hate them. Well that’s because they are hard! Burpees are, in my opinion, one of the best fat burning, cardio kicking, explosive power building moves you can do! (Here’s what Art of Manliness has to say.) Start by standing up straight, squat down, hands go flat on the floor about a foot in-front of your feet at slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Jump both legs back into the high push up position. (Keep your core tight to ensure your body doesn’t droop.) Jump both legs back up to the squat position then return to the standing position. That’s one repetition. Some common additions to the burpee are to perform a push up each time you are jump back into the high push up position and add a squat jump on the way back to the start position. Check out what Body Building.com thinks about the burpee!
8) Lunge When performed correctly, the lunge is a great tool for your lower half and your core. The key is to use proper form: take a step forward, lunge down so that the front knee stays right above the heel while simultaneously bending the back knee towards the ground but don’t touch. Keep a solid core and chest up with a straight upper body, do not hunch over or lean forward. Think of the lunge as a step and then an “up-down” motion as opposed to a forward motion. Next, push through the front foot’s heel and into that glute to stand up while stepping forward. That’s one lunge. Continue with the other leg stepping forward and performing the same movements. Click here to watch a demonstration. Thanks Livestrong! You can also incorporate your arms by doing bicep dumbbell curls with each step of your lunge.
9) Sit-up/Reverse Sit-up There’s a reason this old school move is on the “best list”, it’s a great, classic move to help sculpt the forever coveted six pack! Targeting both your upper and lower abs, the sit up is performed by laying on the ground, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hands can be place either across your chest holding the opposite shoulder, or fingers interlocked behind your head. Keeping your feet on the ground, contract the abdominal muscles and raise your upper body off the ground, sitting up to form a V-like shape with your thighs and chest. Pause in this upper position, then slowly lower back down to the starting position. Repeat for the allotted number of repetitions. Variations include adding resistance to your upper body like weights or a band, and laying down at a declined angle with your feet locked into place. Try this great and FREE 200 Sit Up Program to help you get started! The reverse sit up is simply raising your lower half off the floor instead of your upper.
The best part of this list is that it can easily be turned into a whole strength and condition, fat burning workout routine! Perform numbers 1-3 back to back with little to no rest then rest for 60-90 seconds. Perform that circuit 3 times and then move on to numbers 4-6 together, and then 7-9 together with the same timing. Download an easy to read example of our Extreme Body Weight Workout HERE! Follow this for a month, 3 times a week and I promise you will be feeling better and have more energy!
BONUS! #10) Sprints Fat burning, explosive speed building sprints are a great way to add a little more heavy breathing cardio to your workout! It doesn’t have to be far, just fast. Flat ground, up a hill, on the beach, treadmill, or chasing down a purse snatcher; sprints are great for your legs and lungs. Thanks to About.com for this sports medicine write up; Get Fit Faster with Sprints!
For an added kick in your fat burning, add sprints in-between the circuits of this Extreme Body Weight Workout HERE!
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