Pack on muscle as you get rid of extra pounds by adding bodyweight training into your current workout regimen or use it as a fitness program on its own. The variety of exercises that can be done to hit all the major muscles groups without the use of weights or machines is endless.
The natural movement of bodyweight exercises makes it less painful on the joints and is an extremely effective way to build strength and pack on the muscle. This explains why gymnasts are one of the strongest elite athletes pound for pound.
All you need to get started is, a few simple body weight training exercises that focus on working the big muscle groups of the body. The workout can be as long as fifteen minutes to and hour and needs very little space and fitness equipment.
One of the benefits of a bodyweight workout is that you can do it outdoors or inside depending on your preference. A limited amount of equipment is required and the few basic pieces of exercise equipment cost very little money. Examples would be a pull up bar, jump rope, and maybe an abdominal wheel.
Let’s take a look at some of the body weight exercises we can do to target the upper body:
Pull ups – The go to exercise to have in your bodyweight training arsenal. This will build the lats better than any other exercise and will produce the V-shape symmetry that everyone strives for. You can hit all the areas of the back simply by changing your grip on the bar or shortening or widening the placement of your hands.
Push Ups – The main focal point is the area of the chest, but the shoulders and triceps will get a workout just the same. The pressing motion of the push up can be varied by adjusting the angle of the body or getting to the point of using just one arm to isolate one side of the body.
Dips- If you want big impressive arms then you need to work the three heads of the triceps. This bodyweight exercise is done on bars or sometimes rings to make it harder. Proper form will make sure you hit the triceps and not the muscles of the chest.
Focus your attention on the core muscles first. The stomach muscles are the base that holds the body together as one and it is a shame that many people skip working this group of muscles all together.
Planks – The plank exercise is a great way to build endurance in the abs and back, as well as the stabilizer muscles. Variations will have you turning on your side or using less limbs ( an arm or leg ) to make it progressively harder.
Crunches- These must be performed correctly to be effective. The chin should stay off the chest and pulling on the back of the head to lift the torso is wrong. Crunches should be done in a slow fluid motion with focus on the stomach staying tight threw the move.
Leg raises- Focus on the lower area of the abdomen wall and build functional strength at the same time. To make leg raises effective, make sure to avoid letting your hips doing most of the work. You will know if you are using your hips because it will cause stress and pain on the lower back.
To build the muscles of the legs, you need to really work them and focus on exercises that will also develop coordination and balance as well as muscle mass. Calve workouts should be involved in lower bodyweight training and they are a group of muscles that should be worked hard.
Squats – The fastest way to gain muscle and get stronger is by doing squats. When done correctly, the surrounding muscles of the knees will get stronger. Doing a full range of movement while doing a squat will build up the flexibility of the legs.
Lunges – This body weight exercise will incorporate the use of the muscles in the hips, glutes and thighs and changing the step can alter which areas of the legs are worked. It is important to not allow the knee to get over the toes when driving the hip forward and down.
Calves – Working the calves has more to do with functional strength than it does for appearance.
Strong calves come in all shapes and sizes but they must be worked hard. Simply by changing the direction the heel is pointed in will provide a way to work every area of the calf muscle.
Incorporate your bodyweight training regimen with some or all of these exercises and you will notice amazing results in a short period of time. Enhancing functional strength doesn’t require a lot of money or time and the benefits will be very rewarding.
Simple home gym ideas added into a home exercise program can increase home fitness in a short period of time.