3 Of My Favorite Bodyweight Exercises
I’m going to be honest with you here and tell you that I absolutely love bodyweight exercises and bodyweight workouts.
There are many, many reasons, but here are just a couple…
First, they’re just too damn good. Being able to move your own bodyweight, and do it well, is impressive. I’ve been a trainer for over a decade and a fitness enthusiast for nearly 20 years and there’s nothing more amazing (in the fitness world) than seeing someone able to move their own body through full ranges of motion and do amazing things (think gymnasts).
You can also do them pretty much anywhere. That’s one of the best things about bodyweight exercises and bodyweight workouts. All you need is yourself and some space, and not much space at that. Don’t have the money or desire to purchase equipment? You don’t have to.
Want to save your money rather than wasting it on a health club or gym? Awesome! You don’t need ‘em anyway!
I have my favorites, because to be totally honest some bodyweight exercises are better than others. For instance, a push-up is better than a crunch or sit-up and a squat is better than some type of leg lift thingie.
Here are a few of my favorite bodyweight exercises…
The chin-up is one of the best, yet most feared exercises because it is a true test of overall strength and fitness. It can be a humbling exercise, or in some cases make you feel like you’re the weakest, most out of shape goober in the world.
I’m not hatin’ because for years I couldn’t do chin-ups, or any variation thereof. I was the kid in school – from grade school all the way through high school – who couldn’t do one single chin-up and it sucked. The big kicker is that, while I didn’t weigh much, I always considered myself strong while in high school because I trained like a fiend…yet I couldn’t do a chin-up, so I avoided that damn bar like the plague.
Now I do them nearly every day and they are in every single workout program I design for myself, especially the ones where I spend a lot of workout time at home.
If you care about your strength and truly want to lose weight and get in better shape, or have a nicer set of arms, you absolutely have to do chin-ups.
What if you can’t do any? There are ways around that…
You can do “negative” only chin-ups where you get yourself into the top chin-up position and slowly lower yourself to the bottom – and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y. This will help strengthen the motion, and get your body used to doing the exercise. Every time you do this, always try to do at least 1 chin-up, and then go in to your set of Negatives.
You could also use the assistance of resistance tubing. Wrap a heavy duty tube around the bar and place the other end of the loop around your foot. This will give you a bit of assistance on the pulling portion. Once you can comfortably do 10, gradually decrease the level of assistance until you are able to do 5 or 6 on your own and then keep pounding them out until you get better.
Like I said, I do chin-ups virtually every day, whether I’m training in my studio or doing a workout from home and, while they still suck, I can do sets of 8-12 with relative ease and it’s pretty easy to advance someone from doing chin-ups to other variations to keep it fun like using a different grip, using rings or the Jungle Gym XT, adding resistance in the form of a weighted vest or weights, etc..
2. Jump Split Squat
Any good home workout program MUST have some explosive movement to keep the metabolism cranked and keep you breathing heavily and this exercise is awesome for that.
It’s basically a Stationary Lunge (or Split Squat), where you jump into the air between reps.
It’s a great exercise to add at the beginning of a workout to get the calorie-burning furnace stoked, at the end of a workout as a part of a “finisher” or even add it after doing a set of heavy lunges to really make you burn and swear.
If you are doing this from home, just make sure you are doing it in the basement or have sturdy floors otherwise you could shake the pictures off your wall or (if you live in an apartment) make your neighbors complain because of the stomping elephants living above.
3. Plank Extension
I love Plank Extensions because they add a little flavor to the boringness that is the plank. I’m sure you’ve been told hundreds and thousands of times that the Plank is a great exercise to do from home, and it is, but it gets really flippin’ boring.
Who in God’s name wants to maintain a Plank for 45 seconds or more? Not I, says Ed!
To do the Plank Extension, get into either a regular plank position or kneeling plank, and simply alternate extending your arms in front of you. Make sure you don’t rock – the only movement should be that of your arms extending in front of you.
Also make sure your stomach is braced throughout – keep it in and tight…don’t let it stick out.
Easy enough, right?
I guarantee you’ll see phenomenal results if you work those 3 bodyweight exercises into your home workout program. Not only will you lose weight, but your stomach will shrink, your core strength will shoot through the roof and you’ll be a stronger, more fit person all around.
A quality home-based workout program is not only possible, but in some cases better than a workout from a gym because you can move smoothly from exercise-to-exercise which cuts down on the overall workout time and keeps your metabolism revved.
If you’d like a sample home workout program using bodyweight exercises, click the link below:
That’s all I have for you today! Have an awesome day and I’ll talk to you soon!