When you think of beginning a workout routine, the thought of visiting a gym and paying a membership fee might be a turnoff. There are inexpensive ways to start a workout routine without ever visiting the gym if you don’t want to. Your body all by itself is a workout machine. This article will show you ways to utilise your body weight to burn fat, tone muscles and stay fit.
What are bodyweight exercises?
Body weight exercises leverage the body’s weight to provide resistance against gravity and enhance the five biomotor abilities that affect body movements – strength, power endurance and coordination. Body weight exercises are often done without equipment, but occasionally, a resistance band, dumbbells, a bar or chairs are used to support an exercise. Body weight exercises apply resistance to the muscles they engage at a high intensity which inturn invokes muscle overload. The muscles adapt to the weight you move with them and become bigger and stronger.
Calisthenics vs plyometrics
Body weight exercises may fall between these two categories.Calisthenics and plyometrics both use the body weight and require no equipment. The difference is in their impact. Calisthenics improves basic strength and movement with a lesser impact while plyometrics combines basic movements with jumping and rapid movements and agility training, and gives a higher impact. Both routines help you stay in shape and fit without a need for a gym. For starters, calisthenics are simpler to lay the foundation for more advanced exercise. Both are bodyweight exercises that help to build the chest, shoulders, back, abs, legs, biceps and triceps.
Are bodyweight exercises effective? Dr Edward M.D of Mayo Clinic gives an affirmative answer. According to him, they are effective for strength training and are a good addition to your fitness program.
Advantages of body weight exercises
Body weight exercises have the following benefits.
- They make the heart pump and can help build muscles.
- They help your flexibility and boost your performance and enhance strength and stability.
- If fat worries you, rest assured that bodyweight exercises burn them.
- They are absolutely free because you need only your body to get started.
- They are convenient. You don’t have to leave your house and it can be done anywhere.
- Compound movements engage several joints and muscles.
- You don’t need any exercising machine. Household items work fine with weight exercises.
Examples of Bodyweight Exercises
Wall sit activates all the groups of muscles in the lower body. It helps to increase your muscular endurance and enhance stability.
Rest your back to the wall while standing and slowly slide your back down to a sitting position. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your knees should be directly above your ankles. Stay in that position for 60 secs. And keep your back straight all the while.
Your upper and lower body benefits from a tuck jump. It activates muscles in the legs, core, quads and glutes and strengthens the body. It is a good way to spice your work out.
This is a powerful plyometric workout for your abs and thighs. The jumping feature gives an additional cardio benefit.
Bend your knees slightly while you stand, then jump up as high as you can.
When you jump, your knees should move toward your chest while your arms extend straight out.Descend with your knees slightly bent.
Squats simultaneously activate several muscles in the upper and lower body. Squats improve your overall physical activities and reduce your risk of injury when going about them.
- Take a sitting position without a chair – do this on the air.
- Your thighs stay parallel to the ground.
- Stand up on your feet by driving through your heels.
- Squeeze your butt and tighten your core as you stand.
Your core, glutes and hamstring are engaged with reverse lunges. They help your leg’s stability
Stand upright, with arms akimbo (hands by your hips and elbows pointed outwards). Take your left foot backwards and lower your hips so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor. By now your left knee is bent at a 90-degree angle almost touching the floor.Press your right heel into the floor and bring the left leg forward to return to a standing position.Repeat on the other side.
Skater hops improve leg power. It is a full-body workout that gives the body balance.
- Move to the left and squat slightly, then jump to the far right.
- Try to land on your right foot without putting your left foot down, keep it hanging in the air.
- Jump across to your right and land on your left foot this time round without putting your right foot down. Keep alternating like that.
Pull ups are strength training for the upper body. It improves the back muscles, arm and shoulder muscles and improves grip strength.
You need a pull up bar for this exercise. Hang on a pull up bar by placing your palm over them to grip the bar. With your body fully extended pull yourself up until you find your chin above the bar
Donkey whips burn fat by tightening up the muscles. It enhances stability. They also engage the core and shoulder muscles, as your entire body has to remain stable while you lift your leg..
Stand on your knees and arms. Lift your right leg, and extend it behind you. Swing them to the right side and then back to center.Repeat on the other side.
Push ups help to build your upper body strengths. They activate the pectoral muscles, triceps, and shoulders. They likewise strengthen the lower back and core by pulling in the abdominal muscles.
Stay in a plank position. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up. Repeat process.
Y raise is an upper body exercise that helps the posture and strength of your upper back and shoulders. You can add dumbbells to serve as a load and make it a bit harder.
Start by lying facedown on the floor. Extend your arms forward with your thumbs facing you. Make sure your arms are spread to the sides to give a Y shape. Raise both arms up while your other parts stay completely still. Keep them up for a while before lowering them back to the floor. Repeat hand raising several times.
It’s a full body weight exercise that strengthens the heart and lungs.
It begins in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Extend your feet back to a push-up position. Do one push-up, and return your feet to the squat position. Then, jump up as high as possible, return back to squatting and repeat the other processes.
Prone walkout is a full body workout that targets the abdomen. It strengthens the core and shoulder. You do this exercise by placing your body weight on your hands and allowing them to do the walking.
Start on all fours with your core braced. Walk your hand forward in a slow movement without moving your toes. Then walk them backwards to where they started from. Do this slowly to maintain stability and balance.
With body weight exercises, there are no excuses why you shouldn’t start working out. Doing body weight exercises twice a week isn’t bad for a start. But if your goal is to reduce body mass and burn some fat, you see better results if you increase your workout frequency. You can support your workout efforts with weight loss medications that can help you achieve a calorie deficit.
About the Author
Article made possible by Amaka. Amaka is a content strategist at ofzoey.com. She has been working in social media and content marketing for five years. She specializes in the health, tech, innovation, and travel sectors. When she is not writing, you will find her teaching math, and trying new recipes and reading books.