Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Wait!.. Use body weight! Keep it minimal
A common complaint or a few variations of the same problem...
"I don't have time to make it to the gym"
"I work out of town" or "I travel a lot with work"
"I need childcare or I can't make the gym"
Well.. there's one simple solution for all of these folks - use your body weight! You don't always need endless amounts of fancy gym equipment!!!!
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of moves that you can do to burn calories, build lean muscle and work up a darn good sweat without the need for any fancy equipment. Add a few tiny pieces such as a swiss ball or barbell and the possibilities become endless!!!!..
Here are a few of the moves that I consider to be the top body weight moves!..
Lunges - these can be done with a number of variations, forwards, backwards, sideways, elevated leg, with additional weights or resistance bands, on an unstable surface such as a Bosu or wobble board
Squats - Try playing around with the stance width and depth of squat. If it's 100% body weight then try one-leg squats - these will make any person work, no matter the size of their wheels
Jump squats - probably not one for anyone who lives above their neighbours, but simply perform squats finishing with a jump, making sure to cushion the landing by bending your knees, which movement automatically leads into the next squat. Basically continuously umping and squatting - good drill!
Press ups - again variety is key. Try varying hand width, elevated feet to emphasise the upper chest and shoulders, one leg lifted to increase core engagement, doing them on your knuckles or perhaps with your hands on uneven surfaces such as one arm on the floor on on a small box
Renegade rows / renegade flys - these are usually performed with weights but with either a small weight or empty hand can still offer an effective workout as it engages a lot of core stability and stabilising muscle groups
Dips - You can perform these with your hands on the side of the bath, or a bed. Make them more difficult by varying the tempo, lifting alternate legs for each dip, placng your feet on something elevated or adding a weight to your lap
CORE / ABS...
Crunches - keep it basic. Crunches are one of the best ways to focus on the upper abs. Hold an object or weight to make it more difficult and hold it at the point where shoulders are highest off the ground for 3 seconds
Leg raises - great way to work your lower abs and add a little top up to the legs. Vary height of movement and speed
"Frogs" - a great way to hit your obliques - a personal favourite move of mine!
Mountain climbers - vary from knees coming inside your elbows, to the outside. Also try it on one leg at a time in a hop-style
"Up-downs" (you may refer to them as something else) - basically climbing from a plank position to a press up and back down, over, and over, and over, and over, and over again...
Burpees - We all hate them and they've been around donkey's years; but for a reason - they're good! VERY good!
These are JUST 9 of the man moves you could try. But imagine on those days where you can't justify a gym visit for half an hour. Or only have time for 30 minutes and not the commute and gym chat when you're there, a quick circuit like that below could be gone over 3 - 5 times. Why not time it and get competitive with yourself!?.. HELLO SWEAT!!!
- Alternate lunges x 30
- 12 x 1 leg squats
- Press ups - 45 seconds non-stop
- Renegade row x 12 each side
- Renegade flys x 12 each side
- 45 seconds dips, one leg off the floor
- Elevated leg lunges x 10 each leg
- Jump squats x 15
- Press ups - 30 seconds non-stop
- 45 seconds crunches
- 12 x leg raises
- 24 x frogs
- 1 minute rock climbers
- 1 minute "up-downs"
- 15 x burpees
Try it.. I dare ya!!
Here's a few more bodyweight exercise ideas...
If you have access to a play park, why not try something like this?..
I'm ALWAYS telling people that their body weight is a great yard stick for functional strength. For example, how many "big guys" would struggle to perform a good set of wide-grip chin ups followed by a set of full-range dips?... Quite a few I'd imagine.
In my opinion, your best piece of equipment is your body! If you can't manoeuvre your own body weight then you really have nothing to be showing off about!