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Bodyweight exercises are all you need to sculpt an impressive physique. There goes your excuse about not having any equipment to work out with. Don’t say you don’t have enough time either; you can finish up a bodyweight workout in less than 10 minutes.
Bodyweight exercises have been around for millennia. Lifting weights has arguably become more popular in the last century, and it has some benefits over bodyweight exercises like being more efficient at building mass and bone density.
Still, bodyweight exercises can help you get similar results over time, and our understanding of them has gotten better over the years, allowing us to get more out of them. Bodyweight exercises are still the standard when it comes to getting people into shape. From elite military units like the Navy Seals to professional mixed martial arts fighters, bodyweight exercises still make up a considerable portion of their fitness routines.
Bodyweight exercises that will make you stronger
Bodyweight exercises help to build functional strength and endurance. It provides all the exercise you need to keep your body in tip-top condition, and it can complement your weight training routine to take your training to the next level. Here are seven bodyweight exercises that will help you to build a stronger body:
Push-ups target the muscles in your upper body like your chest, triceps, and shoulders. The exercise helps to strengthen these muscles, and there are various ways to modify it to make it more challenging as your endurance improves.
Here’s how to perform a push-up:
- Start in a plank position. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your elbows close to your body and your back straight. You should be able to draw a straight line from the top of your head to your feet.
- Slowly lower yourself towards the ground, moving only at your elbows. Stop when you’re almost touching the floor and push yourself back up to the starting position to complete a rep.
- Perform as many as you can to complete a set. Aim for about three sets.
Bodyweight squats are an effective way to activate muscles in your legs like your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. They are also a great way to strengthen your legs so they can handle squatting with weights.
Here’s how to perform a bodyweight squat:
- Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be slightly turned outward.
- Drop your hips and bend at the knees as you lower yourself towards the floor.
- Pause at the bottom, and push yourself back to the starting position, keeping your feet flat the entire time. Perform as many as you can and rest for a minute. Aim for three sets.
Burpees give you a full-body workout that targets most of the major muscle groups in your body, like your chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. It also gives you a massive calorie burn since your entire body is activated as you perform your reps.
Here’s how to perform a burpee:
- Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and drop towards the floor like you would when performing a bodyweight squat.
- At the bottom of your squat, place your arms on the floor and kick your legs back so you’re in the push-up position.
- Perform a push-up and return to the bottom squat position.
- Explode upwards from the bottom squat position elevating your body off the ground.
The superman is a simple exercise that helps strengthen muscle groups in your back, like the erector muscles in the spine. It helps to improve posture, and it also activates your core, hamstrings, and glutes.
Here’s what the exercise looks like:
- Lie on your stomach with your hands extended to your front.
- Raise your legs, arms, and chest a few inches off the floor and hold the position for a second.
- Squeeze your lower back and return to the starting position to complete a rep. Perform three sets of as many reps as you can do.
5) Wide-grip pull-ups
Conventional pull-ups are great for working your back muscles, but using a wider grip allows you to activate your shoulders as well. The key to getting the most out of this exercise is to keep tension in your glutes as you perform the movements.
Here are the steps:
- Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you. Your arms should be fully extended in the starting position.
- Keep your hands as far apart as possible without making the exercise uncomfortable.
- Drive your elbows towards your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades as you pull your chin above the bar.
- Pause for a second and return to the starting position to complete a rep. Perform three sets of as many pull-ups as you can do.
Dips target your triceps, helping to build and strengthen them. The more you bend your knees when performing this exercise, the more work your triceps have to do. You can make the exercise even more challenging by placing your feet on another bench, so it’s the same level as your hands.
Here’s how to perform dips using a bench:
- Stand next to an exercise bench with your back turned to it.
- Place your hands on the bench behind you. They should be shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower your body, moving only at the elbows until they form a 90-degree angle with your arms.
- Use your triceps to push yourself back to the starting position.
Sit-ups target your abs and help to increase core control and stability. The exercise should be performed in a slow and controlled manner to get the most out of it. Focus on performing the movements using only your core muscles and avoid using your momentum to cheat. Do not pull on your head as you perform sit-ups since doing so can lead to neck strain.
- Lie down on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent.
- Use your hands to support your head as you lift your torso by tightening the muscles in your core. Your torso should form a “V” with your thighs.
- Lower yourself to the starting position to complete one rep. Perform as many as you can for two to three sets. Rest for about 20 seconds between sets.
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