Body weight exercises are effective for strength training
Body weight training for strength is a sensible alternative or supplement to free weights, which are often too expensive for the average person. Body weight exercises can be done at home, in a park, or anywhere else you have space and can make use of your body’s natural resistance to build muscle and burn fat.
Body weight training is effective because it focuses on repetition over time as well as proper form to develop lean muscle tissue. Unlike free weights where you can simply add more weight when you get stronger, you need to work harder with body weight exercises by increasing the number of repetitions (reps) or sets instead of just going heavier. Modifying exercise difficulty by increasing repetitions rather than weights may seem like a small difference, but will actually make a big impact in building muscle efficiently and safely while preventing injury.
Adding equipment such as elastic bands, mini-trampolines, jump ropes, foam rollers and resistance tubes allows for further progression of exercises for greater strength gains over time. These items are inexpensive so there’s no need to wait until you’re able to afford expensive machines or weights before busting out your old-school push-up routine!
Squats are one of the most effective full-body exercises you can do, and it’s not just for bodybuilders and gym rats. The exercise requires little to no equipment, it can be done almost anywhere by anyone (including those who are just starting to work out), and its benefits extend beyond muscle growth.
To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, toes pointed forward. Bend down and place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible (but never fully locking it). Pause for a second with your weight on your heels before standing up straight again. Try to keep the weight on the heels rather than fully resting on the balls of your feet throughout each rep.
If this sounds too challenging at first, try squatting from a sitting position instead. Put a chair behind you and grab onto its back for support while lowering yourself down into position; then stand back up again. Move further away from the chair until you’re able to do it without any assistance—just like regular squats!
Gaining strength is important too, so don’t stop there! Once you’ve mastered regular squats (or once they become too easy), try doing them with weights in each hand—this is called weighted squats or “dumbbell squats” if using dumbbells (you could also use water bottles or cans filled with sand). Or check out more advanced squat variations like goblet squats and front squats that will give you more definition in specific areas of your legs (hips/thighs vs quads) while still strengthening more muscles overall through increased load.
Lunges, a form of body weight training, are a great way to strengthen your lower body. Lunges work your quadriceps (front of the thigh), glutes, hamstrings (back of the thigh), and calves. These muscles will help you walk up stairs more easily and with greater ease. Lunges also help improve your balance, which can help prevent future falls.
Lunges are important for strong legs because they develop the large muscles found in the thighs. The quadriceps make up most of the bulk in this area as well as providing support for other muscles and joints that move during activities such as running or walking up stairs. Strong quads reduce your risk of developing knee pain later in life due to injury or overuse. Building strength in your quadriceps may also lead to better balance and posture, as well as bounding or jumping ability.
Your glutes, also commonly called butt muscles, are also strengthened during lunges. Your gluteus maximus is the largest muscle mass on your body—working it can make it more prominent! Strengthening these large muscles helps you perform daily activities with less effort such as walking up stairs or even just standing upright all day at work causing less strain on your back and hips. Working out all these leg muscles together helps build overall leg strength which makes going up stairs even easier since each step works multiple muscle groups including those in both legs!
Push Up Prep
The push up has long been a staple in the world of calisthenics because it’s an extremely effective exercise for building upper body and core strength. This topic will provide tips to help you get started with the push up, including proper posture and breathing, as well as common mistakes to avoid. The video that accompanies this section will also go over several different variations of the push up designed to increase strength in your upper body and core.
Proper Form & Posture
- Lie on your stomach with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground directly under your chest. Your legs should be straight out behind you, feet together, toes tucked under, and hands at chest level with elbows flared out wide.
- Brace your abs by drawing them toward your spine while maintaining a slight arch in your back (the natural curvature). You should feel like you are pushing through the floor with both arms and legs equally as if there were two weights under each hand or foot lifting you off the floor. Do not allow any part of your body to touch the floor except for your hands and toes unless otherwise noted below!
- Inhale slowly as you bend at the elbow to lower yourself toward the floor until about one inch above impact; then exhale powerfully through pursed lips during exertion phase of movement (pushing yourself off ground). Do not allow elbows to flare out past 90 degrees from body or beyond shoulder width away from center line! Allow only minimum angle between forearm and upper arm necessary for range of motion without elbow discomfort. If minor discomfort is present perform stretch routine prior to workout! Keep neck neutral by looking straight down toward belly button area when performing push ups! Never look ahead or back beyond arms’ length distance!
Pull Ups and Chin Ups
In this section, you’ll learn all about the Pull Up and Chin Up, two of the most effective ways of working your back. Before we dive in, let’s quickly go over the difference between a chin up and a pull up. Both exercises are performed with a wide grip on an overhead bar. In both cases, you lift yourself up using your arms (as opposed to jumping up). This is called an “upright row” movement. The main difference between these two exercises is that for chin ups, your palms face towards you while your hands remain shoulder-width apart. For pull ups, your palms face away from you and your hands are wider than shoulder-width apart.
When doing either exercise, it’s important to take a few steps before pulling yourself up:
- The first step is to lock your shoulders into the proper position so that they support rather than hinder your movements throughout this exercise. With correct positioning of the shoulders and elbows, there should be no pain or discomfort; if any is present when performing either exercise then it’s likely due to improper positioning/form which can lead to injury over time so be sure not only to train correctly but also checkin with yourself regularly through practice sessions!
- If done properly without taking any shortcuts like swinging legs around wildly while hanging upside down below an overhead bar or bending at certain angles which could strain joints unnecessarily causing potential injuries later on down road when executing lifts such as squats (more information on these types of caveats later), both chinups/pullups should involve minimal stress on joints due to their movement patterns being similar if not identical; however there may still be some soreness afterwards depending how much weight was used during exercise because even though less distance traveled during execution might seem like lower impact activity vs other types such as pushups or situps where much more work required for same amount of time spent training session as compared here where essentially just hanging from bar dead
You can do this exercise using a bench or chair. Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing forward and arms extended straight out in front of you. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows to bring the weights toward each other until they touch. Tips: When bringing the weights together, keep elbows tucked in to your sides—don’t let them flare out as this will increase strain on your shoulders. Exhale as you extend your arms back to starting position. Complete 8–10 reps at a moderate weight (such as 3–5 pounds), working up to 3 sets over time.
The frog jump is a fun movement that will help develop your jumping ability and leg strength. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by standing with your legs at hip width apart, toes pointed out slightly so you can see them out to the sides. Bend down and place your hands on the ground between your legs, keeping your knees soft so they don’t lock.
- Keeping a straight back position, straighten one leg back behind you and then quickly switch-over before reaching full extension with the opposite leg. The goal is to keep alternating which foot you kick back behind you as rapidly as possible without losing form.
- Alternate for 20-30 seconds for 1-3 sets depending on how many recovery periods you need to keep good form and intensity level throughout each set (I’d recommend at least 1 minute of rest). The exercise works great in combination with other movements (like squats or burpees), or can be used as a warmup before running/jumping/sprinting activities if you want some extra dynamic mobility in the hips/knees!
Burpees and Tuck Jumps
This exercise is described as a full body workout that can help you build strength, endurance, and coordination. It’s a compound exercise that works all major muscle groups. The movement starts with standing and ends in the plank position. To make this more difficult, you can add a pushup between the squat and standing positions. If this is too difficult to perform in rapid succession, try doing half or quarter burpees with only one leg at a time touching the ground in the plank position. A more modified version is to do it without jumping at the end of each repetition.
Tuck jumps are another total body workout that increases flexibility, power and agility while giving your cardiovascular system a boost by elevating your heart rate. Start with your feet hip-width apart, then jump straight up into the air bringing your knees to about waist height or higher. The higher you bring them up during these jumps, the more challenging they become.To include these exercises in your routine: do 4 sets of 12 reps for each exercise three times per week on non-consecutive days (i.e., Monday/Wednesday/Friday).
Bench Hops Over
- Muscle group(s): Upper body (core, chest and triceps)
- Instructions: Standing behind the bench, hop your feet wide apart while keeping your knees bent so you are in a squat position. Swing your arms back as you get ready to jump. Using the power from your legs and core, jump straight up into the air and over the bench without touching it. Land with bent knees on both sides of the bench and swing your arms forward to help gain momentum for another rep.
- Sets/reps: 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps (30 seconds rest between sets)
- Other exercises that increase core strength: Arms-High Partial Situps, Barbell Rollout
Lateral Jumps Over a Rope or Towel
Lateral jumps over a rope or towel are a great way to build leg strength and increase explosive power. They activate your hip muscles (glutes, hip abductors, and adductors), quadriceps, hammies, calves and core.
How to do them: Place the barre on its side. Position it so the top is between your head and chest height. Stand behind the barre with knees slightly bent, feet together. Jump up and over the object to land on the opposite side of it with knees bent. Immediately jump back to starting position and repeat for 15-20 reps before changing legs or resting briefly before repeating another set on the same leg 2-3 times per week.
It’s important to note that these exercises should be done standing up when possible because you have more control over your movements while standing than while sitting or lying down; however if you can’t stand safely yet, then by all means try them from a seated position as well! If you’re able to stand but still want some extra challenge in this exercise then try adding weights for more resistance training benefits like increased bone density and better balance/coordination!
Body weight training is an effective method for building character, strength, and muscle. The workouts can be as short or long as you like, as challenging or leisurely as you like, and require no weights or gym memberships to complete. They are generally more affordable than a monthly gym membership and will save you the money spent on a personal trainer or fitness classes since you can do the workouts yourself. If you choose the right exercises and get enough repetitions over time, eventually your body will look better and your fitness level will improve.