Fitness Feature: Bodyweight Training

Posted on Jul 25 2018 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark

You don’t need fancy equipment to get your exercise on. In fact, your body is sufficient enough of a tool to help you improve your fitness levels and strength, in what is known as bodyweight training. Bodyweight training is simply using your bodies weight as a resistance to help it become stronger. In fact, no equipment required at all.

We show you our favourites for using your own body to build strength and improve your fitness. You can find the best routines in full through our Pinterest page.

With all of the recommended routines, we suggest starting with 5 reps and building it up by adding an extra one in daily.

Stomach

Many Pilates routines can be performed without any equipment at all. And the roll-up is a great routine to help tone your tummy and simultaneously stretch out the muscles in your back, gluteus and hamstrings. It entails using breath and your bodyweight to go from lying position to sitting up. Sounds easy but as you need to keep your heels firmly on the floor, it can prove more challenging than you expect.

Reverse crunches are another routine that really gets your abs working. You perform this one lifting your bum upwards and legs towards your head. Whilst your arms stay by your side and your head stays on the floor. It is quite a hard one to start with, but it is very effective and does become easier quite quickly.

Add Ankle Reaches to your routine too, not only will this help to tone your tummy but it will greatly improve your flexibility and is a relatively easy one to start off with. From a lying position, lift your legs so they’re as straight as you can get them. Then lifting your head so that it is chin to chest, reach out as much as you can towards your ankles.

bodyweight training

Legs

Squats always have and always will be a really effective way to improving the strength and tone in the top of the thighs and bottoms. Always be sure to take the squat deep, like you’re going to sit on a low chair, without taking it below the knees. Always imagine a resistance there and clench your buttocks for best results.

Lunges both side and forward-facing, give a collection of muscles in the legs, thighs, buttocks and abdomen a really good workout. Like with squats, you’ll want to take the lunges deep and really clench your buttocks and core to give you the best resistance and best results. As you start to increase the quantities for these you will feel the difference, it is one that will always work.

Bodyweight training

Thigh lifts and pulses are an additional routine that can really get the thighs to work. In addition to clenching your buttocks and holding in your core, with this exercise you want to imagine you’re pushing against something and really control the up-down motion of the lifts. Otherwise it’ll be too easy and may not be as effective in delivering results as quickly as you’d like. As for the pulses, this will feel trickier as you’re effectively using your other leg as a barrier, providing that additional resistance. Continue to clench though for best results. To avoid cramping with the pulses, point your toes facing forward.

Arms

Bodyweight training

Push-ups are an effective bodyweight exercise and of course uses your entire bodyweight to perform. We found Blogilates UpUp DownDown routine much more effective, particularly if push-ups can be a little challenging. As you start resting on your elbows, and come back down to them, it does feel more achievable and delivers the same, arguably better, results. It may feel impossible to start but you’ll quickly marvel at your strength if you keep it up daily. Additionally, you’ll see the results very quickly from this one.

Planking, although a full body workout, is actually quite effective for your arms, as this is what is predominantly holding you up. The core muscles are what holds you stable. Practice your planking by starting off at 30 seconds and building upwards to a total of 5 minutes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

All the routines we practiced for our 30-day workout used bodyweight training. It can be an intense programme to deliver results fast but in a way that isn’t too exhausting if you’re only just starting out. Check it out if you’re interested in finding out more.

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