Add These Exercises To Your Bodyweight Workouts
Putting together a workout program for yourself? If so, don’t overlook bodyweight exercises.
Far too many people get hung up on only weight based moves using either machine weights, dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells.
And while there’s no question these external weight exercises are great for improving your physique and conditioning level, your own body weight can often be one of the best weights to lift.
This is precisely what you get when doing bodyweight exercises.
While some people regard bodyweight exercises as just for beginners who are starting out, this isn’t always the case.
Bodyweight moves can also be great for more advanced exercises as they are striving to progress with their program.
Let’s go over 8 of the best bodyweight exercises that you should start including in your workout program today.
The first great move to get into your program is the pull-up. Pull ups are excellent for building up your back strength while also working the biceps to some degree as well.
The great thing with this move is that you can change the stress loading pattern on the body simply by altering your hand position on the bar.
Use a wide grip to target the width of your back, a narrow grip to target the midsection of your back, or a reverse grip to hit the biceps to a larger degree as well.
Be sure while doing this exercise that you never swing the body, using momentum to carry you through. This is a fast way to lose the results the exercise has to offer.
Chest dips are the next exercise to be including in your bodyweight workout program.
This move is primarily going to target the chest muscles, while also working the triceps to some degree as well.
As adding weight during this exercise does tend to put excessive strain on the shoulder and elbow joints, it’s a great one to do with just your body weight alone, and can be used as a finisher move at the end of the workout.
Simply perform as many reps as possible until you hit the point of fatigue and you’ll exhaust those muscles, sparking greater strength gains.
Along with chest dips, tricep dips are another exercise to consider.
While the tricep dip and chest dip are quite similar in nature, the main difference is the position of the body.
With chest dips, you’ll adopt a forward lean, pushing up from the chest while with the tricep dips, you maintain a flat back position so that you are pushing up through the triceps.
This dip is a great way to really isolate the triceps, allowing you to see optimal strength gain results.
Again, this should be done towards the end of your workout session after doing other weighted arm exercises.
Next we come to the push up, which is well known and one of the exercises you likely started with back when you began training.
The great thing about push ups is that it comes in so many different variations that you simply can’t not be challenged by it.
Simply put, there’s no way you’ll be bored with this exercise.
Adding new variations into your workout routine regularly will keep your muscles guessing as to what’s next and responding as such.
When doing this move, make absolutely sure that your core muscles are tight at all times.
If you ever notice you are not maintaining proper position with the back flat, stop the exercise and only continue again when you can get into better form.
Moving along, the plank hold is the next exercise to get into the picture.
This one is a great core builder and will ensure that you’re keeping all the muscles running up and down the spinal column strong as well.
The plank is an isometric move, so unlike the other exercises you may have in your workout program.
This is a great way to challenge the body across a variety of stimuli, increasing your overall strength gains.
If the regular plank is too easy, try lifting one leg up and holding that, doing a spiderman plank, or placing the hands up on an exercise ball as you hold the position.
Don’t overlook adding side planks to your workout routine as well.
These are great for hitting the oblique muscles and rounding out your core training routine.
If you want to get in some cardio training, you simply can’t go wrong with burpees.
Burpees are a great move as they’ll hit the lower body muscles as well as the upper body muscles, even working the core to some degree as well.
This move is great for doing HIIT as you can easily perform 20-30 burpees, rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat again, doing this for 5-10 times to make up the entire workout.
Burpees are also good for enhancing lower body power as you’ll be rebounding up off the floor as high as possible.
When doing the burpee, make sure that you keep the core tight the entire time.
This will not only help build up your core strength, but in addition to that, help ensure that you aren’t at as high of a risk of lower back pain as you move down into the landing position.
Another great plyometric exercise, jump lunges are great for those who want to increase their lower body explosiveness.
This move is going to have you moving down into the lunge position and then rebounding up as high as possible, switching the legs mid-air.
Upon landing, move right back down into the lunge position, alternating legs as you go.
Jump lunges are an excellent calorie burner and another great move that you can add into your cardio focused workout routine.
Take note that they should not be done prior to other heavy weighted exercises however or they will compromise your strength on those.
Finally, last but not least, don’t overlook mountain climbers.
This move is excellent for working the core muscles, while also hitting the shoulders, arms, and chest to some degree as well.
While it is conventionally considered a cardio based movement, you can easily add it into your core workout routine as well.
By doing so, you’ll boost the total calorie burn of that core workout, allowing you to reap maximal benefits.
When doing the mountain climber, be sure that you keep your head looking down at all times to avoid excessive strain being placed on the neck as you perform it.
So there you have a closer look at some of the best bodyweight exercises that you can add into your workout routine.
All of these will help strengthen your muscles, improve your cardiovascular conditioning, and help provide great transfer benefits to everyday activities you might be doing.
Don’t think that you should only be hitting the weights when you hit the gym. Pay attention to what you can do with your own bodyweight as well.