Quick – picture a typical fitness center. Got it? Now make a list of equipment made available to you. What did you come up with? About 50, 100, 200 pieces of exercise equipment! Now for the really interesting questions: How much of that equipment is absolutely necessary? The answer might surprise you…
None! Not a single item. There’s no machine, weight or contraption on the planet mandatory to getting fit. The only two things you really need are your body and a healthy dose of willpower. When combined, a willingness to work and your own body can produce an endless array of weightless workouts guaranteed to whip you into shape.
Think about it, military forces and Olympic gymnasts utilize bodyweight training as a mainstay in their fitness arsenal. Admittedly, you might not be ready for muscle-ups or the iron-cross. Still, you have to start somewhere. Maybe that’s bodyweight squats and push-ups. Fine, start there. As you progress, remember that, if bodyweight training is good enough for elite fighting forces and world champion athletes, it can work for us regular guys and gals, too.
Now, about that “getting started” thing. We have you covered. What follows is an entire weightless workout. This total body fitness workout is geared toward strength training. Don’t stress, it won’t make you bulky. Bodyweight exercises help build lean, toned muscle. To complete the workout, perform each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds after each move. For an added challenge, and an extra bit of cardio, try performing every exercise back-to-back without resting until you’ve completed every move. Then rest 90 seconds. Whichever method you choose, this workout can be completed 1-5 times depending on your fitness level and time frame.
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The squat is a foundational position for almost every move we make. Sit, stand, pick something up – all squats. The thing is, most people are doing squats all wrong. The key to the squat is using the body’s powerhouse muscles – glutes, hamstrings, low back and the core. The only way to ensure this activation is by sitting back and down into the heels. To get into this position, it helps to start standing tall, with feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and chest tall. Next, shift your bodyweight into your heels, sit your rear end back, and lower yourself into a squat. At the bottom of this position, drive through your heels, into the knees and finish by thrusting the hips forward.
Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Mountain Climbers…
2. Mountain Climber
Get ready for a heart-pumping, strength building exercise. That description sums up the mountain climber quite well. It begins in the plank position, or the top of the push-up. Maintain a plank hold, keeping the core and upper body engaged. Next, bring your right knee to your chest. Now, alternate your feet so your left knee is at your chest. Proceed slowly until you’re able to “run” your knees to your chest by quickly alternating your feet.
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Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Lateral Lunge…
3. Lateral Lunge
If a typical lunge is stepping forward and back, the lateral lunge is completed by stepping out to the side. Keep in mind, this exercise isn’t a stretch where your bodyweight travels past your planted foot. Instead, step out to the side, load the hamstring and glute of your plant foot by pressing back into a squatted position. From the standing position, step your right foot laterally to the same side. Keep your left leg straight, and pivot, as you sit back and down onto your right foot. Press off the right foot, return to standing, then repeat with your left foot.
Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Burpee…
The burpee is a two-in-one challenge. It combines the squat-thrust and push-up to create a formidable test of total body fitness. Be prepared, there’s an element of strength training and cardio endurance. Begin in the standing position. Then, jump your body down to the push-up position on the ground. Next, perform a push-up. At the top of push-up, in the plank position, jump your feet to your hands. Now that you’re in a squatted position, finish the move by jumping off of the ground, clap your hands over your head.
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Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Squat Hold…
5. Squat hold
Remember the squat you did earlier. Set-up the exact same way – feet shoulder-width, chest up, shoulders back and down. Squat down to the bottom, as low you can go. Now, hold it right there. The challenge is to keep your muscles engaged and chest up for the entire duration of the hold. If you’re a beginner, you can perform a wall sit. it’s the same motion, but you can sit up against a wall. When you start to build more strength, feel free to step away from using the wall.