Paleo populations managed to stay in top physical form without the aide of treadmills or sports equipment. They were routinely active, and stayed lean by moving their own body weight around for exercise. Try these 5 fat-blasting body weight exercises to build your bod and trim you slim.
The Paleo lifestyle has made a serious come-back in modern times. The Paleo Diet has inspired many people to revise their eating habits to focus more on eating meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and to eschew processed foods like grains, sugars, fast food, and sodas. Proponents argue that eating this way helps to avoid the digestive issues and erratic insulin responses that lead to weight gain from eating processed carbohydrates. Prehistoric man ate foods for functional reasons and in their natural forms, and paleo-dieters try to emulate this method of eating.
This back-to-basics approach to diet has a counterpart in physical activity. Paleo populations managed to stay in top physical form without the aide of treadmills or sports equipment. They were routinely active, and stayed lean by moving their own body weight around for exercise.
Introducing body weight exercises into your regular workout routine can streamline your body while keeping things simple. Exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, pull-ups, broad jumps, squats, and lunges rely on your own body weight to challenge your muscles, and are extremely effective at producing rapid fat-burning results.
Body weight exercises are low maintenance and require little or no equipment—just your body, maybe a bar for pull-ups, and of course, your own motivation. They are cost effective and don’t require much space, so you can do them outside, in the office, or in virtually any room of your apartment or house. This means they are not dependent on the weather or whether the gym is open. If done as part of an interval training program, body weight exercises elevate the heart rate (try doing 25 burpees in a row and you’ll soon see what I mean). They add a serious dose of fat-blasting, muscle-building strength training into your day.
Body weight exercises are also modifiable, which means that they can be performed by anyone starting from any fitness level, and can also progress in difficulty as your fitness level improves. For instance, if you can’t do a push-up from your toes, start from your knees or by pushing against a wall — the farther you place your feet from the wall, the more strenuous the exercise. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are looking for more of a challenge, you can do the push-up with your feet elevated on a platform, or with one leg elevated at a time, or by changing the placement of your hands.
Effective body weight exercises provide variety and novelty. If you’re looking for a simple, effective way to enhance your workout, adding more body weight exercises to your routine is the way to go. Here are 5 Fat-Blasting Body Weight Exercises that can get you incredible results.
Paleo-Fitness: 5 Fat-Blasting Body Weight Exercises
1. Squats. With your arms out in front of you for counter balance, bend your knees and reach your butt back as if you are preparing to sit on a chair. Keep your body weight in your heels and drive your knees out. Get pre-historic by using a boulder or tree stump for a target, and make sure the crease of your hip dips below the bend of your knees.
2. Push-Ups. Assume a plank position with your body hovering above the floor, parallel to the floor and balanced between your hands and toes(or knees) . Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your trunk straight (don’t arch or round your back). Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the ground in a controlled manner. To lighten the weight of your body, you can put your knees on the ground and start from there. On the other side, for an added, Paleo-inspired challenge, try the push-up on a gentle hill, with your head facing downhill.
3. Pull-Ups. Find a bar, like at a children’s playground, or a strong tree limb. Hang from the bar with your elbows straight and your palms facing away from you. Engage your shoulder and arm muscles to bend your elbows and bring your chin over the bar. If this is too difficult, grab a partner to help boost you, or find that boulder to stand on. It will support your body weight, and then you can straighten your legs as you bend your arms.
Next: Mountain Climbers
4. Mountain Climbers. Cave men got pretty good at these when climbing up the nearest cliff to escape a hungry sabre-tooth. Start in a plank position, as if you were going to do a push-up. Bring one foot forward and touch it right behind your same-side hand. As you move that foot back to it’s starting position, bring the other foot forward and touch it down behind it’s same-side hand. Repeat slowly for a groin stretch, or more quickly for a pulse-raising interval.
5. Sit-Ups. For these body weight exercises, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the ground. Contract your abdominal muscles to bring yourself to a sitting position. You can have your arms out in front of you or crossed behind your head. But do not use them to “pull” you up.