As soon as you go into any store and see any kind of fitness magazine, the first thing you see is usually some buff dude in a gym holding a 100 pound dumbbell. So it’s no surprise that the majority of people think lifting weights is the ONLY way you can see results.
This is simply not true.
While weight training with with equipment is a VERY needed element for long term fitness…you can seriously tax your muscles, add some variety, see some great results and lose some unwanted lb’s with your own body weight.
To get the best results of body weight training, I recommend taking a group fitness class in a gym, or take a personal trainers boot-camp. Many boot-camps are equipment free since it would be very difficult to travel with gym equipment. If you are in the Charleston area, I host boot-camps on Saturday mornings, and you can get more information by sending me a message via this website or keep tabs on my Facebook fitness page HERE.
To do proper body weight training-break up your body parts and THINK about how you would work them in a gym. Bench press? Push-ups. Back Squat? Air Squats. Lunges. Jump squats. Shoulders? Variations of plank movements. Tricep pushdowns? Dips off a bench or on the floor. You get the idea. Write down your workout-break it down into 5 moves, done for 1 minute, take a break. Repeat for the duration of your workout.(This is just an example, and actually how I usually structure my group workouts most of the time.)
BODYWEIGHT TRAINING BENEFITS
- Versatile, many different variations
- Can be done anywhere
- Improves movement
- Improves relative strength
- Can improve reactive strength
The following are some of my favorite body weight moves that will definitely break a sweat and leave you sore!
- Push ups. There are SO many variations of a push up. Never under estimate the power of a push up. There is beauty in the simplicity of this move. You’re engaging your core. Your glutes are squeezed. Find that perfect plank with your hands directly beneath your shoulders (for a standard push up) and go to town. There are also tricep push ups, plyo push ups, wide push ups, side to side push ups, 1 hand push ups….the list goes ON. The muscles worked are core, shoulders, chest, and endurance because your heart rate will go up. As you can see, it’s one of my favorites because of all the variations.
- Squats. You can seriously work your legs and butt with no equipment. Think outside the box. Air squats, jump squats, side to side squats, pulse squats, plie squats, bulgarian split squats, sumo squats…etc. Not to mention the variety of lunges you can do to work your legs (alternating front lunges, plyometric lunges, reverse lunges, curtsy lunges) A five minute leg circuit could look something like this: *1 minute per move, than repeat 5 times depending on how long you want to train your legs*
A. Air squats
B. Jump Squats
C. Alternating front lunges
D. Jump Squats
E. Bulgarian Split Squats
*Just an example, or sub out some moves with some I mentioned above.*
You never know what you can find at a public park! If you see a pull up bar-use it.
One of the biggest mass builders for the back, pull-ups are also one of the most versatile. They also work your shoulders and your accessory muscles such as the biceps.
How to Modify the Pull-up:
- Varying grip element (towel, thick rope, offset grip)
- Modifying linear movement; you can perform side to side movement, you can perform a leg lift or L-sit with each rep to also work your abs.
- Overload the movement with a bookbag between your feet.
- If you cant get your body above the bar-have a buddy hold your feet to give you an assist on the way up, than perform a negative i.e. very slowly come down from the bar with control. Yes; pull-ups are tough, but the only way to get better at them is to keep doing them. Over time you will be able to do them if you put in the work and stay consistent.
Not much to say here…google some abdominal moves; there are so many to pick from and can be done EASILY with no equipment. Crunches, a multitude of plank variations, full sit ups, side planks, side plank pulses..this list goes ON!
Even though these moves and workouts can essentially be done for free: I must stress the importance of a trainer. There is a sequence that these workouts should be done to get you the best results, even with no equipment. Not to mention: teaching proper form. There is a rhyme and reason for everything that we do as personal trainers. I encourage you to reach out to me and ask me anything. That’s why I’m here.