Staying fit and taking care of your health doesn’t mean that you have no choice but to sign up for a gym membership. You can get in shape by using nothing but your own body and some elbow grease. So, if you’re one of those who get put off by the thought of going to the gym, you’ve come to the right place!
Body-weight exercises are great because they help you gain lean muscle mass, improve heart health, and can be done practically anywhere. All you need is yourself and these 7 old school exercises that will deliver impressive results over time:
Squats are some of the most common and effective body weight exercises out there. To do the squat right,
- Keep your feet a little over shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees as if you’re sitting on a chair.
- Be sure to keep your feet flat on the ground and back straight.
- Repeat it for a few reps.
This exercise engages your lower-body muscles – quads, glutes and hamstring – and puts your core and abdominal muscles to work.
Fitness enthusiasts everywhere swear by push-ups – and why wouldn’t they! It works your chest, core, back, and abs, all at once. And it has numerous variations to target specific muscles as well. To learn how to do a proper push-up and avoid the most common mistakes, you can read our more elaborate piece on the topic.
If getting a toned belly is your goal, then doing the plank regularly is a must. While it may look easy, maintaining the right form takes real strength and endurance. Moreover, planks are great for building balance, posture, flexibility, and reducing back pain.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers will be excellent for your core workout routine. They involve deep core stabilization and knee drives towards the chest. They also quicken your heartbeat fast and offer a good calorie burn. To do the mountain climber:
- Get into the plank position, but instead of the elbows, balance your body with your palms.
- Pull one knee towards your stomach.
- Go back to the original position and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
- Repeat it for a few reps.
Burpees are one of the few body-weight workouts that offer the combined benefit of cardio and strength at the same time. What’s more, it’s a full-body workout that is great for both your upper and lower body while strengthening your core. Here are the steps to do a burpee:
- Get into the squat position with your hands on the floor.
- Jump your feet back and get in the plank position.
- Do a push-up and jump back into the plank position.
- Now revert back to the squat and jump straight up with your arms over your head.
6. Tuck Jumps
Tuck jump is an extremely effective exercise that improves your agility and strength. It is also fun to do and is great for your heart. To do a tuck jump:
- Stand straight with your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your hands at chest height and get in a squat position.
- Explode upwards and bring your knees close to your chest.
7. Bicycle Crunches
When you do a bicycle crunch, you’ll literally feel the burn in your belly. This exercise activates the muscle fibres in your rectus abdominis and obliques. Here is how you do a bicycle crunch:
- Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
- Mimic the motion of riding a bicycle by bringing your right knee in towards your chest and out.
- While doing this action, lift your shoulder, and rotate your upper body diagonally to the right.
- Repeat the motion with your other shoulder while bringing the opposite leg in.
- Do three sets of 20 reps.