Body Weight Training Exercises
There are a number of tried and true body weight exercises that you can use to complement your training program. You can also mix up your routines every now and then and exclusively do body weight exercise. These are great core exercises too! It is good to provide you body with a varied approach to working out. This variety of exercises not only keep your body growing and developing, but it also keeps things fresh. Never let your body or mind get stale in your approach to fitness or life!
You can do this in with an approach like circuit training...going through the whole range of each exercise before you break. Or you can do 2-3 sets of each exercise, take a quick break, and then move to the next. Either way, these body weight exercises provide a simple and free way to improve your overall approach to fitness training.
Work towards being able to do 3 complete circuits. Trust what your body is telling you.
Body Weight Squats
1. Start by placing feet shoulder width apart and holding your arms out in front of you.
2. Proceed to squat down like you are going to sit in a chair. Your upper body will lean forward slightly and your hips will shift backwards while going down.
3. Remember to keep your knees from going out in front of your toes while squatting.
4. Repeat according to your required repetitions. If you want to make the exercise more challenging hold your arms at your sides or behind your head.
Body Weight Lunge
1) Stand with feet hip width apart. Take left leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of the foot.
2) Start position: Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back erect and straight in a neutral position. Place hands on hips.
3) Lower body by bending at right hip and knee until thigh is parallel to floor. Body should follow a straight line down towards the floor.
4) Return to start position. Alternate or switch to other leg after prescribed reps.
Body Weight Wall Sit
1. Place back against the wall, or if using a fitness ball, place your back against the ball and your lower back.
2. Proceed into a squatted position so that your thighs are parallel to the ground.
3. Hold this position for the required number of seconds.
4. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees behind your toes.
Body Weight Reverse Lunge
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Step back with one foot and bend your knees into a lunged position. Your back knee should come close to touching the ground and your front leg should be bent to about 90 degrees at the knee.
3. Maintain your upright posture throughout the movement.
4. Return to the starting position and repeat. Once repetitions are completed then repeat with the other leg.
Prior to takeoff extend the ankles to their maximum range (full plantar flexion) to ensure proper mechanics.
1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, trunk flexed forward slightly with back straight in a neutral position.
2) Arms should be in the ready position with elbows flexed at approximately 90°.
3) Lower body where thighs are parallel to ground.
4) Explode vertically and drive arms up.
5) Land on both feet and repeat.
Standard Push Ups
1. Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
2. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
3. Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
4. Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
5. Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
6. Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.
(if these are still to difficult for you, then do them with your knees on the ground)
Elevated Push Ups
1) Lie face down and elevate your feet onto a flexaball or a chair until the top of your feet are supported.
3) Start position: With arms fully extended, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
4) Lower your body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
5) Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
Dive Bomber Push Ups
1) Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
2) Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
3) Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
4) Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor starting with the head first and follow with the shoulders and waist. It should look like you are diving down towards the ground.
5) Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
6) Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.
Push Ups with Alternating Arms
1) Starting Position: Start the movement in a plank position.
2) Holding that position raise your right arm and left leg off of the ground.
3) Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm and leg. Hold each lift for 1-2 seconds.
Tricep Bench Dip
1. Start by placing your hands on the bench (or a chair) and your feet are on the ground with your legs semi straight.
2. Proceed to bend your arms until they are bent to about 90 degrees.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired repetitions.
(For Advanced: elevate your feet on another chair)
1) Position hands wider than shoulder width apart with overhand grip (palms facing forward).
2) Start position: Hang with arms fully extended and elbows facing away from body. Feet may be crossed with knees bent.
3) Pull body up until bar is below chin level.
4) Return to start position.
5) Remember to keep the movement controlled with the body stable to minimize momentum and body sway. If the bar is too high, it is advisable to use a step to ensure proper hand placement as well as safety.
(Note: Make sure that you have a secure bar)
1) Hold this position until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge.
2) For beginners, start with 10 seconds and gradually increase your time. Try to work up to 3 minutes.
3) Return to start position.
4) Focus on tightening your stomach muscle and try not to let your hips and back sag. You must work to maintain a flat line from your shoulders to your feet.
1. Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands behind head. Keep elbows back and out of sight. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Start position: Hands behind head and knees bent at 90 degrees.
3. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominals and raise shoulders off floor or bench. During the crunch, also bring knees towards chest.
4. Return to start position.
5. Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
1) Lie on your side with your right hand on the ground or use an exercise mat.
2) For beginners, it is recommended to begin this exercise on your elbow.
3. Lift yourself up to form a plank with your right arm straight and your left arm on your side.
4. Focus on keep in a straight line and tightening your stomach muscles.
5. Do 8-12 reps on each side.
Single Leg Plank
1. Start by forming a straight plank with your forearms and feet as the contact points on the ground.
2. Once the plank is formed raise one foot off the ground and hold this position for the desired time.
3. Once the time has been met return your foot to the ground and repeat with the other leg.
Plank Leg Lift
1. Start by getting into a lateral plank pose with your hips off the ground.
2. Your only ground contact points should be your feet and elbow.
3. Holding this position raise your outside leg keeping it straight until you reach full range of motion.
4. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat for the desired repetitions.
5. Switch sides and repeat.
1. Lie on your back with your legs bent 90 degrees at the hip.
2. Slowly lift your hips off the floor and towards the ceiling.
3. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Simple ... Fast ... Effective