You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to work out. Using just your bodyweight is also surprisingly effective at defining muscles, improving strength, and increasing flexibility. What’s more, bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere: the beach, the park, or your living room. Here are five of the best bodyweight exercises to keep in mind when the gym is not an option.
The Classic Pushup Should Never Be Forgotten
Pushups are a classic bodyweight exercise. They are so popular because you work out your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core all in one movement. Another great aspect of pushups is the amount of variety that can be included, changing the hand and feet positions, and using elevation. Just make sure you have good form: hands shoulder-width apart, body in a straight line from head to heels. Improper form means you’re not getting the exercise you bargained for.
Don’t Be Fooled By The “Sit” In Wall Sits
Wall sits are an exercise where you slide your back down along a wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. During this movement, your back should always be straight. Wall sits work out your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Variations can be made to get some abductors training in as well.
Bridges Are Better Than You Think
Bridges are known as being an easy exercise, which causes them to fall by the wayside for many in the fitness world. However, just because it is easy does not mean it isn’t an effective bodyweight exercise to build muscle and strength. Bridges work nearly all muscles on the posterior chain, glutes, back, ham stings— you name it. The standard glute bridge is a good place to start, but other bridges, like the single-leg glute bridge or the straight bridge, create a bigger challenge, thus bigger reward.
There Is A Reason Squats Are A Classic
The classic bodyweight squat works out almost all lower-body muscles, not to mention builds balance and coordination. The amount of variations provide plenty of room so you don’t get tired of the same old movement over and over. Try the side-step squat, the frog squat, or if you’re really advanced, the one-legged pistol squat.
Chin/Pull-Ups Are Worth It
Both chin-ups and pull-ups are one of the fastest ways to build up muscle in the back, shoulders, and arms. Chin-ups are done with palms facing toward the body, and they emphasize your biceps. Pull-ups are done with palms facing away from the body. While the biceps are still being used for a pull-up, more emphasis is placed on back muscles.