In our recent article on the best and most important gym routines, we mentioned one of the most traditional forms of working out – bodyweight exercises. If you’re low on budget, space, and you don’t really know a lot about weightlifting and more complex workouts, then bodyweight exercises are the best place to start. They are relatively simple to get into, require almost no additional equipment, and can offer great results with some dedicated workout.
So how exactly do you go about starting a bodyweight routine? Read on, as we delve deep into the core of this regime, the most important aspects and some classic exercises. Time to get serious.
The Power in Your Hands
Just like the name implies, these exercises involve only the weight of your body as a primary weight that you lift. With all kinds of different exercises and with progressive intensity of your workouts, you can effectively target desired muscle groups and get ripped while you also build up your strength and stamina. So, let’s begin by listing out some of the classic exercises that involve only your body weight:
The basic exercise that everyone knows. By lifting your body from a prone position, you’re effectively pushing your own weight. This exercise is great for improving your chest, triceps and core. It’s easy to perform and has a lot of variations that make it more difficult and oriented towards isolated muscles.
Similar to the classic sit-up exercise, the crunch is a harder variation that is centered on working your abs and obliques, and in turn strengthening your core. This simple to perform, but hard exercise involves lying on the floor and raising your upper body – but not the lower back. Throw in a few sets each time you work out, and you will see and feel the results in no time.
- Leg Raises
Another exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, the leg raise is a slightly more advanced form. Whether you do the lying down version, or the hanging leg raise version, the method is the same. By raising your legs high up, you’re putting a massive strain on the core and your abs. With enough repetitions you will feel the burn and the rock hard abs you’re worked for.
When it comes to the chest and triceps muscles, the dips is one of the classic exercises. It is a composite and fairly challenging exercise, so if you’re a beginner look out for an assisted dip machine. By using a dip bar, you lower your body and raise it up – meaning it’s your entire weight in question. Even if you can only do a couple at first, in time you will get stronger and maybe even need additional weight to lift.
Never skip leg day! The squats are the iconic exercise and a part of every gym routine and fit lifestyle. It is centered around your thighs – the gluteus and quadriceps muscles. When standing with your back straight and legs shoulder width apart, you bend the knees and squat down low, then raising your body back up again. This can be difficult if you’re on the heavy or obese side, but in time you’ll manage it. When you do you can start heavier variations – like the goblet squat and then on to the iconic barbell squat.
Another iconic, but difficult exercise , the chin up is sure to put you to the test. In essence, you only need a horizontal bar, which you grip and pull your body up while hanging from it. Again, this involves lifting up your entire weight so it can be quite hard at first. It’s one of the best exercises when it comes to improving your back (lats), biceps and overall upper body strength.
The Importance of Simplicity
The best thing about bodyweight exercises, and calisthenics in general, is the fact you really don’t need much to get it going. A bit of free space, a floor and a mat is all you need to do pushups, crunches, lying leg raises, hill climbers and a ton of other exercises. Hell – you can get ripped with nothing at all (other than the hard work of course). Then for some advanced versions, a playground might work well if you can’t afford a gym – the bars can be used for chin-ups, dips, hanging leg raises and a ton of other, more advanced exercises.
This simplicity is a great inspiration to continue working out – You can do it anytime and anywhere, without anyone watching or sharing the equipment with you. Just another positive thing about working out.
Conclusion – The Rising Confidence
There’s so many benefits to working out, and some of those are best felt with some serious bodyweight routines. When you get over those first few sessions and those first hard moments, you will feel the effects of confidence, testosterone and self improvement.
By giving your best and putting yourself to the test you will forge a new self. But dedication is needed in bodyweight exercises. The only way to move forward and raise your strength is by going to the very end. When you barely push yourself up is when you’re moving that boundary forward and actually creating strength.
If you chose bodyweight – that’s great. Now keep at it. Quitting is not an option.