5 best Bodyweight Exercise – No Equipment is needed

Published by Surajit jana on

Many people don’t realize the benefits of bodyweight training because, in every magazine you see, there are dudes in the gym hitting weights. But, with all training, there is a regression and progression to every exercise. 

For example, a regression for hanging leg lifts is performing a plank. The progression would be performing the movement with a medicine ball between your feet.

Another example would be a bench press. Many people can’t do a conventional bench press because of existing shoulder issues, their form is bad or they just don’t have access to the equipment.

Pushups are a great alternative. Not only can you perform push-ups with various hand positions but you can also do them from an elevated surface extending the range of motion for the shoulders and engage more muscle fibers.

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Here are my top 5 bodyweight movements

BODYWEIGHT SQUATS

It’s the perfect exercise to assess your strength, awareness, and hip/ankle/thoracic spine mobility. Squatting your bodyweight may sound simple in nature, but you’d be surprised how many people struggle with the movement, which can lead to significant injuries if performed wrong.

Bodyweight squats help to build muscle and increase strength and mobility. When performed at a high intensity, this exercise can really help with weight loss.

How to Do a Bodyweight Squat

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with toes turned slightly outward. Brace abdominal muscles to engage core.

B. Inhale and initiate the movement by hinging at the hips first, then bend knees to lower into a squat position until 

1) thighs are parallel or almost parallel with the floor

2) heels begin to lift off the floor

 3) torso starts to round or flex forward. (Ideally, in the lowest position, the torso and shin bone should be parallel to each other.)

C. Exhale and press into the mid-foot to straighten legs to stand, hips and torso rising at the same time.

Bodyweight Squat Form Tips

  • Make sure to push hips back and sit into mid-foot and heels.
  • Don’t allow knees to push too far forward.
  • Continue bracing abs throughout the movement to keep back flat.
  • Watch for movement in the feet, ankles, and knees, trying to track knees directly over second toes.

Pushup

Not only builds up the chest, shoulders and triceps, but is a great stabilizer of the torso and lower back.

Can be done with various hand, feet and elevated positions. Pushups variations such as EQI’s, hindus and push-up plus are incredible rehabilitative exercises.

How to do Push Ups

Get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Don’t lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent. Extend your legs back so you are balanced on your hands and toes, your feet hip-width apart.

  1. Contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. 
  2. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor, until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Exhale while contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands, returning to the start position. 

PULL-UPS

Out of every exercise you can do for your back, the pull-up is the most rewarding and efficient. You can purchase your own pull-up bar, or if you want to do it old school like Rocky, you can use a beam in the basement or a jungle gym at a park. 

To ensure you’re getting the maximum results from doing pull-ups, hold your body stable during execution so you can efficiently move your mass through space. This is crucial in your ability to perform pull-ups. Not only will this enhance muscle growth, but it will also foster core stability and balance.

How to do a pull-up with the correct technique:

  1. Start by standing directly below a pull-up bar. Place your hands in an overhand grip (palms facing away from your body) with your hands slightly further than shoulder-width apart. 

If you can’t reach the bar from standing on the floor, you can place a box beneath you and stand on that. Once your hands are holding onto the bar, you’re in your starting position.

  1. Inhale, then exhale. Lift your feet up from the floor or box so that you’re hanging from the bar, and engage your core by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Pull your shoulders back and down.
  2. Engaging the muscles in your arms and back, bend your elbows and raise your upper body up toward the bar until your chin is over the bar. You can imagine bringing your elbows toward your hips if that makes the movement easier.

 As you move, avoid swinging your legs around or shrugging your shoulders up. You want to make sure your shoulder blades remain back and down throughout the exercise.

  1. At the top of the movement, inhale. Then extend your elbows and lower your body back down to the starting position. 

BURPEES

The burpee is resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning all bundled into one exercise. It can be done absolutely anywhere and added into any workout routine for a metabolic boost and calorie burner. You can do it in different variations such as the burpee/push-up and the burpee/pull-up.

Bodyweight training helps keep you healthy, strong and lean, and best of all, it challenges your body in ways that dumbbells and barbells cannot. 

With different variations available, it’s difficult to land in a rut with bodyweight training. The fact that it requires almost no equipment whatsoever makes these exercises easy to execute just about anywhere.

How to do a burpee with correct form

  1. Start in a squat position with your knees bent, back straight, and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your hands to the floor in front of you so they’re just inside your feet.
  3. With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you’re on your hands and toes, and in a pushup position.
  4. Keeping your body straight from head to heels, do one pushup. Remember not to let your back sag or to stick your butt in the air.
  5. Do a frog kick by jumping your feet back to their starting position.
  6. Stand and reach your arms over your head.
  7. Jump quickly into the air so you land back where you started.
  8. As soon as you land with knees bent, get into a squat position and do another repetition.

Plank

The plank is one of the most common exercises in the gym, a super simple static hold that makes in appearance in just about every ab training program you’re likely to encounter. 

Nearly everyone can get down on the floor, stretch themselves out, and hold in place, so the maneuver is a favorite for beginners. It’s easy to level up for experts by adding movement or a load on your back.

How to Do Plank

1. Plant hands directly under shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width) like you’re about to do a push-up.

2. Ground toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working, too — be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.

3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should be in line with your back.

4. Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising your form or breath.

BODYWEIGHT TRAINING BENEFITS

  1. Free
  2. Versatile, many different variations
  3. Can be done anywhere
  4. Improves movement
  5. Improves relative strength
  6. Can improve reactive strength

Surajit jana

Written By - Surajit Jana.

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