Health and Fitness

The Best Bodyweight Exercises For Beginners.

So you want to lose weight and get in shape, but you really hate the hassle of going out to gyms and don’t have any equipment at home? Then bodyweight exercises are for you!

Bodyweight exercises are effective, time efficient ways of staying fit, burning calories and building serious muscle without any (or at the very least basic or makeshift) equipment. Each exercise or technique usually involves employing a variety of different muscle groups instead of focusing on just one, and burns a lot more calories than simple cardio or basic circuit training.

And the best thing is you can do them at home, in a hotel, or anywhere you can grab a bit of space!

These are just some of the best bodyweight exercises you can do to get fit and sculpt your body wherever you are.

Basic bodyweight exercises.

The Push Up.

The push up is one of the easiest and best exercises anyone can do and everyone should have these as part of any exercise regime.

You should have proper form for the exercise to be effective. That means your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and your thumbs should be placed in a line with your middle chest.

It doesn’t matter too much if your feet are touching or they are slightly apart, but your body should be in a straight line and your head should be looking up, not down.

Aim to do three sets of as many of these as possible, but if you can’t do any yet aim to do ten at first, then fifteen, then twenty and so on.

The bodyweight squat.

Along with the push up, this is another core exercise that is one of the best you can do. It is a completely natural compound movement that we have been doing since we first started to move as babies, and is excellent for your legs and your core, not to mention your hip and knee joints.

Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips, and point your toes very slightly outward so you feel comfortable and balanced. Look straight ahead and keep your head in the same position at all times. Keep your chest out and back in a straight, neutral position.

Put your arms out in front of you and slowly lower yourself using only your legs, your core should be flexed and not moving. As your knees bend, move your hips back and lower your bum as close to the floor as you can. You should be aiming to get your hips in line with your knees.

Once you are as low as possible, use your legs to push yourself up, keeping your core straight.

Aim to do three sets of as many of these as possible, but if you can’t do any yet aim to do ten at first, then fifteen, then twenty and so on.

If you have a weight, a bottle of milk or something that you can hold close to your chest whilst doing these, it takes your workout to the next level!

The Lunge.

Lunges are another, simple, basic exercise that are perfect for your legs, hips and knee joints.

Keep your upper body straight and head forward. Start from standing with your feet together and then take a wide step forward with one leg, lowering your hips at the same time so that your back knee lowers to the ground and your front knee bends at a 90 degree angle. Your front knee should be above your ankle. Push back up to the starting position and repeat on both legs.

Aim to do three sets of as many of these as possible, but if you can’t do any yet aim to do ten at first, then fifteen, then twenty and so on.

The sit up.

One of the most well known and most effective exercises for your abdominal muscles and core. Simply lie down on your back and bring your knees up so your feet are firmly on the ground in front of your bum. Cross your hands to your opposite shoulders and curl your upper body up so your hands are as close to your knees as possible.

Aim to do three sets of as many of these as possible, but if you can’t do any yet aim to do ten at first, then fifteen, then twenty and so on.

Single leg raise.

The single leg raise concentrates primarily on your glutes (your bum) and your hamstrings, but also gives your core a workout too.

Lie down on your back and bring one leg up so your knee is raised and your foot is flat on the floor. Your hands and arms should be flat on the floor at your side. Raise your other leg so your foot is in the air. Thrust with your foot and raise your hip off the ground whilst keeping your shoulders stable on the ground.

Aim to do three sets of as many of these as possible, but if you can’t do any yet aim to do ten at first, then fifteen, then twenty and so on.

The plank.

The plank is one of the easiest excercises you can do, and really focuses on your core, your thighs, arms and shoulders, but you do have to get the technique perfect.

Lie on the floor and lift yourself onto your forearms and tip toes. Clench your fists gently, keep your forearms on the floor, keep your elbows tucked into your ribs and your toes tucked under.

Rest your entire bodyweight on your forearms and toes, in a completely straight line. Your back should be straight and your bum shouldn’t be sticking up or dipping. Squeeze your bum cheeks to help you keep your form and push your heels together, and keep your eyes down so your head is straight with your spine.

Hold this position for as long as you can.

The Burpee.

This is a brutal exercise but engages most muscles groups and gives you a solid cardio blast as well.

Squat down and place your hand on the floor in front of and slightly apart from your feet. From there kick your feet out as far as you can so you are in a push up position, then immediately hop back to your crouching position. From there jump up as high as you can in the air, and then go back into your squat as you land.

Repeat this as many times as you can but aim for at least 20 to start with and build up to 3 sets of 50 or more.

How to structure your workout.

It really doesn’t matter what order you do these in, or whether you do them all as a superset and then start again, or do each one in three separate sets before moving on. You will find your own routine you are comfortable with after a few sessions.

These are just a few of the basic bodyweight exercises you can do, there are dozens more. So if you start off with this basic workout a few times a week for 4 to 6 weeks, then you can slowly start adding more exercises in or making it tougher on yourself as you get bigger, leaner and stronger.

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