Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises - Tips To Build Muscle
exercises are an effective way to build muscle and tone your body
without expensive exercise equipment or pricey gym memberships.
You use your own bodyweight resistance against the force of gravity
to strengthen your muscles. Bodyweight exercises save you time in
addition to money because you can do these exercises just about
anywhere, such as at home or in your office during a break. Many
bodyweight exercises target specific muscles or muscle groups, while
others are effective whole body workouts. It's easy to incorporate
some bodyweight exercises into your regular strength training routine
or as part of your circuit training. The top 5 bodyweight exercises
I recommend are push-ups, pull-ups, squats, dips and leg raises.
You don't need extensive training to start doing these exercises,
but you must learn the proper form to reduce your risk of injury.
Once you learn the correct technique for each exercise, you can
do them on your own anytime during the day.
Push-ups are probably the easiest, yet most effective bodyweight
exercise you can do. Push-ups build muscle in your chest, shoulders,
triceps on the back of the arms, biceps and core muscles. Your lower
back, thighs and buttocks will get a good exercise, too. When you
perform push-ups correctly your shoulder muscles, including the
rotator cuff, get a good workout. The standard push-up is performed
on your hands and toes. Get on the floor on your hands and knees,
and then stretch your legs out behind your body with your ankles
close together. Support your upper body with your hands. The weight
of your lower body should be supported by your toes. Keep your hands
underneath your shoulders and squeeze your abdominal muscles tight.
Make sure your body is straight and rigid and then push your upper
body up by straightening your elbows. Slowly lower your body back
down toward the floor, but don't let your body touch the floor.
Variations of the standard push-up include performing the exercise
on your hands and knees and performing push-ups with one leg lifted
off the floor. The wide stance push-up is performed with your hands
on the floor wider than shoulder width. The one arm push-up is difficult
and should not be attempted until you have developed good shoulder
and core strength.
strengthen your wrists, arms, shoulders and they are incredible
for building up your back muscles. Grab a chin-up bar and lift your
body off the floor a few inches and you will experience the power
of a true bodyweight exercise. Your back and biceps get a great
workout and you will feel the burn in your shoulders. Your grip
will also be strengthened, because you support the entire weight
of your body with your grip. You should also feel it in your abdominal
muscles because you will use your core to stabilize your body when
performing this exercise. You should perform pull-ups slowly so
that your upper body and core get the full benefit of this upper
body strength building exercise. Stand in front of a pull-up bar
and grasp the bar in an underhand fashion with your palms on the
underside of the bar. Brace your body by squeezing your abs and
slowly pull your body off the floor about 2 inches. Hold it for
a few seconds and then lower your body back to the floor. Don't
let your body sway or swing back and forth. Hold it steady. When
your strong enough, keep your feet off the floor as you lift and
then lower your body back down toward the floor.
The squat is something you do every day without even realizing it.
If you can sit down and then stand up again, you can do the squat
exercise. Squats improves the strength and flexibility of your legs
and hips. They strengthen your thighs, tone up your buttocks, work
your abs, and they increase your lower back strength. The first
time you do a few squats you will feel the burn in your buttocks,
hamstrings and quadriceps. Start slowly and do 4 or 5 squats in
the beginning. Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip width
apart. Straighten your back and place your hands on your hips for
balance. Bend at the hips and lower your upper body as if you are
going to sit in the chair. Lower your body as far as you can without
actually sitting down. Aim to lower your upper body straight down
until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push your body back
to a standing position with your legs. Don't be disappointed if
you can only lower your body a few inches the first few times you
do squats. The slower you can lower your body, the greater the workout.
You can also do squats with your back against the wall. Simply slide
down the wall into the squat position and then push your body back
up using your legs.
Dips are great for your core, chest and triceps. The back of the
arms are notoriously difficult to firm up for most women. The dip
bodyweight exercise can really work the triceps. Sit on the floor
in front of a low bench or use a sturdy chair to support your weight.
Reach behind your back and place your palms on the bench or chair
with your fingers gripping the edge of the bench. Bend your knees
so that your thighs are parallel to the floor and your feet are
flat on the ground. Slowly lower your body toward the floor by bending
your elbows. Push your body back up until your arms are fully extended,
but don't lock your elbows. Keep your grip on the bench close to
your body to focus on your triceps. Widen your grip to place a greater
load on your chest muscles.
Leg raises really work your lower back, abs and your leg muscles.
You can do leg raises on an exercise bench or just use the floor
if you want to work out at home and don't have a bench. Flatten
your back against the floor and place your hands on each side of
your hips with your palms down. Straighten your legs and keep your
ankles together. Squeeze your abs tightly and then lift both legs
off the floor. Bring your legs straight back toward your head until
your legs are straight up above your hips. Slowly lower your legs
back toward the floor, but don't touch the floor with your legs
or heels. This exercise not only strengthens the legs and abs, but
also strengthens your lower back muscles. Leg raises also improve
the flexibility and strength of your hip flexor muscles.