Strength Training Without Weights
Modern fitness technology is a wonderful thing. Today’s strength training machines are designed based on cutting-edge scientific research to help you achieve your Goals and get stronger.
But sometimes, the buzz and excitement over sophisticated circuit equipment can fool us into thinking we need to have lots of tools to get a Good workout in. All you need for a challenging exercise that helps you make progress towards your fitness Goals is your body, a little bit of space, and some determination.
Whether you are traveling and don’t have access to your regular gym, or you had a busy day but still want to get some work in, the below exercises will allow you to get an excellent workout with nothing but your body. If you have access to basic equipment like dumbbells or medicine balls, you can make these workouts even more effective.
A staple in gym classes and military boot camps around the world, push-ups are one of the most popular bodyweight exercises. The standard variation works your chest, shoulders, and deltoids, but you can vary up your grip and the angle of your feet to hit other muscles like your triceps. Remember to keep your back and legs straight by engaging your core and glute muscles, which will help you work more than just your chest and arms.
Want a lean, solid core? Start with planking, the simple yet challenging exercise that involves keeping your body straight and off the floor while your weight rests on either your wrists or your elbows and feet. You can vary it up with side planks or by putting your feet in TRX handles if you have access to them. Don’t let your hips sag towards the floor, and hold your planks for at least a minute – or try for a minute and a half for a real challenge.
3. Glute Bridge
Some male lifters scoff at exercises for the muscles in their rear end. But athletes of all genders should be working on their gluteal muscles. Aesthetic appeal aside, they play an important role in regulating posture and hip motion when running or walking. To do a glute bridge, simply lay on your back and bring your feet towards your rear end, pointing your knees up. From this starting position, raise your hips up off the ground until they form a straight line with your legs, contracting your glutes throughout the range of motion.
While loaded barbell squats are popular with most lifters, you don’t need a bar or weight to get a Good workout from squats. When squatting with bodyweight, take your time to ensure your form is on-point and you achieve the proper depth. Remember to keep your knees roughly in line with the tips of your toes by pushing your rear end away from you while keeping a straight back. Place your arms straight out in front of you to help maintain balance. Of course, if you’re at home or in a hotel room, you can always hold something heavy to give your legs extra work – like a Body Fortress Protein Powder Tub!
5. Leg raise
Everyone knows the classic crunch or sit-up exercise, and while these moves are beneficial, leg-based ab workouts have the added benefit of helping your hip flexor and glute muscles. This improves core strength and works more of your body in the same exercise. To perform the leg raise, simply lie down flat on your back with your hands under or close to your rear, then slowly lift your legs up until they are perpendicular with the floor, keeping them as straight as possible.
One of the great things about the leg raise – and most other bodyweight exercises – is that they engage your core, helping you attain a lean and defined midsection. To learn more about how to use bodyweight exercises to build abs, check out the Body Fortress Complete Ab Workout.