We’ve all been there, you come home from work, it’s raining, you’re tired, and the last thing you want to do is trudge in the cold dark rain to your local gym to pound away at the treadmill. Well - what if we told you there is another way! You can achieve that athletic shape and skim away those winter pounds - as per your New Year’s resolution - using nothing more than your own body weight as a simple, effective way to improve balance, flexibility and strength without machinery or extra equipment.
Using body resistance alone, you can effectively work out your legs, shoulders, chest and abs. All you need is your own living room floor, as well as being willing and able for a tough workout!
Another advantage to bodyweight exercising? You will save money from your gym membership!
Why not put the cash towards a summer holiday where you can show off the new, toned you?
Here are our top bodyweight exercises for you to try at home. Now work out!
1. The Plank
The plank is one of the simplest and most effective ways to work your core, using your own stability and strength to hold your body in place.
Lie face down with forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend the legs behind the body and rise up on the toes.
Keeping the back straight, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can hang).
2. The Walking Plank
Not as scary as it sounds! First, assume a pushup position. Your body should be a straight line from your head to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
Slowly walk your hands forward without allowing your hips to sag or your lower back posture to change. When you reach the farthest you point you can walk out without breaking form, walk your feet forward until you're in the starting position again. That's one rep. Try eight reps for size until you can increase to 15 in one sitting.
One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor.
Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show.
This one is tough - but the fast results speak for themselves!
4. Wall Sit
Who needs a chair when there’s a wall? Slowly slide your back down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight.
Go for 60 seconds per set (or however long it takes to turn those legs to jelly). Want to make this workout even tougher? Add some bicep curls. Burn, baby burn!