3 Bodyweight Exercises to Maximize Your Gains
Bodyweight exercises can kick your butt if you do them correctly. Plus, they are a refreshing challenge to your strength training. Mixing things up – and challenging yourself with something new – will help you to stay engaged and passionate about your fitness goals.
Many of the exercises that you do at the gym require heavy equipment that can take their toll on your body and your morale. These traditional exercises can be substituted for others that work the same muscles using nothing more than the weight of your own body. Whether you’re just getting started on your new exercise plan or breaking up the rhythm of your normal workouts, try these exercises to keep you engaged.
Plus, bodyweight exercises can be done at home, outside, or in the gym, with minimal equipment.
Elevated Push Ups
If you have ever been to the gym or lifted weights, odds are, you’ve done a bench press. This exercise is designed to sculpt your chest, arms, and shoulders, but it’s not the only way to get a deep, thorough workout. Elevated push-ups challenge your joint stability and work your core at the same time, which is harder than you think. Here’s what you do:
- Get into a push-up position placing your feet on an elevated surface. If you’re used to benching, shoot for a surface that is knee height.
- Perform a push-up. Make sure that your chest touches the ground at the bottom, and your arms extend completely at the top of each rep.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps. Feel free to adjust the number of sets and reps to cater your workout to your current skill level.
If this exercise is easy for you, you can make it harder by adding a 2-3 second pause at the bottom of each rep while holding your chest as close to the floor as possible without touching. Pushing through the shoulders completely and rounding your chest at the top of each rep will also make things harder.
Give your chest and shoulders the workout they crave using this bodyweight exercise. Start today by learning the Fundamentals of GymnasticBodies Training!
Negative Chin Ups
Bicep curls are another integral part of any gym workout. Whether you prefer single arm curls with a dumbbell or double arm curls with a barbell, you can substitute this with bodyweight based negative chin-ups. Give it a shot!
- Hang on a bar with your palms facing towards you.
- Pull up so that your chin is above the bar. You can also jump up if needed.
- Lower your body slowly until your arms are completely straight. Your goal is to hit 10 seconds on the descent.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. Again, you are welcome to adjust this number according to your needs.
To make things harder, you can add a 3-5 second chin hold at the top of each rep. If that is still too easy, try aiming for a 15-second descent on each rep.
Static Half Squat to Straight Jump
Let’s not forget one of the fundamental rules of any workout regimen — never skip leg day. Squats are designed to target your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Build up your power, endurance, and explosive strength with this exercise:
- Lower your body into a half squat position with your thighs parallel to the ground. Remember to keep your toes pointing forward and your back straight.
- Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, then immediately jump as high as you can. Make sure that you straighten your legs and push through your toes as you jump.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps of this exercise. On each rep, you should return to a half squat position immediately after the jump.
If you find that you need more of a challenge, you can jump up onto a raised, secure, surface. If you are used to doing similar squat variations, give the single leg version a try. Just follow steps 1-3 standing on one leg instead of 2.
Don’t Wait to try Bodyweight Exercises!
Mixing things up and changing your routine is good for your body and your progress. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel after switching out a few exercises from your normal routine. Stay excited, challenged and inspired about your gains and maximize your results with other bodyweight exercises from the GymnasticBodies Online Courses.