FIT TIP: The Basics of Bodyweight Exercises

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3.11.14BasicsofBodyweightExercises.jpgWith the growing popularity of boot camp-style classes and back-to-basics workouts, bodyweight exercises are becoming increasingly common in and outside of the gym. And for good reason!

Bodyweight exercises involve simple yet efficient movements that burn fat, build muscle, boost cardiovascular fitness and improve stability – with no equipment required. None!

They can be done in your living room, the corner of your office or even outside. Here are a few easy ways to add bodyweight exercises into your routine.

Commit to Compound Movements. Many bodyweight exercises consist of compound movements that engage numerous joints and muscles in just one move. To fire-up your entire body and get the most out of your workout, try push-ups, lunges, squats, dips and planks.

Use Unilateral Exercises. Once you’ve gotten your form down on two legs or arms, perform an exercise on one leg or arm and you’ll improve balance and increase intensity. Switch it up with single-legged squats, one-arm pushups or single-legged jumps for a real challenge!

Do Double-Duty. If you’re not ready to go completely equipment free yet, bodyweight exercises are a great way to add a burst of cardio in between strength training moves. Instead of standing around after a set of bicep curls, maximize your time and increase your heart rate with one minute of squat jumps, burpees or jumping jacks. You’ll build strength and work up a major sweat!

Improvise. Just because equipment is minimal doesn’t mean bodyweight exercises are predictable. Add some variety and rotate between slow and fast reps. Do long jumps the distance of a rug. Try an incline push-up on a park bench or tricep dips on a chair. Try holding a plank for an entire song. Mix it up daily and get creative! 

Now, are you ready to work that body weight?

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