You don’t need lots of fancy equipment to get the body you want; you have everything you need with you at all times – YOUR BODY. Here are the top bodyweight exercises for different areas of your body.
No equipment needed whatsoever for these exercises.
- Press Ups – the standard bodyweight exercise. Great for working your chest, shoulders, arms and abs / core. Yes press ups are that good but very few do them. Make sure you’re not one of them and make press ups a staple in your fitness programme. Add any kind you can think of to the end of each workout for 5 sets of ten and you’ll notice a big difference in your upper body pushing performance.
- Squats – you don’t need a bar and weights for this to be a great exercise. Higher reps are obviously needed to get a good training effect so start off easy with 2 sets of 20 to get used to the higher rep training. Your legs and bum will thank you.
- Ankle grab sit ups – lie flat on your back then sit up and grab your ankles, simple and easy and great to tone up your mid section.
- Lunges / split stance squats – lunges in any direction are great for your leg and butt muscles, they give you a balance challenge and are great for increasing flexibility in those tight hip muscles from sitting at a desk or driving about all day. Split stance squats are just lunges where your feet remain in a split stance for all your reps; to take it up a notch put your back leg on a bench or any raised surface and really fire up those leg muscles.
Minimal Equipment needed for the following exercises.
- Pull ups / Chin Ups – a great test of upper body pulling strength. Pull ups are harder (palms away grip) and chins are slightly easier (palms toward you grip). Your grip, forearms, biceps, back, and abdominals are all taxed greatly with pulls and chins. If you can’t get a single rep then use a bench to jump up to the bar and do sets of slow lowering to build your strength and you can also use a partner or a chair to take some of your bodyweight from you so you can perform a few more reps.
- Dips – this is like a squat for your upper body, shoulders chest and triceps all receive a great amount of work to build a balanced and defined upper body. You can also perform weighted dips if you are strong enough to give you an extra challenge.
- Inverted body rows – these are like upside down press ups. Hold your body ridged with your heels on the floor hanging from a bar at a low height or the gymnastic rings and pull yourself up using only your arms, hold for a second and lower. Start off with 5 sets of 5 and gradually build it up so you’re managing 5 sets of 10 – 15 with ease.
- Ab wheel rollout – one of the best abdominal exercises there is. It also works your arms and shoulders and back muscles as stabilizers. Take it easy with these though, too much too soon can give your lower back an injury so make sure you keep a flat back while performing and stop as soon as you feel your back arching too much.