You don’t need a gym to experience a tremendous workout. These 6 body weight exercises will strengthen all of your muscles and burn fat for hours after your workout — without any equipment. Work out anywhere, anytime, even while traveling or watching TV.
This is one of the best upper body exercises because it targets your arms, chest, back and abdominal muscles. Your shoulders should line up with your wrists, and be sure to tuck your elbows towards your sides.
As you lower to the floor, get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible without touching. Start with 5 to 8 repetitions.
The squat exercise primarily trains the muscles of the hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads (thighs). Your back and deep abdominal muscles will also be engaged to help you safely perform this exercise with impeccable form.
To perform a squat, imagine that you’re getting ready to sit down in a chair. Slowly lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor or at 90 degrees, keeping your abs tight and knees behind your toes.
Keeping the weight in your heels, slowly return to the start position. Start with 8 repetitions.
Planks are the best core strengthening exercise, because the muscles in the lower body, upper body and core are activated to resist the force of gravity and keep the body in proper alignment.
There are a variety of plank exercises, but it’s best to start with the standard elbow plank. Start by lying face down with your elbows on the floor and directly under your shoulders.
Press your forearms into the floor, and then prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes and forearms. Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds or longer, if you can.
The lunge exercise works the quads, hamstrings, glutes and stabilizing muscles for balance. Begin by standing in a split stance with the left foot forward and the right leg back.
Depending on your leg length, your feet should be roughly two feet apart. Hold onto a chair or wall if you feel wobbly. Keeping your torso upright, lower your body down until your back knee is a couple of inches from the floor.
Your front quad (thigh) should be parallel to the floor and the back knee should point toward the floor. Return to the start position, keeping the weight in the heel of the front foot as you push back up.
Doing bicycle crunches will fire up the entire core, because rotation and deep abdominal stabilization is required. You will also activate more muscle fibers in the obliques and rectus abdominus than a standard crunch.
To perform a bicycle crunch, lie on your back on a comfortable exercise mat and place your hands by your ears with your elbows pointed to the sides. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with your feet off the floor.
Slowly straighten your right knee, while simultaneously bringing your left knee towards your chest. Use your core to lift and turn your upper body to bring your right elbow towards your left knee.
Keep alternating back and forth, bringing the right elbow to left knee and left elbow to right knee, creating a bicycle kicking action. Do this for 30 seconds or longer, if you can.
The burpee is a full body, strength and cardio exercise. With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, front deltoids, arms, quads, hamstrings, and abs.
To perform a basic burpee, get into a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you, and then kick your feet back to a pushup position. Immediately return your feet to the squat position, then jump up as high as possible from the squat position.
Perform burpees in quick succession to get the best conditioning benefits. To lower the impact and intensity, leave the jumping part out. Start with 5 to 8 repetitions.
Robin Reichert is an AFPA certified nutrition consultant, AFPA certified personal trainer, Beachbody coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness.
She has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. Her services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.
To find out more about the Beachbody coaching business or some of Beachbody’s most popular fitness programs, such as P90X or Insanity, you can visit her blog and/or website at http://ift.tt/16J6Paj