As a personal trainer I’ve just about heard every excuse when it comes to exercise. Time, money, injury and boredom are just a few that come to mind; but what if I told you there was a way to workout that was super time efficient, cheap, low injury risk and fun? All you need is your own body!
Why bodyweight training?
Bodyweight training doesn’t require a gym membership or any fancy expensive equipment and has been shown to yield some great results, even in short-duration workouts. It is injury safe for most people regardless of age and fitness levels. It can also be a lot of fun! If you’re sick of your old gym routine there are so many different body weight exercises that can be incorporated into your regime to make it more interesting. This will not only reduce boredom but also help break through fitness and weight loss plateaus.
Bodyweight training for maximum results
The best thing about bodyweight training is the great results. If you’re looking to shed those extra few pounds bodyweight training has it covered with large compound movements (multiple joints and muscles used) that get the heart pumping and every large muscle group in the body working. This combination of increased heart rate and increased muscle development is one of the most effective methods of burning fat. By doing a short-duration circuit of bodyweight exercises you will not only burn a lot of calories during your workout, but it will also have a major impact on your body’s metabolism – which means you will also be burning more calories after your workout and while at rest.
Below I have compiled some of my favorite bodyweight exercises into a 15 minute circuit that is guaranteed to work your full body, get the heart pumping and get your body into fat-burning mode!
Bodyweight Only Workout Plan:
Before starting this circuit make sure you are adequately warmed up. You will be performing five bodyweight exercises in a circuit consisting of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. The exercises you will be performing are outlined below.
Bodyweight squats will help develop lower body strength and will help you achieve a toned butt and legs. They primarily work your quadriceps, glutes and calves. To perform a squat start standing with feet shoulder width apart. Lower your body down bending at the hips first followed by the knees. Make sure you keep your chest up, knees behind toes, and push your butt back and down. Finish the squat by pushing yourself back up using only your leg strength.
Pushups are a great exercise for upper body strength and will work your chest, shoulders and triceps. They are also great for improving core strength. To perform a pushup start face down on the ground with your feet together. Position your hands palms down on the floor, shoulder width apart with elbows pointing towards your toes. Come up on to the balls of your feet and raise yourself using your arms finishing in a plank position. If you are new to pushups, start off by going on your knees.
As with squats, lunges will also work your lower body but with a greater emphasis on the glutes. To perform a lunge start standing with feet hip width apart. Imagine your feet are on train tracks and step forward (or backward) with one leg coming into a lunge (bending both legs at around 90 degrees). Make sure you keep your body upright and that your front knee doesn’t extend past your toes. Using only your leg strength, push yourself back to a standing position and repeat with other leg.
Pullups are another great exercise for building upper body strength and will work your back, shoulders and biceps. To perform a pull up grip a strudy bar with your palms facing out and arms nearly fully extended. Using your upper body strength, pull your bodyweight up so that your chin comes just above the bar before lowering yourself back down with control. If this is too difficult try positioning yourself under a low bar with feet supporting your bodyweight on the ground.
5. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are a great plyometric exercise that will not only strengthen several muscle groups but also test the cardiovascular system. To perform mountain climbers start in a plank position on hands and toes. Bend the right leg, bringing your right knee towards your right hand before returning to a plank position. Do the same thing on the left side and continue to alternate, mimicking the actions of a mountain climber. Once comfortable with this movement speed it up!
For best results I recommend repeating this circuit at least 2-3 times.
Add this fat melting bodyweight workout plan to a fat shred diet and watch the pounds fade away!