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Bodyweight-Exercises for strength

Updated on August 12, 2009

Bodyweight exercises

Body weight exercises are the act of using your own body weight as a resistance exercise to increase strength and size as well as keep your body trim, toned and supple.Many people will benefit from these exercises as they can be performed virtually anywhere and with no equipment needed apart from perhaps a towel.There are no gym memberships needed so therefore it is also an option for those who are short of money which to be fair is most of us in this current climate,These exercises can be performed by both men and women and you can do as much of a workout as you desire, be it 5 mins or an hour.

The benefits of body weight exercises are evident in lots of places all over the world from monks performing them to increase core strength and flexibility to where they are probably performed the most and that is the various prisons and jails all over the world where convict have limited access to both space and free weights.What follows is some good examples for you to try out yourselves at home and some video guides to accompany them.

Bodyweight exercises for fitness

The Basics

We will begin with the basics, these are the basic body weight exercises that most of you may know, you wont know them all but you will of heard of a couple of them I'm sure.

  • The Squat: Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, slowly lower your self down, keeping your back straight until your thighs are parallel with the floor then slowly raise yourself again, congratulations you have just performed a body weight squat.This heavily targets the legs.
  • The press-up:Lying on the floor with your palms on the floor and arms outstretched press your body to the floor then back up again,the only body parts that should remain on the floor are your feet and palms.Focuses on shoulders and triceps
  • Pull-up:Hanging from a bar with palms facing away from you slowly lift your body until your chin is level with the bar then lower yourself and repeat.Focuses on your back and arm muscles and is known for being one of the tougher body weight exercises to perform
  • The Crunch:This is performed on the floor with the knees being bent and lifted towards the centre of your body while at the same time raising your head and shoulders to meet your knees,Focuses on your abs

Bodyweight squat

Bodyweight exercises for muscle building

Anyone thinking that you cant build muscle without heaving large weights around is really wrong,to prove that theory if you can do the first exercise on the following list and get up to 3 sets of 8 you will definitely see an increase in the size of you shoulders.What follows is a list of some of the more complex body weight exercises for building muscle.

  • Handstand body press:Facing a wall do a handstand and have your legs outstretched against the wall supporting your body weight with your arms outstretched, now lower your whole body until your head touches the floor then back up.These target your arms,shoulders,back,abs,and core strength and is one of the best ones out there
  • Dips:Find a bench and something opposite to rest your feet on then with your hands on the bench behind you dip your body down then up again.Targets the triceps
  • Lunges:With one leg in front of the other bend down on the forward leg until your thigh is parallel with the ground and then up again repeat on both legs.Targets thighs
  • Squats:As above


Handstand press and burpee's

Bodyweight exercises for flexibility

  • Wall Walking:Stand with your back to a wall ,then lean back and touch the wall with both your hands then start walking down the wall when you get to the bottom try and walk back up it,This uses most of the muscles in your body.
  • Side to side jumps:These target flexibility in your hips,find somewhere with lots of space and then jump to one side with both legs together then back to the other side.
  • Full hanging leg raise:Hang from a beam and while concentrating on your core raise your legs slowly hold at the top then lower them.

Hanging leg raises

Bodyweight exercise dvd's and books


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