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Bodyweight Training at Home

Updated on July 15, 2011

BodyWeight Training at Home

Bodyweight Training at Home: How to?

If you’re interested in strengthening and toning your entire body with resistance training but don’t want to spend your hard earned money on expensive equipment and gym memberships, then listen up! You can still achieve great results by using your own bodyweight for resistance while you perform a wide variety of exercises. Best of all, you can do these right from the comfort of your own home!

Upper Body Workouts

Two of those most effective upper body workouts that rely on bodyweight alone are military style pushups and triceps dips. Neither of these requires any equipment, other than open floor space and in the case of triceps dips, a chair or bench.

If you’re unfamiliar with military style pushups, they are just your standard straight leg pushups. Start out by lying on the floor with your hands beneath your shoulders. Lift yourself up into the air until your arms are straight, then lower yourself back down to within four inches of the floor. If you want to really focus on your chest, move your hands in closer than shoulder width, or move them out beyond shoulder width to target your shoulders and triceps.

For triceps dips, place your hands behind you on one chair seat and your heels on another chair seat across from you. Slowly lower yourself down and back up. If you really want to ramp things up, then try extending one leg straight out.

Core Body Workouts

Your core muscles consist of the obliques, lower back and rectus abdominis. One of the best ways to work your lower back muscles is to use a stability ball for back extensions or alternating leg and arm raises. Simply lie face down with the stability ball beneath your abdomen and slowly raise your left leg and right arm up into the air while staying balanced with your right leg and left arm then alternate and repeat.

To work your rectus abdominis and obliques, you can also use the stability ball but this time you’ll be doing abdominal crunches. Lay down, with the stability ball beneath your lower back and slowly perform your ab crunches. Make sure that you keep your vision straight ahead! Don’t allow your chin to tuck in to your chest. To target your obliques, you’ll want to twist to the left or right during your crunches rather than straight ahead.

Lower Body Workouts

There are quite a few different lower body workouts you can do using only your bodyweight. A favorite are stair steppers or step-ups, which you can do by simply stepping up onto a block, chair or bench. This exercise will really work your leg muscles and buttocks, just make sure to alternate between legs. To ramp things up, use progressively higher steps.

You can also do lunges and squats, both of which are very effective at working your lower body. You can also combine them into one exercise by first doing a lunge, where you step forward with your right leg at a 90 degree angle and your left leg extended behind you and then transition to a squat by pushing off with your right leg and sitting down into a deep squat. As soon as you reach the bottom of your squat, transition back to a lunge, this time with your left leg. Rinse and repeat!

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