Who says you need an expensive gym membership or the latest fitness gadget to get into top-notch shape? All you really need is your body—and a little bit of space. As the fitness industry is constantly trying to revolutionize how people exercise, they seem to always go back to one thing —bodyweight exercises. And with so many great bodyweight exercises to choose from, you will never get bored (or go broke). Here are some of the most effective bodyweight exercises:
It may be one of the oldest exercises around, but its longevity is a testament to its effectiveness in building both upper body and core strength. Not only that, you will also get a nice rise in your heart rate after a couple of sets of push-ups making it a cardiovascular exercise as well.
The squat is also great for core strength as well as hitting several lower body muscles including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes (better known as your butt). You can also challenge yourself by doing them on one leg or adding some weight to them. The possibilities are endless when it comes to squats.
Pull-ups are probably the most challenging because you are basically pulling your entire bodyweight up as high as you can. While push-ups focus more on the chest and tricep muscles, pull-ups hit more of your back and biceps. For an easier variation of a pull-up, grab onto a bar that is about as high as your belly button, lie underneath it and pull your chest up to the bar and then lower back down. This is a great starting point before tackling real pull-ups.
While the name sounds funny, there is nothing humorous about burpees. This is one serious exercise that will give your body some serious results. The burpee is considered a total body exercise so there is nothing that will not be working on this one. Drop your hands to the floor, kick your legs back, jump your legs back in and then stand up and jump. Try seeing how many you can do in one minute and then keep working on improving your time. There are dozens of ways to do burpees, but this one stands on its own as a real calorie burner and body transformer.
Try doing a set of these exercises completing about twelve to fifteen repetitions of each. Once it gets easier, up your sets to two or three. You can do them timed, interval style or as a quick early morning workout to get your day going. The best part—you can do them anywhere, any time without having to leave your home or make a pricey investment in equipment. Your body is your own personal gym.