Bodyweight exercises can help you stay fit at home, or on the road with little or no equipment. Here are a few of the best bodyweight exercises for maintaining muscle strength and endurance, or creating a great interval training routine at home. Mix and match the exercises to create the perfect workout for traveling, home fitness or simply adding a bit of variety to your typical exercise routine.
Start with a light warm-up for a few minutes. This can be walking, marching in place or stepping side to side. The goal of the warm-up is to get your blood circulating and your body temperature rising in order to prepare for higher intensity exercise.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds to two minutes depending upon your conditioning and interest. Move to the next exercise smoothly, but quickly. You can continue the routine as long as you like but aim for a twenty to thirty-minute workout. Cool down with five or more minutes of stretching and easy movements.
- Abdominal Exercises
- Ab exercises can be done almost anywhere with no equipment, and there are many varieties to try.
- Begin in push-up position, on knees or toes. Perform 4 push-ups, abs in and back straight. On the fifth push-up, lower halfway down and hold for 4 counts. Push back up and repeat the series – 4 regular push-ups and 1 halfway — 5 or more times.
- The pull-up exercise does require some basic equipment, or some creativity (go to a playground or find a low hanging tree branch, for example), but it’s a great, simple way to build upper body strength.
- One-Leg Balance / Squat / Reach
- Stand on one leg and balance it as long as you can. If this is too easy, add a slight squat motion. Still too easy? Place an object on the floor, several feet in front of you (a book, perhaps), and slowly squat down, and reach out with one arm and touch the object and slowly return to an upright position. Stay on one leg at all times. Repeat on the other leg after a minute or so.
- Tuck Jump
- The tuck jump exercise ranks near the top of the list for developing explosive power using only an athlete’s body weight.