With more and more people getting vaccinated, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic. But until the pandemic is over, many people won’t have access to gym equipment for resistance workouts. Here are 5 great bodyweight exercises you can do at home with no equipment to stay healthy and in shape in the meantime.
Push-ups are one of the most tried and true bodyweight exercises. When done properly, this exercise is great for strengthening the muscles in yourtriceps, pectoral muscles, shoulders, lower back, and abdominal muscles. Push-ups can be done anywhere, and there are many different programs for gradually increasing the number of push-ups over time. Additionally, many variations on push-ups exist that work the muscles differently. These include wide grip push-ups, declined push-ups, inclined push-ups, alligator push-ups, and many more. When doing push-ups, it is important to keep your back straight to engage your core and bring your chest nearly all of the way to the ground. If an easier version is necessary when starting out, try doing kneeling push-ups until you are able to do full push-ups.
Burpees are a killerbodyweight exercise!This exercise involves dropping into a push-up position, springing back to your feet, jumping into the air, and raising your arms. This challenging exercise is not only great for cardiovascular training, but also strengthens muscles all over your body such as shoulders, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. As long as you can keep doing the exercise correctly with smooth and controlled movements, try doing one-legged burpees to add an additional challenge.
While squats are primarily a lower body exercise, they are effective at strengthening muscles in your core as well. Squats work muscles in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor, hip flexors, calves, abdominal muscles, and lower back. In addition to being a great exercise for strength training, squats can be effective at building up muscles in key areas in order to help prevent injuries. If you are looking for an added challenge, try doing jump squats to increase the resistance on your muscles and add an aerobic component.
Many people’s go to exercise for abdominal muscles are sit-ups or crunches. However, planks are more effective in activating muscles all over your body while still being a great exercise for your core. When doing planks,you engage muscles in your arms, legs, and core for a great full body workout. Additionally, planks are great for avoiding lower back pain while working your core, which can sometimes be a problem for sit-ups and crunches. Planks can also be helpful for improving posture and muscle stability. For an additional challenge, try doing side planks as well to work an even wider group of muscles.
This entry on the list is a little different than the others – because you do need a pull-up bar to do the exercise. However, you can find an easy to setup doorframe pull-up bar on Amazon for under $30, so I would consider the investment in order to add this bodyweight exercise into your workout routine. Pull-ups are great exercises for strengthening muscles in your back, shoulders, arms, as well as grip strength. If you currently struggle to do a pull-up, try starting with assisted pull-ups or just hanging from a pull-up bar for 10 to 30 seconds to begin strengthening the muscles needed for a full pull-up.
Be sure to stretch and warm up properly before strength training to avoid injuries. Also, it’s important to practice proper form when completing any of these exercises. If you have any health conditions that could be exacerbated by exercise, check with your physician before starting a new workout program.