The beauty of exercise is that you can do it anywhere. Just look at British astronaut Tim Peake: He ran the London Marathon in space! While we obviously advocate for working out in a gym, you can exercise anywhere, including our gym, with these 5 best body weight exercises.
Too many times we see people come into the gym and head straight to the squat rack or bench press, only to get hurt or discouraged. It’s human nature to let our egos get the best of us sometimes.
It is best practice to be able to do simple body weight exercises correctly before adding any weights or other gym tools. You wouldn’t build a house on top of a cracked foundation, would you?
When you are first starting out or just returning to regular exercise, we recommend starting with these 5 best body weight exercises. Not only are they excellent compound movements that engage multiple large muscle groups, but they also strengthen your core, improve your balance, and help you learn body awareness.
So next time you’re at the gym, give these exercises a try. They are harder than they look and good for you!
The 5 Best Body Weight Exercises You Need to Master
Crunches and sit-ups are bad for your back and only work the rectus abdominus muscle. Your core is much more than the muscles of your 6-pack abs! Planks are the best exercise to work your entire core and improve your balance and posture.
Squats are single handily one of the best exercises you can do period. Not only do they work all your major muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, but they also help you build muscle. More muscle burns more fat. Once you’ve mastered the body weight squat, you can start adding weight or jumps to them.
Everyone hates push-ups, but they are a great body weight exercise for the upper body. The standard push-up that you were taught in gym class works nearly all your muscles in your body. The push-up is a functional exercise meaning that the push-up movement itself can be translated to real-world movements, like opening a door. Start on your knees until you have enough strength to get on your toes.
Lunges are a functional, multi-joint exercise that can be modified for anyone. Start with body weight before moving to weighted lunges. Lunges, next to squats, are one of the best exercises to work your glutes and quadriceps.
Strengthening and building these muscles not only make you stronger, but also increases your metabolism so you can burn more fat at rest. Lunges can also improve your hip flexibility as your hip flexors are used to bend or flex your legs at your hips. Tight hip flexors are the number one cause of lower back pain.
Pull-ups are probably the hardest exercise on the list, as the movement requires heaps of upper body strength. Don’t be intimated by pull-ups. Start by using a pull-up machine at the gym and slowly build up your strength to do an unassisted pull-up. Pull-ups are a great exercise for your back and will help improve your posture. No more hunched shoulders!
Not sure how to do any of these body weight exercises? Talk to our trainers today!