The 5 Best Bodyweight Moves

Aug 11, 2016 //

Body weight workouts are a great way to get fit, and the only equipment you need is yourself.

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There are infinite reasons to give body weight workouts a try, especially if you travel often or don’t have room in your home for a lot of weights or equipment. You can do these body weight exercises in a single room, with nothing more than a mat.

All you really need is a towel, because this intense bodyweight workout program will make you sweat!

1. Squats

This move is great for lower body and building core strength. Your legs do the lifting while your core muscles keep you balanced.

  1. The correct positioning for a proper squat is to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your arms out in front of you and your knees bent.
  2. Make sure that when bend your knees, that they don’t reach out beyond your toes.
  3. This means aligning your upper body slightly behind you as you squat, as if you were sitting on a chair behind you.
  4. This will also challenge your balance, which makes your core muscle groups work harder.

2. Push-Ups

Push-ups may seem old school, but they are one of the best upper body workouts. This move uses every muscle in your arms, shoulders and chest. If you keep your body positioned in a straight line from your head to your heels, without dropping your head or raising your hips, you will also feel this in your core and upper abdominals.

There are many variations of push-ups if you want to target certain muscles. For example, you can target the triceps by placing your closer hands together, making a triangle with your thumbs and forefinger. Trust us, you will feel this the next day.

3. Lunges

With your feet together, face forward. Step one foot out and bend the knee at a 90-degree angle so that your thigh runs parallel to the ground.

  1. Make sure your knee does not go out past your toes as you lunge.
  2. Hold for a count of one.
  3. Return to your starting position, and then lunge with the other leg.
  4. Alternate legs, lunging and holding for a count of one.
  5. As you lunge, keep your abdominals engaged and your back straight.
  6. This move really works your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
  7. With the proper positioning, you will need to use your core muscles to help you balance.

4. Planking

Planking is one of the best all-around exercises ever. The secret to this core-shredding move is proper positioning.

  1. In a push-up position, rest your upper body on your forearms so that your arms make a 90-degree angle.
  2. Your elbows should be directly in line with your shoulders.
  3. Keep your core engaged, your spine straight and your knees firm but not locked.
  4. Holding a basic plank uses your arms, shoulders, chest, neck, back, core and even glutes.
  5. Once you have the correct position, hold for as long as you can without sacrificing your form.
  6. For beginners, start with 10-second holds and increase your hold time as your fitness progresses.
  7. If this basic plank position gets too easy, try holding one of your arms up and hold there.
  8. You can do the same with one leg – get into position and lift one foot off the floor.

These are killer!

5. Single-Leg Squat

The single-leg squat is one of the more challenging moves, due to the amount of balance involved. Once you get the hang of it, however, we promise it will become one of your favourites. This move works your hamstrings, quads, glutes – and you better believe it works your core!

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. As you squat, extend one of your legs out in front of you in one smooth motion.
  3. As you stand back up, return your straightened leg back to the starting position.
  4. You can hold your arms out in front of you for balance, and remember never let your bent knee extend out over your toes.
  5. Just a few of these bad boys will have you sweating in no time!

With these five awesome body weight-only techniques, you never have to miss a workout. These five moves can literally be done anywhere, anytime. If you want to add a bit of cardio to these bodyweight exercises, try doing a set of 10-15 jumping jacks in-between moves. As with any workout, don’t forget to warm up and stretch before you begin.