Get stronger with bodyweight training!

2016Mar31_WomensFitness_AMore women have taken to strength training and building muscle to help them quickly lose fat and get a toned body. But what if you don’t want to go to the gym or if a membership is a little out of your budget? Fortunately, there are plenty of strength training workouts you can do by yourself with little to no need for any exercise equipment. So if you plan on getting stronger, leaner and healthier, try out these basic exercises to get your body into shape.

Squats

The lower muscles of your body are going be working in this exercise. This includes the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and your posterior chain. Start with your feet a little over a shoulder width apart. Whenever you’re doing a squat, make sure that your knees are not going inwards or outwards, instead they should remain in neutral position as they go forward whenever you descend. Imagine you’re sitting back down on a chair while trying to keep your back straight. Start off with 2 sets of 20 reps.

Incline push-ups

Wherever you go, people will always say that push-ups will always be a staple of any strength training exercise. If you’re just starting out and find it difficult to do normal push-ups, start with inclined push-ups first. This is done by placing your hands on an elevated surface like a bench and proceed to do the normal motion for a push-up. The goal is to gradually strengthen your body so that you’ll be able to do normal pushups on a flat surface. To get some results try doing 3 sets of 10 reps.

Bench dips

The great thing about dips is that they can strengthen your arms and you can do them with any park bench or chair. Simply place your hands behind you on a bench with your knuckles facing forward. Have your legs extended forward and dip down until your arms are in a 90 degree angle. Don’t shrug your shoulders as you’re lowering yourself down since this might cause injury. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with these.

Aussie pull-ups

If you’re a complete beginner, being able to do your first pull-up can seem like an impossible feat. You should go with a less intense version and work your way up instead. Using an inverted row, go under the bar and position your body horizontally from the bar. From there, pull yourself towards the bar while squeezing your abs and glutes. Make sure you don’t bend your hips as you go back down. Only do 2 sets of 10 reps of these and increase the amount when you feel more comfortable with it.

Hip bridges

This exercise rounds out your training session by stabilizing your spine, hamstrings, and muscles in your inner thigh. To perform this, start lying on your back. Have your legs bent on a 45 degree angle and keep your arms to your side with your palms planted on the floor. Lift yourself up by extending your hips upwards. As you’re going up remember to squeeze your glutes and breathe out. Inhale and relax as you’re going back down. For beginners to this type of training do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Lying knee tucks

No training session is ever complete without a little ab work. Again, lie on your back with your legs just a few inches above the floor and your arms at your sides. For each repetition, tuck your legs closer to your chest and extend them out to finish the repetition. Unlike crunches, there’s little strain placed on your neck with knee tucks so there’s less risk of injuring yourself. Try to do 3 sets of 15 for this one.

Once you’re more comfortable with these exercises you can increase the intensity by adding more sets to your workout or by trying a more difficult version to some of these exercises. If you’re at a point where push-ups are not doing much for you anymore, try challenging yourself with clap push ups. Or if you’re getting bored of Aussie pull-ups, go vertical and do normal pull-ups. Always remember that proper technique beats out how many repetitions you complete so focus on doing it right to get the most out of your workouts.

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