I’d like to share some tips to maximize your body weight workout experience. First things first, do NOT underestimate the power of simple moves and your own body weight. Push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, tricep dips, lunges, squats…the list goes on. You can get a strong and effective workout with any and all of these exercises. Too good to be true? Nope. The catch? You have to know what you’re doing. So, what should you be doing? Here are a few tips:
Form Matters. Keep your core in tight (but remember to breathe). Make sure that your shoulders are held back, your neck long, your chin up. Too complicated? How about this: You’re walking across South Beach and want to look hot, what would your posture and carriage look like? Strong, tall, lean, confident. Visualize that when you’re executing body weight training moves. Be deliberate. Don’t get sloppy.
Remember to Breathe. Breathing matters. Yes, that thing you do subconsciously. Except be mindful and aware while you exercise. Deep, cleansing breaths will energize you and can make all the difference in the quality of your workout. I’ll breathe to that!
Full Effort and Range of Motion. Work to the edges of your range. Push hard and get low during those squats. Lower your chest as close to the ground as you can during those push-ups. Tighten your quads and glutes as you power through that 60-second plank hold. That extra burst of energy and effort counts.
My “Dirty Thirty” Rule. My recommendation for a body weight workout is to spend at least 30 minutes on your workout, and to do each movement for at least 30 seconds or 30 repetitions to reap some serious calorie-blasting, sweat-worthy benefits. Need an example of some body weight workout sets?
Cardio set: 30 jumping jacks, 30 quick feet with a wide stance, 30 count high-knee runs. Repeat 3 times. Need another example?
Core strength set: 30 second forearm plank hold, 30 “mountain-climber” knees, 30 seconds of push-ups. Repeat 3 times. One more example?
Lower body set: 30 squats, 30 squat “pulses” bottom-half (small, controlled movements at the very bottom of your squat), 30 alternating lunges with your hands straight up in the air. Repeat 3 times.
Get creative and make a few more of your own combinations, and you’re well on your way to my 30-minute recommendation!
Stretch! Stretching increases flexibility, lowers risk of injury, and just feels good. Give yourself a few slow shoulder rolls, head rolls, and runner’s lunges with your favorite slow song in the background. Simple and relaxing.
And voila! A free body weight workout. With minimal space and zero equipment. Without a pricey gym membership. You’re welcome.