Home workouts have been one of the rare success stories during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are discovering how much fitness work can be accomplished at home, revolutionizing their approach to staying in shape. Last week, we took a look at 5 Tips to Maximize Your Home Workouts. Sticking with the theme, we’re going to look at 5 Body Weight Exercises that should form the core of every home workout plan.
Body weight exercises are one of the best kept secrets of fitness training. We’re conditioned to visiting gyms and marveling at all the high-tech equipment. Meanwhile, many people are making strength gains without using any extra equipment. Instead, they rely on their own body weight to provide resistance.
Building knowledge of body weight training allows a person complete freedom over when and where they work out. You can work out on vacation (remember those!), in the park, or anywhere you can place a yoga mat down. It’s that simple! Here are five staple bodyweight exercises to incorporate into your routine.
Humans are designed to squat. We’ve been squatting since we were toddlers, yet most of us lose the ability to squat well due to excessive sitting. Simply put, squatting is one of the most foundational compound movements in weightlifting. It works the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abdominal muscles, glutes and lower back. During squatting, it’s vital to maintain good form. Click Here to find out tips and best practices for squatting safely.
Push-ups are a staple of so many types of workouts. You’ll find them in yoga practices, you’ll find them in CrossFit, and bodybuilders swear by them. They essentially work your entire upper half, including your pectorals (chest), biceps and triceps, shoulders, and even your upper back. Worried about your ability to do push-ups? The good news is they can be easily modified by taking a starting position on your knees. A push-up traditional begins lying face down on the ground. Place hands at either side of your body, just below the shoulders, and push up until your arms are straight.
As a physiotherapist, I’m always telling clients how important it is to have a strong core. It helps to improve stability, reduce injury, and even help to maintain mobility. Planks are one of the best exercises for strengthening your core muscles and achieving these goals. This simple, held position, strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck and abs. It helps to maintain good posture, and is perfect for those hunched over a desk working from home. To perform a plank, get into the top of a push-up position (or on your forearms), back straight and core tight. Hold the position for 30 seconds to start. Try to stretch your time out and hold the position for longer.
Lunges are a fantastic lower body exercise that works the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Incorporating lunges into your routine will simultaneously build stronger legs and a stronger core. This will help improve performance in running and other every day tasks. Good lunge form involves starting in an upright position and lunging forward with one leg. Ensure your back remains upright throughout the movement.
Pull-ups are the only one of our movements where additional equipment is necessary. Either a bar mounted in a doorframe, or else freely available public exercise equipment outdoors. The pull-up can be compared to the squat. It’s a compound movement that covers so many muscle groups at once. It simultaneously works the forearms, biceps, shoulders, traps, and many of the mid-back muscles. Unable to do pull-ups? Start at the top of the movement and ever so slowly lower yourself down. This will help to build grip strength and condition your body for the movement.
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