Let’s face it. Exercising at home can get boring after a while. Wouldn’t you be relieved to know that many professional trainers reveal in-home body weight exercises for you to enjoy? You still get a good workout, but you won’t have the dread that many folks experience.
If you are like many people in America, you probably live on a tight budget. With all the bills and a family to care for, an expensive gym membership may be out of the question. Besides, who has time to run to the gym when you’re working and keeping up with your home life?
On the positive side, you don’t need a pricey membership to work out every day. In-home exercise routines are just as effective when you use free weights and bodyweight maneuvers. So you save money, get ripped, and do it in the comfort and privacy of your abode.
What Are Body Weight Exercises?
When you were in high school gym class, you probably remember the teacher calling your exercises calisthenics. This word is derived from Greek, and it means beauty and strength. It’s also called body weight exercise because you use your body and the force of gravity instead of machines to complete the movements
Calisthenics can also be thought of as macro-exercises because most of them affect large muscle groups in the body. Some bodyweight exercises may use small equipment minimally. When you perform these maneuvers, you create a rhythm of movement that inspired the beauty the Greeks so loved.
Before you start any exercise regimen, talk to your doctor about one that is best for you. When choosing body weight exercises, consult a certified trainer to devise a personalized workout with optimal exercises and safe technique.
How to Get Started on Body Weight Exercises
Use a spare room or create a space in another room of your house to work out. Exercise alone or get your family involved as a group fitness project. To break the monotony, pump out the music or watch tutorials of home gym workouts while you exercise.
Wear light, comfortable clothes and have fresh water on hand for hydration. Soon, you and your family will look forward to workout time. Here are some fun and innovative body weight exercises that don’t require special equipment to complete.
1. Side Leg Lifts
Who would have imagined that you could get a good workout while lying down? With this classic movement, you lie on your side and gently lift your top leg about 45 degrees, then lower it slowly. After about 10-15 repetitions, turn to lie on your opposite hand to work the other leg.
The idea is to do the movements slowly and deliberately. As you notice a little tightening feeling in your legs and hips, you know the exercise is working. Side leg lifts benefit your calves, hips, and behind.
Sit ups are body weight exercises that has been used for in-home workouts for generations. You must practice safe techniques when doing sit-ups so that you don’t strain or injure your neck or back. If needed, use a pillow for comfort.
Lie flat in a comfortable spot, lock your hands behind your head, and sit up slowly as far as you can go without pain. Sit-ups are an ideal way to strengthen your core and flatten your tummy. Do 10-15 repetitions, rest, then do another set.
3. Side Hops
If you like to speed skate, you are probably familiar with the movements of this these body weight exercises. Squat a bit and hop over to the left as far as you can. Land on your left foot with your right leg bent up at the knee. Then, reverse to the right side, landing on your right foot with your left leg bent at the knee.
While this exercise is almost like running in place, you want the movements to be slower. Do 10-15 repetitions for three sets. Side hops help tone your calves, thighs, and hips.
4. Jumping Jacks
When you do jumping jacks, you can’t help but laugh and have fun. Be sure you have adequate space to do the exercise safely. If you are doing it with your family, make sure nobody gets hurt.
First, stand straight with your legs together and your arms straight over your head. In one smooth movement, hop up and land with your legs spread and your arms stretched horizontally from your body, then return to the original position. Do several jumping jacks as part of your bodyweight exercises.
5. Jump Rope
This is an example of body weight exercises that requires simple equipment. You will need plenty of space for the rope to swing and not hit the wall or furniture. Jumping rope as a workout is not the same as skipping rope when you were in grade school.
Purchase an inexpensive exercise rope, and jump quickly for as many minutes as you feel comfortable. You will be working out your entire body, so allow for recovery time and rehydration. Jump rope is an excellent cardio workout.
6. Running in Place
Is the weather not cooperating, and you are ready for a morning run? You can stay indoors and run in place for a comparable workout. For an easy and safe technique, do this exercise on a non-slip pad.
Run in place at the speed and time you like, being sure to breathe deeply for optimal benefits. Listening to upbeat music puts a little kick in your step. After a running session, take a break before doing another exercise.
7. Practice Yoga
Yoga is one of the ideal bodyweight exercises that has been practiced for centuries. When you practice yogic positions, you blend them with meditation and mindful breathing for a holistic workout. If you’ve never done yoga, you can find excellent tutorials online that will guide you through an entire series.
To do advanced yoga positions, all you need as a comfortable yoga mat or blanket, and soft yoga blocks. The gentle, graceful movement tones your body and relaxes your mind. If you want a more strenuous workout, you might consider watching tutorials for hot yoga.
Pushups are an ideal body weight exercise for in-home workouts. If you feel strain on your back or legs while doing pushups, don’t continue.
You stretch your body out face down, and lift your upper body with your arms, and then lower it to the ground. Most people do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. If traditional pushups are too uncomfortable for you, then there are modified versions that work well too.
Would you like to try a multi-movement exercise that was created by a doctor at Columbia University? Over a century ago, Royal Burpee invented his eponymous exercise that works your whole body simultaneously. Today, the burpee remains an all-time favorite for workouts both in-home and in public fitness centers.
With your feet apart and aligned with your shoulders and arms at your sides, bend your knees. Go down with your hands on the floor. Now, kick your legs behind you and lower your whole body to the floor, with elbows bent. Push up with your arms to stand again, with a little hop.
Jump straight in the air and return to your first position. Burpee devised this combination of movements as a physical fitness test. Be sure to do each step correctly and safely.
Fitness enthusiasts often use pull-ups to build and define muscles in their arms. If you don’t have a pull-up bar at home, then you should use the next best thing. Did you know that you can do this simple exercise by hanging on the top edge of a sturdy door?
You can also do pull-ups while lying down under a well-built table. Lie down and scoot yourself just until your head and neck are under the table. Clasp the edge of the table with both hands and use your arms to pull yourself up for 10-15 repetitions.
11. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are inexpensive, and they are perfect to use for your bodyweight exercises. They can attach to any doorknob so you can do resistance stretches to strengthen your arms and chest. Then, use the bands to do side leg lifts to benefit your legs, thighs, hips, and behind.
Some resistance band sets can be stood on while you pull up for upper body exercises. They are lightweight, easy to store, and can be taken anywhere you go. What other gym machines can do that?
Final Thoughts on Using Body Weight Exercises to Get in Shape at Home
It’s imperative to cool down after a good workout. After you work and stretch your muscles, give them time to recover. Overdoing your workout can make you sick or strain your muscles, so rest and drink plenty of water between sets.
Enjoy body weight exercises in your home or wherever you go. You can get a healthy, toned body without ever stepping into a gym. Combine your workout with a well-balanced diet for even quicker results. Additionally, get the whole family involved, and everyone wins.