Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sample Workout: Body Weight Training

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm big on strength training.  There's lots of machines and weights in all different shapes and sizes out there you can incorporate in your strength training workouts.  Luckily, each of us come standard with one of the best pieces of equipment: our own body weight.

Below is a total body strength training routine using only your own rockin' bod.  This is great for beginners, when you're traveling, or when you just don't have the time to fit in your usual thing. 

Beginners should start with 1-2 sets of as many reps as possible done in correct form.  Once you can correctly do 12-15 repetitions, don't waste your time doing any more.  Pick a more challenging version and move forward.

More advanced exercisers should can shoot for 3-4 sets and even incorporate some more challenging versions.

Have at it, kids:
  • Inverted Row
    • It may be tricky to find a set up that works for these, but do your best not to nix them.  They're a great alternative for those who can't do body weight pull-ups.
    • Adjust the angle of your body to control the difficulty.  The closer you are to a standing position, the easier it will be.  When you are near parallel to the ground, it's significantly harder.
  • Forward Lunges
    • One set means X amount of reps on the right AND left leg.  No cheating.
    • Hold dumbbells to increase the difficulty.  That extra weight adds more weight to you, therefore the lower body needs to work harder.
  • Push Ups
    • Promise me you won't do push-ups from your knees, even if you're a beginner.  Promise!  Start with wall push-ups, then lower your hands to a chair or a bench until you can do a full one from the ground.  You'll engage your core more with these options than girly knee ones.
    • Advanced people can elevate their feet on a step or chair to increase the challenge.
  • Hip Bridge
    • Beginners should start with both feet on the floor.  Make sure you put a little mind into the muscle and focus on squeezing your butt.
    • To increase the difficulty, elevate your feet on a step or chair.  More height means more range of motion.  You can also do single leg version.  If you're feeling super ambitious, do a combination of both.
  • Planks and Side Planks
    • Love love love planks!  Unlike the previous exercises, these are timed.  Hold the plank position for as long as you can in good form.  Rest and repeat for however many sets you're doing in this workout.
The combination of the exercises above will hit all your major muscle groups.  Don't skip any, even if you hate them.  It's designed to train your body in balance.  I don't want you walking around lop-sided.  Good luck!

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