Unique bodyweight exercises

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

bodyweight exercises

As of this month, it has been reported that we are now climbing our way out of the recession. But for many that doesn’t mean s***, and many people are still broke and struggling. If you fall into that category, you might have made cut backs on spending, and going to the gym may have been one of the things you cut back on, which is a worry as everyone from me to Aviva (check ’em out at http://www.aviva.co.uk/) are telling you the best way to be is to stay in shape. If so then it is your lucky day, as today I will be describing some unique bodyweight exercises that will allow you to maintain that sweet body that you have built up.

Advanced bench dips

bench dips

  • Difficulty: 4/ 10
  • Time to master: 2-3 weeks

Although this exercise isn’t too demanding on the triceps, it is still demanding enough that you will need to have a decent amount of current tricep strength to perform it.

Instruction

  • Find a bench and a wall
  • Place your hands on the bench, shoulder width apart and push your feet against the wall so that your legs are straight and roughly in line with the bench.
  • Put your feet against the wall, lift your arms up straight and lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold this position for a second or two, and then back to the starting position.
  • Repeat

What makes this exercise unique is that instead of having your feet placed on the ground, they are up against the wall. Having your feet up against the wall means that your triceps will have to lift more weight. If you want to get creative then you can always place some weight plates onto your lap.

Full hanging leg raise

  • Difficulty: 6/ 10
  • Time to master: 2-3 months

Now normal leg raises can be a bit of a challenge for sure, you,

  • Grab a pull up bar.
  • Raise both legs together up to a 90-degree angle.
  • Lower your legs and repeat.

But now that you have no money to go to the gym, you have to up the ante a little.

Introducing the full hanging leg raise!

hanging-leg-rasie
The difference with this exercise is that instead of lifting your legs to a 90-degree angle, you must now lift them all the way up to the bar until your feet touch the bar. This will be a challenge yes, but once mastered, it will give you an increase in strength, flexibility and control over your body, along with perfecting those lower abs.

If you find that you are not able to get your feet all the way up, take your time and build up to that progression until you do reach the bar.

The Ab wheel roll out

  • Difficulty: 9/10
  • Time to master: 3- 6 months

This exercise is very similar to the exercise ball roll out exercise from yesterdays post. Again, it might look pretty simple to perform, but once you reach those last few reps, the burn really does catch you by surprise. Now the normal ab wheel roll out looks like this,

ab-wheel-rollout

  • Begin by kneeling on the floor, and hold both sides of the wheel.
  • Roll the wheel forward, and lower your body as far as you can without arching your back.
  • Use your abs to pull yourself back to the starting position.

The unique version looks like this,

ab-rolloutab-rollout

The difference now is that only your feet and hands are on the floor. The real burn here is when you return from the extended position. That is where you will suffer, but master this exercise and you will see improvements in your strength on all parts of your body.

One legged squat

one-leg-squat

  • Difficulty: 6/10
  • Time to master: 2-3 months

Now we can test if all of that squatting with weights in the gym has or has not improved your functional strength. This is the best leg exercise that you can do with your body weight. Some may even go, as far as to say that it is the best leg exercise of the lot! But here’s how you do it,

  • Stand straight.
  • Hold one leg out in front of you.
  • Hold both arms out straight in front of you.
  • Lower your self down on one leg.
  • As you reach the ground, tense your butt and stomach muscles.
  • Hold the position briefly.
  • Rise back up and repeat.

This exercise is all about balance, but once you master this one, you will build real true strength for sure.

I am without a doubt a bodyweight exercise enthusiast, but that is also a good thing for those of you reading this. Why? Because I don’t want you to end up being the ‘king’ of the gym who can’t manage to do a single pull up. That is no real king in my eyes.

These bodyweight exercises will help you build real strength, and better yet, you will be building muscle and strength on the cheap in the space of your own home. So follow these exercises through and you will succeed in your strength gaining efforts.

See you in the comments.

You can now grab the Unique Bodyweight Exercises Ebook here.

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