Do you struggle to attend the gym enough during your weekly schedule to justify the monthly fees?
- Are you unable to travel to the gym enough due to work commitments?
- Do you spend too much on travel costs a week for trips to your local gym?
- Are you struggling to find time to attend the gym at all because of your hectic schedule?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions then keep reading for the solution you have been searching for!
Contrary to popular belief, regular gym attendance is not the only way to stay healthy and in top physical condition. Although your local fitness center may have state of the art equipment and facilities designed to maximize your progress, it can often come at a cost to your bank account and general quality of life.
Not everyone has the time or disposable income to get the most out of a gym membership, which is why it is necessary to be aware of the alternative means of exercise you have available to you, without having to dig into your wallet or sacrifice hours on travel.
Bodyweight workouts can actually be just as effective as any training routine in the gym, largely due to the fact that most exercises you perform without using weights use multiple muscle groups and can, therefore, increase your metabolic rate exponentially.
Not only that, but most bodyweight exercises are simple to execute and not too physically taxing, which means that your body will adapt quickly and recover efficiently post-workout.
Below, I will list the ten best bodyweight exercises for building muscle and shredding fat, outlining exactly how to perform each movement.
Let’s get started!
There are countless ways you can use your body as a tool for self-improvement and new exercises are discovered year in year out as the science of health and fitness continues to evolve at a rapid rate.
That being said, time honored favorites are still as effective as ever and if you want to guarantee significant progress over a short period of time, these ten exercises are the best place to start.
Starting with number one, your countdown begins here:
1. Burpees :
How to execute – Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down maintaining a neutral spine. At the bottom of the movement put your hands out in front of you and push your legs out behind you, finishing in a press-up position. Then bring your knees into your chest and your arms back to your side, before jumping up off your heels for one full repetition.
Benefits – This particular exercise involves multiple joints and muscle groups which forces you to push yourself hard to complete a full set. You will burn a significant amount of calories in addition to swelling your muscles with blood, which is only a good thing for reducing fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
2. Press-ups :
How to execute – Assume a position on the floor with straight legs and your toes supporting your weight with your hand’s shoulder width apart. Keep your core tight and make sure your body is lined up straight, before lowering your body to the floor until your chest almost touches the ground. Push back up and fully extend your arms then repeat until you complete a full set.
Benefits – Your chest, triceps, core and glutes will all be working hard to perform this movement for a full set, which is a great fat burner and muscle builder perfect for creating a full pump and building an aesthetically pleasing physique.
3. Pull-ups :
How to execute – For this particular movement you will need a fixed bar available overhead, an appropriate platform to hang from, or you can by a door trainer which can be installed in your home with relatively little fuss. Grab the bar or the top of the platform with your hands apart nice and wide and allow your arms and legs to fully extend off the ground. Pull yourself up and squeeze your rear delts in at the top of the repetition, before lowering yourself back down in a controlled manner.
Benefits – This exercise is the ultimate back builder and if properly executed it can help you to add real width to your lats and traps along with your deltoids.
4. V-Sits :
How to execute – Lay down flat on your back on a mat with your legs and arms fully extended before bringing your torso and legs up so that you can touch your feet. Lower to your starting position but keep tension on your abdominals by always keeping your feet off the floor, then repeat the process.
Benefits – A one-way ticket to chiselled abs and rock solid abdominals, V-sits are challenging but rewarding, not to mention they can improve your overall flexibility.
5. Squats :
How to execute – Stand up straight and put your arms out in front of your shoulder-width apart, before lowering yourself down until your glutes are in line with or just below your knees. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement and explode back up from the bottom, pushing through your heels.
Benefits – Squats are one of the most effective compound exercises you can do as they involve almost every muscle group and help to raise testosterone, which is great for anyone looking to build muscle quickly.
6. Lunges :
How to execute – Step forward and lower your body until your front knee is down at exactly 90 degrees, with your back leg facing behind you lowered to just above the surface. To perform the upward phase of the movement, simply push back up off your front leg and straighten your back leg, returning to your original standing position.
Benefits – A fantastic exercise for building up your lower body; lunges target your quads, glutes and hamstrings and also help to strengthen your core, whilst raising your metabolic rate dramatically due to the intense physical exertion required.
7. Plank :
How to execute – Get into a typical press-up position before bringing your arms in so that you are resting on your forearms. Keep your torso and legs off the ground and maintain a straight line from your feet to your head. Hold your position for between 30-60 seconds and engage your core.
Benefits – The plank has always been a mainstay exercise for strengthening your core due to the fact it helps you to build up your muscular endurance, which can help you perform other more difficult compound exercises with greater ease.
8. Standard Sit-Ups :
How to execute – Lay down on your back with your knees bent and your hands resting by your head. Use your abdominal muscles to bring yourself up whilst maintaining a neutral spine and lower yourself back down slowly, keeping tension in your core at all times.
Benefits – This classic core exercise is perfect for working towards the six-pack of your dreams and helps to quickly build up overall strength as well as definition around the midriff.
9. Leg Raises :
How to execute – Lay down flat on the floor with your legs fully extended and closed together, with your arms flat by your side. Raise your legs up slowly without moving your arms and bring them up to a 90-degree angle. On the downward phase make sure you do not allow your feet to touch the ground, which will help to keep the tension on your core throughout the exercise.
Benefits – Another great movement for your abs but also a good exercise for building up your lower back, which can come under a lot of strain during any intense bout of physical exertion.
10. Tricep Dips :
How to execute – Put your arms out behind you shoulder width apart and resting on a bench, secure chair or platform. Keep your bottom off the ground and fully extend your legs out in front of you, before pushing your arms up. Fully extend your arms and flex your triceps and then proceed to lower yourself back down to a 90-degree angle.
Benefits – Great for your core and your arms, this exercise can be challenging and slightly awkward but you will feel a deep burn by the end of each set and your arms will immediately start to develop a more symmetrical shape with greater width.
All of the exercises discussed in this article are effective in building lean muscle mass and shedding unwanted fat and they can additionally help to raise your testosterone levels and improve your overall stamina and endurance.
Experiment with each one and embrace the strain, as you engage every muscle group for a complete workout which leaves you confident enough to finally cancel that gym membership you are only using once a month.
If you are a beginner then make sure you build up your work rate gradually and allow your body to adapt to the new stimulus, but if you are already a confident athlete who trains regularly simply include a circuit of your choice in your weekly training regime, as an effective way of varying your workouts.
I must also stress that it is important not to fall into the trap of thinking that working out at home is a way of slacking off and that the bare minimum will suffice because whatever form of exercise you select the only way to see results is to push yourself to your limits.
Set aside between 30-60 minutes a day and get started with your new convenient and efficient training routine in the comfort of your own home, making sure you shut yourself from all distractions just as you would whenever attending a gym or leisure center.
To finally become the lean, defined and stronger version of yourself its time to put aside your petty grievances such as not having enough time or money and work with what you have at your disposal with no cost attached. Your body is the perfect machine and if you learn how to create the perfect environment for it to adapt and grow you will see the results you crave in no time.