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Kick up your heels at home, in a hotel room, in the yard, waiting for the bus – anywhere. Bodyweight training is an affordable workout that is much more than just push-ups and crunches.
Ask anyone why they don’t exercise and you’re’ likely to hear one of two excuses: “I don’t have time” and “I can’t afford a gym membership or equipment.” Bodyweight training is a “back to basics” routine that eliminates those barriers.
There are plenty of benefits too. Bodyweight training:
- combines cardio and strength training
- helps burn fat because it’s a form of strength training
- exercises can be modified easily so you can add more or change the pace when you need to
- can engage all 29 “core” muscles to improve your posture and performance
- improves flexibility, range of motion and strength
- improves balance
- is anything but boring and repetitious
- can be done inside or out, alone or in a group
- is a cheap program because there is no equipment to buy and no membership to pay for.
Lace up your sneakers and try these sample exercises:
1. Tuck Jump (full body):
Stand with your knees slightly bent. Jump up as high as you can and bring your knees in toward your chest as you jump, while extending your arms straight out in front of you. Keep your knees slightly bent when you land, then repeat.
2. Wall Sit (legs):
Slowly slide your back down a wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your back straight and your knees directly above your ankles. Hold the position for 60 seconds. Build to a set of 8.
3. Superman (back and chest):
Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs extended. Raise your arms and legs at the same time to form a small curve with your body, keeping your torso as still as possible. Hold for 5 seconds, release, and repeat.
4. Arm Circles (shoulders and arms):
Stand with arms extended out to your sides. Slowly rotate them in a clockwise circle of about 1 foot in diameter for up to 30 seconds. Repeat the motion in the other direction.
5. Flutter Kick (core):
Lie on your back, legs extended, your arms by your side with your palms on the floor. Lift both heels about six inches off the floor and make quick up and down kicks with your legs for a full minute.
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