Sometimes our increasing work schedule and hectic lifestyles make it difficult for us to get to the gym. Maybe you’d prefer to do fitness from the comfort of your own home or garden? Perhaps you want to train outside and want to make the most of your local park and its surroundings?
Luckily we have curated an array of bodyweight workouts that you can do pretty much anywhere, and we’ve listed them by body parts.
1.) Chest workouts
- Push Ups – The simple but effective exercise to build chest, shoulders and triceps. You can either position the hands wider to engage more of the chest or narrower to engage the triceps. Repeat for 30 secs. For beginners it’s fine to come onto your knees!
- Plank Rotations – Begin in the press up position and rotate onto one side on one arm until it is pointing up to the sky. Return to the press up position and do the same with the other arm – Repeat for 30 secs. For beginners feel free to come onto the knees when changing sides, and then hold the position once over the other side.
- Shoulder Taps – Begin in the press up position and bring one hand up to tap the opposite shoulder as fast as possible, return to the press up position and repeat with the other arm. Spread the arms wider to engage more of the chest. Repeat for 30 secs. For beginners come onto the knees.
Repeat all exercises 3 to 4 times round with a minutes rest in between (or shorter to make more challenging!).
2.) Back workouts
- Pull ups – Find a solid bar or frame strong enough to hold your weight (a local park football goal or play park bars will do nicely!) With your arms in a Y position, grab the bar in an overhand grip. Hang at a full extension, raise up to chin level, pause for a second and then lower to the full extension again. Aim for between 6 -10 repetitions. For beginners, jump to reach the bar so that the chin meets the top, and then extend in the negative phase for a slow count of 5 for the same repetitions. Release, jump again, and repeat.
- Hyper extensions or lower back raises – Lie flat on the floor face down and position arms by the sides of the ears. Firmly planting the toes into the ground, raise the torso so your chest and abs come off of the floor engaging only your lower back. Keep slow and controlled, with a brief second pause at the top, aim for between 6 -10 repetitions.
- Body Rows – Find a bench or low bar (bike bars are perfect), and position your body underneath so you are hanging from the bench bar in an overhand grip, with the body kept straight. Keep the core tight, with the legs straight resting on the heels. You want to be in the position of a reverse push up so to speak with the arms soft. Pull up the chest to the bar as if you were rowing the body toward the bar/ bench, hold for a one second pause, and lower. Repeat 10 times.
Repeat all of these workouts in a circuit, 3 to 4 times with a minutes rest in between.
3.) Arm workouts
- Chin Ups – Similar to the pull up, but instead approach the bar with a close grip with the palms facing towards you in an underhand grip to work the biceps. Repeat the same as before for 6 – 10 repetitions. Include the 1 second pause. To make this more challenging, when releasing the chin up to go back down form the bar, do so to a count of 5. This is called the negative phase and targets the biceps much more throughly in the eccentric phase. Again for beginners, jump to reach the bar in the contracted phase, and release to a count of 5 in the negative phase and repeat.
- Tricep Dips – Can be done either on a bench or on the floor. Sit on the floor upright with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor with your fingers facing toward the legs. lift your torso so that your hands and feet are supporting you upright. Dip the elbows (not the core) to engage the triceps. Repeat for 8-10 reps. For beginners come onto the bum for support if need be and just engage the arms to dip.
- Close grip push ups – Start in the push up position but bring the palms close together. Try and create a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs underneath your chest as a reference for form. Begin the push ups as before, with the narrower grip engaging the triceps specifically. Aim for 10 repetitions. Beginners can come onto knees if need be!
Repeat in a circuit 3 to 4 times with a minutes rest in between.
4.) Leg workouts
- Squats – Begin with the legs slightly wider than shoulder width with the feet pointing at a slight angle (45 degrees, or with the right foot pointing at between 1-2 on a clock and the left pointing at between 10-11). Keeping the torso upright as much as possible, position the arms either crossed with a hand on each shoulder, or by the ear, and bend down to just below a seated position. Extend back up to a point where the knees are slightly bent and repeat. Aim for 30 seconds maximum effort. This is a great compound exercise targeting all of the legs muscles.
- Alternate Lunges – Start in a standing position with the torso straight and the legs together. Bring one leg out around half a metre in front so the knee is fully bent at a 90 degree angle. Ensure the extended legs’ knee is not over the toes of the supporting foot, and the back leg is bent fully but that the knee does not touch the floor. Power back to standing and then repeat with the opposite leg for 30 seconds as many repetitions as possible. This will target both the quads and hamstrings and glutes in both legs alternately at the same time.
- Glue bridge – Lie flat on the floor on the back. Bring the feet up flat on the floor so the knees are bent as if you were to do a sit-up. Then powering through the heels, raise the torso so the shoulders remain flat on the floor, but that the rest of the body is lifted. Arms can either be placed flat on the floor or on the thighs. Slow and controlled is the way to do this exercise, with a one second pause at the top, returning to the floor at a count of 5. Repeat for a count of 10 repetitions.
Repeat all exercises 3 to 4 times with a minutes rest in between.
5.) Core workouts
- Plank – Simple and effective – Lie on the front on the forearms and elbows, being on the toes with the legs. Keep the core tight in a straight position, not arching the back at any point or dipping the hips. Hold this position for 30 seconds – 1 minute depending on ability.
- Side plank hip dips – Start in the plank position and rotate over to one side so one arm is outstretched facing the sky, and the other supporting the torso. Legs should be crossed, positioned on the sides of the feet. Keeping this position, dip the hip closest to the floor just to the point before it touches, and then raise so the opposite hip (facing the sky) is up as far as you can reach. Repeat this 10 times and switch sides and repeat. This engages both core and shoulders, but the supporting arms’ shoulder gets a hell of a workout with each dip!
- Leg raises – Lying flat on the floor on the back, keep the legs straight and raise above 1 inch from the floor so the core contracts. Raise the legs only (keeping them straight) as high as possible, ideally with soles of the feet facing the sky, and keep the bum and upper body flat on the floor. Now lower to the starting point of being an inch from the floor and repeat. Do as many as possible within 30 seconds. For beginners, or if finding difficult to keep legs straight, instead bring the knees into the chest, and extend the legs straight toward the starting position, as opposed to raising straight up towards the sky.
Repeat all exercises 3 to 4 times with a minutes rest in between.
Written by TruBe Trainer By Josh Ward
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