As you know I’m a big fan of bodyweight (BW) training. It’s been around longer than anything else! Training without equipment, or with limited availability of it, has been used as a way of building the bodies of soldiers for decades. And for ladies like us who lead busy lives running homes, working and managing kids it’s a perfect solution.
I like bodyweight training for a multitude of reasons:
- No equipment needed
- Done anywhere at anytime
- You can set yourself clear, simple and self-motivating challenges
- Builds muscle, burns fat, and improves overall fitness
With that in mind, here’s my top 3 favourite bodyweight exercises:
Bulgarian Split Squats
Please don’t ask me why it’s called this. I really don’t know. All I know is everytime I get my clients to do a bulgarian split squat they say something along the lines of ‘oh no not that one-legged squat’. It’s a great exercise and after doing this enough times you’ll have ‘glutes that salute’ that resemble a peach!
So why else does the good old bulgarian split squat make my list? Well, it requires more balance which means it engages more muscles. If you engage more muscles you burn more calories. And because you’ve worked 2 legs you’ve increased your overall workload. Which means again more calories burned not to mention the knock-on effects on improved endurance.
Push-ups are a classic exercise that has been around a long time. They’re easy to learn, easy to do, and easy to incorporate. They don’t necessarily need to be just standard push-ups but with a little creation and forward planning, there’s a ton of variations. As well as primarily working your chest, they also fire up and tax your core and triceps. So goodbye bingo wings!
Lunges are one of my favourite lower body exercises. Although the legs are the prime movers this exercise is a dynamic movement and so involves your entire body and particularly your core.
When you then introduce the ‘jump’ element to the lunge the core is even more engaged due to the explosive nature. Also, you expend more energy, raise your heart rate and so your metabolism — a great recipe for fat loss. It’s a good bang for your buck as the saying goes. There’s also a plyometric nature to a jump lunge. Although this feels horrendous at the time (been there!) it improves the speed and efficiency of muscular contractions.
So what’s your top 3 bodyweight exercises? Do let me know.