5 Simple Bodyweight Exercises When The Gym Just Isn’t An Option
If you’re reading this blog post, it’s very likely you’re a person on the go. You’re committed to your health and fitness, but you probably get frustrated because life has a knack for screwing up your plans. You know the drill, your kid’s soccer happens to be right during your favorite small group training session, your client calls you with an “urgent” problem just as you’re walking into the gym, or you’re traveling so much this month that you became executive platinum in a week. Bottom line, $#!+ happens, and you need the tools to be successful no matter what lies around the next corner.
I polled our staff of personal trainers at ProCore Fitness in Southlake and asked them a straightforward question:
“If you had no equipment, 30 minutes and 5 simple exercises what would you do to get a great, well-rounded workout?”
Here’s what they came up with (and why) to ensure you can still win the day:
Warm Up – Jumping Jacks for 3-5 minutes
1. Wall Slides – 1 minute
2. Plank – 1 minute
3. Squats – 1 minute
4. Push Up (elbows in) – 1 minute
5. Side Lunge – 1 minute
6. Rest – 1 minute
Repeat x 3
Cool Down – Walk for 5 minutes
How to perform the 5 simple bodyweight exercises for maximum benefit:
Wall Slides – 1 minute – Strengthens your back, improves posture and shoulder function
-To perform correctly sit on the ground and position your hips and back firmly against the wall.
-Place your elbows up against the wall at a 90-degree angle to your torso.
-Rotate your hands back so that your wrists touch the wall.
-Slide your arms up and down the wall maintaining full contact against the wall.
-Slide only as high and low as you can with full contact. If that’s 2 inches, then that is as far as you go. With practice, your range of motion will improve over time.
Plank – 1 minute – Improves your core, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and legs
-Start by laying flat on your stomach.
-Bring your chest up and place your elbows directly under the shoulders.
-Forearms should be parallel to one another.
-Tuck your toes under you and lift your hips until your body is in a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles.
-Rotate the pelvis back and squeeze the glutes.
-Pull the shoulders toward the hip and hold this position.
Squats – 1 minute – Develops your glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals
-Start by standing upright with your chest tall.
-Sit your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair.
-As you lower your body raise your arms directly in front of you with your thumbs pointed upward.
-Keep your chest up at all times as if a rope was pulling it upward
-Once your thighs have reached parallel with the floor, pause, then return to the standing position with your hands at your side.
-Tip: If this form is hard for you to replicate, place a chair or bench behind you.
Push Ups – 1 minute – Works your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abdominals
-Follow the same steps as the plank except this time come up on to your hands instead of elbows.
-Shoulders should be directly over the hands.
-Lower yourself to the ground maintaining a straight line from the ears to the ankles.
-As you lower yourself to the ground keep your elbows in close to the body.
-Press into the ground maintaining your body alignment.
Side Lunge – 1 minute – Lifts your butt, reduces the risk of injury to the knees, tones your legs, and improves your coordination
-Start by standing upright with your feet together and hands at your sides
-Step about 1 leg length to your right maintaining proper alignment by pretending you’re on a balance beam.
-Sit back with your hips by bending your right knee and keeping your left knee straight.
-Sit until your thigh is horizontal and your ankle, knee, and hip come into vertical alignment with each other.
-Explode through the foot and hip keeping your chest tall and return to the starting position.
-Repeat for 1 minute to the right and follow immediately with 1 minute of side lunges to the left.
Congrats! You now know what to do the next time your plans are interrupted. Staying in shape doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. The more simple you keep things, the better off you’ll be.
Check back next week. I’ll give you a quick 5-minute stretching routine you can use to maintain your flexibility and feel great.