07.16.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness
Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach
It’s been a crazy summer for my family and there hasn’t been much free time, so I’ve had to be creative with my workouts since I can’t always rely on going to the gym.
Whether you have access to a gym or not, learning to work out without equipment is a must. Working out "naked" (ok, clothes are a must … we’re talking equipment here!) make your workouts portable, so it will eliminate many excuses to ditch the workout when your life takes you on the road and away from the gym. It also helps you focus on quality of movement, so you can enhance workouts you do with equipment later on. You carry your body weight around everyday so this all may sound deceiving, but manipulating a few variables can make for one challenging workout!
Let’s explore 3 key variables to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of a body weight workout:
• Range Of Motion is key! How low you go, how far you step, how big you leap will make an ordinary exercise, extraordinary! Of course, technique must come first. Take the first few reps to acclimate to the exercise and assess your form. On the next few reps, begin to explore pain-free range of motion. For the last half of the set and any subsequent sets, go for it! Don’t be afraid to go bigger than you think possible. Remember, there’s no barbell on your back to manage, so now is the time to give it a go!
• Speed is another factor you should take into consideration. Use a wide variety of tempos to maximize your workout and keep your muscles (and your mind) guessing. Slower movements will allow you to explore range of motion and take momentum out of the exercise which will make the move challenging. Faster movements can get your heart rate going, up the intensity and provide a balance challenge at the same time.
• Repetition Management will help you make smart choices. Decide early on how many of each exercise you will do. You can use time or count your reps, but with body weight exercise, every rep must count. Therefore, it’s even more important you have a clear picture of how many you will do. Determine your goal number (or time) and then make a plan to perform the exercise to the best of your ability, with the most intensity possible to fatigue your muscles.
So, here we go. Here are a few suggested exercises you can perform wherever and whenever you’d like for a quick, full-body blast that will get the heart pumping.
When you are pressed for time, on vacation or maybe it's just too hot to get out to the gym, then try this circuit and let me know what you think. I tried to give clear explanations of each exercise for those not familiar with some of the moves. But if you have any questions, feel free to post them below!
Stay Fit and Healthy,
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