Body weight exercise requires no special equipment, yet it yields great results. Benefits include better heart health, improved cognitive function, more lean muscle mass and reduced risk of diabetes. Here are five you can do anytime, anywhere.
How to do it: Start by getting into the same position you would use for a push-up. Bend your elbows and place your weight on your forearms with palms flat. Your body should form a straight line (plank) from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Hold 15 to 30 seconds to start and increase to 60 seconds as you build enough strength to hold the form.
Benefits: Strengthens and tones abs and core. Boosts metabolism and improves bone and joint health.
Stand with spine erect and feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your bottom (as if preparing to sit) as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Hold and then slowly lift yourself back to the starting position.
Benefits: Builds quads and glutes. Strengthens knees, improves digestion and helps burn fat.
Start by lying on your back with knees bent and your feet flat on the mat. Lift your hips off of the mat so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position and then slowly lower your body back to the mat.
Benefits: Strengthens quads, glutes and your core.
Double leg lift
Start by lying on your mat with legs fully extended toward the ceiling. Engage your abs and push your back into the mat. Begin to lower your legs slowly. The lowering motion should take longer than the lifting motion. Return to starting position and repeat for desired number of reps.
Benefits: Strengthens and tones upper and lower abs.
Begin by sitting in a chair or on a bench. Move to the edge and place your hands on either side of your hips, fingers overlapping the edge of the chair. Next move your feet forward until you can lower your hips straight down in front of the chair. Lower your hips 2 to 3 inches and then press up with your arms to return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Benefits: Strengthens and tones the triceps or in other words – banish batwings.
Body weight exercise lets you use your own body to build muscle and boost health. Do these a few times each week to strengthen and tone while you burn calories, too.