Bodyweight Training – No Equipment Necessary
At OzSquad we love a bit of bodyweight training. Here’s why….
1. You can do it anywhere, anytime. No equipment is necessary, so the excuse – “Oh what a shame, I can’t do any exercise today, I left my ab roller at home” just won’t cut it. Your body is the best gym you could ever visit – and hopefully it is free of posers to boot.
2. The risk of injury is less. It’s pretty hard to hurt yourself using just your own weight and gravity (unless there is a jump and a two-story building involved). The chance of damaging yourself becomes greater as soon as you introduce even simple bits of kit like dumb-bells, barbells and kettle bells.
3. Bodyweight exercises are, on the whole, functional, compound movements, which will help you perform the activities of daily life more easily. Your body parts do not work in isolation from each other, therefore single muscles shouldn’t be isolated in training either.
4. Core is King. Pretty much every bodyweight exercise uses the core in some way and if our core is strong, we are strong. Long Live the Core.
5. And finally. Using bodyweight exercises means that there is no need for me to lug around weights and various bits of equipment. Now, I’m not about to start moaning about my job (I genuinely love my job and genuinely love being able to say that) but moving weights around is a right pain. Euan also frowns/tuts/shakes his head at me every time I nick another milk crate from the street to store my weights in. Plus, I have a habit of accidently leaving equipment in various outdoor locations, often overnight. Luckily Manly and Mosman residents seem to be honest folk.
OzSquad’s Bodyweight Exercise Top Five (in no particular order)…
1. Plank – high plank, low plank, side plank, plank to push up, plank with arm in the air, plank with leg in the air; I love them all. Supporting yourself on your toes and elbows, keep your back flat, core engaged (brace your abs as though someone is about to punch you in the gut) and breathe. Think about how insane the dude is who holds the world record for the longest plank; a mere 1 hour, 20 minutes.
2. Burpees – Everyone hates them. We hate them because they hurt. They hurt because they work. One of the best all over body exercises – from standing, drop to a low squat position and place your hands on the ground, jump the legs out behind you so you are in a push-up position, jump them in and jump up with a big clap above your head if no-one is around and you can muster the energy. Avoid (or modify) these ones if you have lower back issues though, always burpee with care.
3. Bodyweight Turkish Get Up – Anything with ‘Turkish’ or ‘Russian’ in front of the name is harder than it looks. The Get Up is no exception. Lie down with your arms outstretched over your head and get up, lie back down, get up. Do it with one arm pointing at the sky to make it harder. Sounds simples? Like Turk it is. A great functional movement that you can do on your living room floor – this exercise will keep you mobile and getting up out of bed on your own long into old age.
4. Mountain Climbers – From a sprinter start position, drive alternate knees forward, keeping that bum down, back flat and core engaged. I did 400 the other day and couldn’t operate the clutch in my car for 3 days. Fact.
5. The push-up – standard, from the knees, with a clap, from a handstand, commando, renegade, with a twist, reverse, close arm, wide arm. A whole workout could (and has!) been devised from the humble push-up alone. With fingers pointing forward and hands just wider than shoulder width think “chest to floor” not “head to floor” to avoid the nodding dog look.