For when you can’t afford to go to the gym, don’t have access to one, or just don’t feel like going, there are always bodyweight exercises . Bodyweight exercises are an amazing way to keep fit and are a great way for a fitness beginner to get accustomed to the fitness world. Bodyweight exercises are wonderful tools for developing the your physique, and perhaps best of all, they don’t cost a dime!
Probably the most simple and known bodyweight exercise is the push-up. Push-ups have many varieties but they all target the same general muscle groups: the triceps and the chest. Normal grip push-ups work the chest the most while “tricep” or “diamond” push-ups – done with hands together and directly under the sternum – work the triceps more. Once you are able to crank out 15 or more reps easily, you may wish to increase the difficulty better encourage strength gains. This can be done by either filling a backpack with weights and wearing it while you do pushups, or by elevating your legs (e.g. doing pushups off a sofa).
Another great bodyweight exercise is the pullup. Pullups stimulate mainly the biceps and the lats(the upper back). Similar to pushups, pullups come in all shapes and sorts, usually distinguishable according the grip used. When your hands face towards you, it is called a chin up and utilizes the biceps more directly. When your palms face away, it is usually called a pull up and works the lats and forearms more. Something to remember on top of these differences, is that the wider the grip, the more focus is put on the lats, while the narrower it gets, more focus is put on the arms.
The last bodyweight exercise in this article is probably not the most well known but it is definitely one of the most useful: the hindu squat. Hindu squats were used for centuries by Hindu wrestlers to strengthen their enormous and powerful legs. Contrary to what one might think at first about the exercise, they are not bad for your knees at all, and have been in fact proven to be good for your knee health. The starting position of a hindu squat is a standing position with your arms extended in parallel to the floor. You then start to lower your body into a squat position while lowering your arms until they are perpendicular to the floor at the same time. The squat position of a hindu squat is not the same as a traditional squat position because you should be on your toes and your knees should be pointing forward, as opposed to being on your heels with your shins perpendicular to the floor.