Believe it or not, no-fuss workouts exist. Hate trekking to a pricey gym at the break of dawn or after a long, tiring work day? Got it. Let’s explore bodyweight training, which doesn’t involve “dreadmills,” stuffy group fitness rooms or overly complicated weight-lifting contraptions. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of simple moves and your own body weight.
What’s the catch? You have to know what you’re doing.
Here are tips to make your next bodyweight workout efficient and effective, and maybe even fun. After a long day at the office, a strong, simple workout is certainly a healthy, stress-relieving alternative to that second happy hour martini.
Location, location, location
Nothing beats the convenience of bodyweight workouts, which can be done in the comfort of your own home or office space. But, summer is here and outdoor workouts are in full swing! Now that you have a few extra hours of daylight after work, find a local park and scout out a clear, open space to do drills. I suggest exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, abdominal crunches, lunges, jump-shots, and squats. Take short 30-second breaks between each exercise, and repeat the full “circuit” three or four times. If you find a nearby ledge and some steps, even better! You can use the ledge for push-ups and tricep dips, and sprint up and down the steps. Get creative and design your own mini-obstacle course by running between and around trees, shrubbery, poles, and posts.
Proper body alignment and form are extremely important and will maximize effectiveness of your workouts. Keep your core in tight, shoulders held back, neck long, and chin up. Too much to remember? Visualize this: You’re walking across a sexy beach and want to look hot, what would your posture and carriage look like? Strong, lean, and confident. Be deliberate. Don’t get sloppy.
Remember to Breathe
Breathing matters. Yes, that thing you do subconsciously. Be mindful of your breathing while you exercise. Deep, cleansing breaths from your diaphragm will energize you and can make all the difference in the quality of your workout. I’ll breathe to that!
Full Effort and Range of Motion
Work to the limits of your range. Push hard and get low in your squats. Lower your chest close to the ground during push-ups, but keep your tush down. Tighten your core, quads and glutes as you power through that 60-second plank hold. That extra burst of energy and effort counts!
The “Dirty Thirty” Rule
In order to reap some seriously calorie-blasting, sweat-worthy benefits, I recommend at least a 30-minute bodyweight workout. Do each exercise 2-3 times for 30 seconds or 30 repetitions each set. Here are some workout examples you can use:
30 jumping jacks, 30 quick feet with a wide stance, 30 count high-knee runs. Repeat 3 times.
30-second forearm plank hold, 30 seconds of push-ups, 30 seconds of abdominal “bicycle” crunches. Repeat 3 times.
Lower Body Set
30 squats, 30 squat “pulses” bottom-half (small, controlled movements at bottom of squat), 30 alternating lunges with your hands straight up in the air. Repeat 3 times.
Stretching increases flexibility, lowers risk of injury, and just feels good. Give yourself a few slow shoulder rolls, head rolls, and runner’s lunges to finish off your strong workout. Simple and relaxing. Work day stress gone.
And voila! A bodyweight workout. With minimal space and zero equipment. Without that pricey gym membership. You’re welcome.