Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises To Do Anywhere
Peak busyness or heading abroad? There’s no need to ditch those weekly workouts.
Life, as we know, can easily ‘get in the way’.
It’s also that time of year that sees more Australians in Mykonos than Melbourne – and so time to familiarise yourself with some key movements that can be done anywhere, be it because work-life balance has tipped too far to the former, or, you’re set for some northern hemisphere summer sun.
Here, five go-to bodyweight exercises to do anywhere, courtesy of Jarryd Wearne, senior personal trainer at Lockeroom Sydney.
This Bang for your buck exercise will work your chest, front of the shoulders and triceps.
This is really the only ‘push’ style exercise you can do bodyweight with any meaningful load and should be the goal of everyone to be able to do them. For men, aim for upwards of 10 to start and work towards 20+. Ladies, try for 5 and work towards 10+.
Push exercises are explosive power movements and should not just be thought of for building muscle. Having the ability to be explosive and powerful will does wonders as we each get older.
The great thing about the squat is it can be broken down into different ways of performing it. Squats can be challenging for some due to multiple factors such as joint limitations from simply not doing it for a long time or even genetic factors, pain, injuries and even an inability to inability to find a centre of mass. So how do we modify the squat?
Option 1: Raise the heels with whatever you have (rolled up towels or books). This will bring your centre of mass back in space, give you more ankle range of motion and allow you to get deeper in the squat and perform it with more optional mechanics.
Option 2: Turn it into a single leg version, aka, the split squat. This can be done by simply having one foot forward and one foot back with focus on the front leg. You can also make this more difficult by having the back leg raised on something.
Work The Abs
We’ve two exercises here:
Option 1: The reverse crunch is going to work the six-pack muscles. It will also double up as a great way to get the spine moving which is great for overall health and movement capabilities.
Option 2: Side plank raises. Easy enough to perform from a side plank position and lower hips towards the ground and then drive them up into the air. This again will double as a ribcage mobiliser, which is also great for overall movement and shoulder health.
Hip thrusts primarily look to target the buttocks — great as this can be hard for some to do without a proper ‘set-up’ of an exercise. For most, a double leg will be too easy but do it unilaterally (single leg) and the difficulty increases tenfold.
Plyometrics are the hidden ‘medicine’ for longevity. Will they cure everything? No. But they will make your joints, tendons, muscles healthier overall.
The key here is to start at a lower volume and lower intensity. Simple, double leg ‘pogos’ which are just small jumps aiming to be reactive and slap the ground with the foot. We want to be explosive here and spend minimal time on the ground between reps.
This can then progress to multiple versions such as more intense ‘pogos’ aiming for height or distance. Try single leg versions and then into jumps, bounds and even hops.
As always, some of the above might be too hard/too easy. Know there are always ways to progress things or dial it back to suit.
- Push ups can be made easier by going higher with the hands, so doing them on a chair or couch. Also make it harder by doing some paused reps at the bottom or half way.
- Body weight split squats might take a lot of reps to fatigue. So could do things like, isometrics. Try going down to where the knee is about two inches off the ground and hold for 30-60 seconds and then go into reps of the exercise. You’ll find you will burn out pretty quickly.
- Squats. Do a wall sit for a minute, or jumping squats, before doing the squat to pre fatigue the muscle.
- Reverse crunch – try 10 reps of regular crunches prior, to make the fatigue come quicker.
- Hip thrust. Try the single leg version and you’ll find it a challenge. If you need to make it harder, try some pauses at the top each rep.
Remember always start with the easier version to nail technique before progressing, and enjoy the process with these exercises that can be done anywhere, anytime.
Jarryd Wearne is a leading trainer at Sydney CBD gym Lockeroom – an exclusive fitness offering aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders and which boasts tightly held numbers.
38–40 Bridge Street, Sydney; lockeroomgym.com
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