Burn baby, burnJanuary 29, 2022
Burn baby, burnJanuary 29, 2022
Sometimes getting to the gym can be a little difficult ─ be it due to a lack of motivation, missing transportation or a certain global pandemic. That’s why home bodyweight workouts can be a lifesaver and gamechanger. We’ve put together a few comprehensive home circuits that exclusively make use of your bodyweight, with some bonus alignment cues and modification ideas to keep in mind.
Benefits of a Bodyweight Workout
- Super simple ─ you can do it anywhere and at any moment as it requires zero equipment and takes up very little space.
- Maximize your workout time ─ there is no time wasted swapping out equipment from one set to the next so you can make full use of your dedicated sweat session.
- Effective ─ typically bodyweight exercises involve compound movements that recruit both joint and muscle while combining cardio and strength to be ultra-effective. And these complete movements bolster both mobility and stability.
- Adaptable and accessible ─ you can adjust as you see fit, depending on your fitness level. If something just isn’t feeling right, there are plenty more exercises to explore.
- Tune in ─ bodyweight exercises can help you to become more aware of the body’s alignment, especially if you slow down and really pay attention to the muscle groups being activated while you are learning the moves.
Building a Workout
Instead of solely targeting specific body parts, you can also focus on function to make for a more effective workout. But thinking to include something for the lower body, upper body (push and pull), core and a dynamic or full-body inclusive movement is a good starting point to build your circuit.
If you’re used to lifting weights you may think a bodyweight-only workout won’t be challenging enough, but you may be surprised! Toying with tempo, upping the number of reps and sets, or modifying the exercises allows you to amp it up or dial it down depending on your needs.
Bodyweight Home Routines
Do each exercise for 45 seconds, recover for 15 seconds. Go through the whole circuit, then rest for 1 minute. Repeat from the beginning for 3 to 4 rounds.
Split Squat (Left and Right)
Pistol Squat (Left & Right)
Plank Up Downs
Breaking it Down…
Pushup: VAim for the elbows to make a 45-degree angle and keep them tucked close to the body to protect the shoulders. Amp it up by slowing as you lower and coming deeper (exploring the range of motion). Dial it down by coming to your knees.
Split Squat: Keep your core engaged throughout and drive into the front foot as you come up. Amp it up by slowing down on the come up (or even pausing halfway through the move). Dial it down by keeping the movement a bit more shallow.
Plank: Don’t let the hips drop down or pike up ─ picture your body in one strong and straight line. Amp it up by trying star planking, walking palms and toes away from the body until you are in an x-shape. Dial it down by dropping to the knees.
Superman: Engage the entire back body, lifting chest and legs off the ground as high as you can while shoulders are relaxed and gaze towards the ground. Amp it up by pulling elbows into a cactus shape at the top of the movement and holding. Dial it down by alternating, only raising one arm and opposite leg at a time.
Jump Squat: Keep your back straight and squat until thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through feet to explode up and then land into the next squat. Amp it up by increasing speed and lowering yourself even further. Dial it down by slowing it down and keeping the move more shallow.
Mountain Climber: Keep shoulders over wrists and body level throughout the reps; really engage your core. Amp it up by picking up the speed (without bouncing). Dial it down by slowing it down.
Bird Dog: Keep shoulders and hips square to the ground, belly engaged and back flat. Amp it up by performing the same movements from a plank position. Dial it down by lifting arm and leg individually rather than together.
Glute Kickback: Keep shoulders and hips parallel to the floor, and really think about contracting the glutes to your maximum. Amp it up by pulsing at the top of the move. Dial it down by holding the contraction for a shorter length.
Pistol Squat: Drive down through the standing leg and foot. Find a steady point to gaze at to help keep your balance. This is already an advanced move, but you can amp it up even more by really slowing down. Dial it down by using something (a chair, the bed, the couch) to squat into and stabilize yourself.
Plank Up Downs: Shoulders stay stacked over wrists or elbows, hips in line with shoulders. The core is super engaged and legs/glutes are also active. Amp it up by increasing speed (while maintaining form). Dial it down by placing knees on the floor.
Side Plank: Raise your hips higher than you think to form a straight line perpendicular to the ground. Keep breathing deeply. Amp it up by lifting the upper arm and leg into the air to challenge balance. Dial it down by coming to your forearm and/or leaving the knees and lower legs on the ground.
Reverse Crunch: Squeeze and the top and lower with control; this form of crunch is easier on the spine and takes strain off the neck. Amp it up by lifting higher on the come up, holding longer and lowering down very slowly. Dial it down by lifting less high.
Lateral Squat: Keep back straight and core tight as you move, really driving your weight down through the bent leg. Amp it up by sinking deeper into the squat. Dial it down by reducing the range of motion.
Glute Bridge: Helps improve posture and relieve back pain. Make sure to really engage your glutes at the top of the movement. Amp it up by alternating and raising one leg into the air at a time while lifting your hips as high as you can. Dial it down by keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground and reducing the height of your hips.
Burpee: Keep core engaged and spine neutral. Amp it up by increasing speed (while maintaining form). Dial it down by removing the jumps, and simply stepping in and out of the movements.