Your most useful piece of fitness equipment is always close by. Yes, we’re talking about your body. Bodyweight exercises, also known as calisthenics, are beneficial to people of all ability levels.
First off, they’re free and convenient, so you can save the roughly N200,000-N450,000 you’d be paying in yearly gym fees, while also being able to work out whenever you want. Second, calisthenics are incredibly effective forms of exercise, and you’ll start seeing results from only a few short sessions. Using bodyweight improves both your endurance and strength, making these exercises a cross between strength-training and cardio. Finally, the versatility and flexibility of calisthenics means you can target a variety of different muscle groups in a matter of moments.
This Monday, try to boost your fitness routine with these 5 simple bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.
A simple way to warm up your arms and shoulders, and improve flexibility and range of motion.
Stand with your arms extended by your sides, perpendicular to your torso.
Slowly move your arms in clockwise circles about 1 foot in diameter for 20—30 seconds.
After, reverse the movement, going counterclockwise.
Make bigger or smaller circles to target different areas of your shoulders, triceps, and biceps
One of the most convenient exercises, calf raises can help strengthen and tone your calf muscles with minimal effort.
From a standing position, raise yourself up on your toes, making sure to keep your heels on the floor.
When your toes are fully extended, hold for a second before returning to the starting position.
Repeat the motion until you start feeling a warmth in your calves.
The squat targets the lower-body muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (a little wider is okay, too).
Slowly crouch by bending your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor.
Remember to keep your heels firmly on the ground, and make sure they do not rise off the floor.
Push through using your heels to return to standing position.
Strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your balance with this classic core-building exercise.
Lay on your stomach with forearms on the floor in front of you.
Extend your legs behind you and raise your body so that you’re supported by your toes and forearms.
Keeping your body straight, tighten your abdominal muscles and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
Each day you do the plank position, aim to extend the length of your hold.
With proper form, the classic push-up hits nearly every muscle above the waist. There are many different variations on the push-up, so do the one that is right for you.
Start in a plank position: both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, arms locked at the elbow, back straight and aligned with hips, and feet shoulder-width apart. Try to think of the body as one giant line.
Your chest/nipple should be directly over your thumb nail. Fingers should be splayed, and your hands should be in a comfortable position on the floor.
Inhale as you slowly lower your chest down to the floor, and exhale as you push the palms of your hands into the floor, bringing your torso, thighs, and chest off the ground.
Return to starting plank position and pause a second before the next repetition. Aim for 3-4 sets of 15 reps.