Wednesday, May 02, 2007

23 Bodyweight Exercises for Fat Loss

Let's pick up where we left off last week...talking about why some people shouldn't do lunges in their workouts, and instead, should focus on mastering split squats first. After all, most people that need to lose fat will have a very hard time with lunges, so their joints must be spared extra stress.

Here's today's main exercise tip...

Put your mind into your muscle

One thing that bugs me in the gym is hearing people ask their trainer, "where should I be feeling this exercise?"

If this happens, then the client clearly is not aware of the muscles that are working in the exercise, and it's not only less effective, but also potentially dangerous. Now I'm not assigning any blame here, but you have to put your mind into your muscle.

Are you just going through the motions when you exercise, or are your paying attention to the muscles that are working during each lift?

When you do a split squat, you should know that the front leg is doing almost all of the work. The back leg is for balance. And you should know that the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings are doing the work (and in that order of relative effort, as well).

If you don't feel these muscles contracting, then you need to regress to a less advanced exercise. Let's review my lower body progression system. You should master in the following order:

  • 2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension
  • 2-Leg Stability Ball Curl
  • 2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension on Ball
  • 1-Leg Hip Extension
  • Wall Ball Squat
  • Bodyweight Squat
  • Prisoner Bodyweight Squat
  • Y-Squat
  • Step-up
  • Split Squat
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Forward Lunge

Put your mind into your muscles with each exercise, even cardio/intervals.

If you are having trouble with this principle, I recommend a session with a quality trainer, or at the very least, using the TT bodyweight manuals to help you "Master your own Bodyweight" before you move onto lifting external loads (i.e. free weights).

And as with the lower body progression, we can do the same for upper body pressing movements, in order from least to most difficult:

  • Incline Pushups
  • Kneeling Pushups
  • Pushups
  • Close-grip Pushups
  • Off-set Pushups
  • 1-Leg Pushups
  • Elevated Pushups
  • Feet on Ball Pushups
  • Decline Pushups
  • Hands on Ball Pushups
  • Spiderman Pushups

All of these exercises, for both the lower body and upper body, are found in the 6-Month TT Bodyweight Manual.

"Your bodyweight routines are great! I find them to be a perfect alternative for a trip to the gym or for some interval-level intensity when I can't run or am bored of the stationary bike. And the best part is, I never have to worry about not getting a workout in when traveling. Keep making more of these routines."

Christine Johnson, Little Rock, AK

Master your bodyweight, and you'll master your body's weight,


P.S. Say goodbye to flabby arm syndrome...

...with these upper body bodyweight exercises. One of my favorite female clients has the best arms in the gym of all the ladies, even those 20 years younger than her, and she can crank out almost 20 decline pushups, 13 regular pushups, and 10 spiderman pushups.

Click here to get started burning fat with bodyweight exercises today.


JJKING said...

How often should I be doing bodyweight circuits? My goal is to lose weight and fat and have more endurance...

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

3 times per week with interval training.