Ol' Bally kinda looks like this... and I usually wear shoes. :)
Bodyweight exercises challenge you more than slow, boring cardio. In fact, research shows that just 4-minutes of bodyweight exercises give you the same results as 30 minutes of jogging.
Plus, you can do bodyweight exercises anytime, anywhere, which is really helpful in winter in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which is where so many TT trainers and clients live!
While there are dozens of body weight exercises to choose from, here's a list of twenty highly effective ones for fat loss.
Upper Body: These exercises will focus mainly on the upper body, but still rely on many supporting muscles so you get more out of it than just a strong upper body.
Standard Push-ups: Not only does it work all of your upper body including your chest, shoulders and triceps, but your core is also working as well to keep your body from sagging. To do a push-up, place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Your feet are either together (more difficult) or set wide (easier) and your back is straight—no sagging hips and no butts sticking up in the air. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your chest to the floor and then straighten your arms back up. That is considered one rep.
Decline Push-ups: These are tougher than regular push-ups because your feet are elevated on top of a bench, chair or stair. Lower your upper body to the ground and then push through your chest, shoulder and triceps to return to start. Make sure your abdominals are tight and your back stays straight throughout the movement.
Watch this video for cool push-up variations
Spiderman Push-ups: You may just feel like a superhero after mastering this exercise as it pushes your upper body and abdominal muscles harder than most push-ups out there. Start in standard push-up form and as you lower your chest to the floor, bring your right knee to your right elbow. This should be done in one smooth movement. As you lift your body up, bring your leg back to start. On the next one, switch legs bringing your left knee to your left elbow. Keep your back straight, abs tight and do not rotate your hips.
Shoulder Press Push-up: Here is a push-up that lets your shoulders do all of the work. Elevate your feet on a bench as you would in an elevated push-up, but bring your hands as close to the bench as you can. You will be in an inverted V position. Legs can be bent or straight. Lower your head to the floor and then use your shoulders, chest and triceps to push yourself back up.
Pull-ups: Pull-ups are what sometimes define a person's strength as you are using all of your bodyweight. Grab on to a high bar with an overhand grip (make sure it is sturdy enough to support your weight) and then pull your body up as high as you can and then slowly lower back down.
Inverted Rows: If regular pull-ups are too difficult, inverted rows still give you a great back workout. Grab hold of a bar that is roughly waist height and place your chest under it while extending your arms and having your legs straight out so you are on your heels. Squeeze your abs, upper back and lats to pull your chest up to the bar and then slowly lower yourself back to start. If you want to make it more difficult, use one arm instead of two. To make it less challenging, keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Lower Body: This is where most of your metabolic muscle is, and that's why lower body moves boost fat loss.
Squat: This is a lower body staple as it is the most basic of all the lower body exercises. With your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, abs tight, glutes squeezed and toes facing front, lower your body to the ground as far as you can while keeping your back straight and not allowing your knees to go beyond your toes. The best way to remember to do this exercise correctly is to push your hips back as if you want your butt to tap the top of a chair behind you. Most importantly, never round or arch your back—always keep it neutral. Push through your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps to return to your starting position.
Prisoner Squat: This exercise is just like a regular squat but instead of letting your arms hang at your sides, place your hands behind your head. By doing this, you take out some of the momentum that you may find yourself using on a regular squat. You are also adding some weight by placing your hands above your body. Again, keep the same perfect form that you would in a traditional squat.
Hip Extensions: Your hamstrings are one of the most important muscles of your leg. And just because you cannot see them does not mean they should not be worked. Hip extensions are a common and useful exercise for improving hamstring strength. Lie on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor. Make sure to not use your hips to lift. Hold the hips up for a second before lowering them back down so they are just above the floor but not touching it. You can make this more difficult by extending one leg up and out while you lift your hips.
Lunges: Lunges are highly effective when done correctly, but most people do them wrong. Watch this video to find out how to use these lower body moves to get back in shape. You'll discover why the Reverse Lunge is the best lunge of all.
Watch the lunge video here
Conditioning Exercises: You'll double the results of your fat-burning workouts if you add a few conditioning exercises as part of a workout finisher. For example, a circuit like this can go a long way to helping you overcome a weight loss plateau.
1) Jumping Jack - 60 seconds
2) Total Body Extension - 60 seconds
3) Burpees - 30 seconds
4) Mountain Climbers - 30 seconds
Jumping Jacks: Still an oldie but goody, jumping jacks are great as a warm-up exercise or as part of your fat loss routine. Stand straight with your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out wide while bringing your arms overhead and then return to start. Make sure you are on the balls of your feet when you do jumping jacks.
Burpees: Whether you love them or hate them, burpees will never fail you when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. Start in a standing position and then lower down so your knees are bent and your hands are on the floor. Kick your legs straight out behind you so you are in a standard push-up position and then jump them back in to your chest and then stand up. For a cardiovascular bonus, you can add a jump on the way back up to standing.
Mountain Climbers: This exercise works just about everything—your abs, your upper body, your lower body and your heart. Begin in a standard push-up position with your hands and shoulders lined up. Contract your abs and pull your right knee in towards your chest without letting your butt pop up or sag. Also, do not tap your toes to the floor when you bring your knee in. Return your right leg back to start and then do the same thing with the other leg and keep alternating. The faster you go, the higher your heart rate will get and your abs will feel it too.
Core Exercises: You do not want to lose all the fat and still have a big belly which is why any good fat loss workout incorporates working your abdominal muscles.
Plank: Lie down facing the floor and then come up onto your forearms making sure your elbows and shoulders are lined up, your back and body is straight and you are on your toes. Keep your abs tight and hold this position for as long as you can. For a modification, come down to a kneeling position rather than staying on your toes.
Side Plank: Similar to a plank, but instead of being on both forearms and facing down, you are on one forearm and facing the side. Lift your hips off the floor and hold the contraction in your obliques and abs. Switch sides once you are done. Again, you can modify this by keeping the knee of the bottom leg on the floor.
Knee-up: Here is where your abs will certainly feel the burn. Grab hold of a bar overhead and let your body hang down. Now slowly lift your knees up towards your chest. Make sure to use your abs to bring the knees up and not your hips. Lower your knees back down making sure you maintain a slow pace so your body does not rock back and forth.
Putting it All Together – The best way to make the most out of all of these exercises is to use them in a circuit. Do one upper body exercise, one lower body exercise, one core exercise, and a conditioning exercise with no rest between movements.
1) Decline Pushup
2) Prisoner Lunge
3) Mountain Climber
Do 30 seconds of each movement and repeat the circuit up to 4 times.
WOW! You'll be amazed at what you can do in 8 minutes with bodyweight exercises compared to 45 minutes of cardio.
Do not forget to always make sure you have proper form with every exercise and consider using the modifications if you cannot do them the more advanced way. It is always better to do them correctly in a modified way rather than struggling through an exercise that you are unable to do at all. Not to mention, you run the risk of injury if you perform exercises incorrectly.
BONUS: You can now get my latest bodyweight exercise videos as a FREE gift when you pre-order my new book, The Great Cardio Myth. Pre-Order your copy from any one of these fine retailers.
Order the book from one of the links above, and then send your receipt to Support@EarlyToRise.com to get access to the four free videos today.
BUT this is the ONLY way to get access to these brand new videos. They will not be sold anywhere else. You have to get the book to get the gift. Thanks!
These brand NEW videos will be just like having me take you through a fat-scorching bodyweight workout in person.
Enjoy these amazing exercises,
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS - Whew!
That was one of my biggest and best articles yet.
And it sure was more entertaining than talking about the election.
One last thing...
Never forget this important advice...
Change only comes when the consequences of staying the same are too painful.
This explains your choices and the behavior of others.
If you want to change then dig deep and bring your pain to the surface. Find the Meaningful Incentive that will motivate you to fix your behavior, make better decisions, and implement the right actions.