What's one way to ease anxiety and stress? Exercise. Moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day can drastically improve your mood — which is something we all need in these crazy times.
Take a break from your Netflix binge and check out this beginner bodyweight workout you can do at home.
What Are the Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises?
You’ve probably heard about the power of weight training, but don’t underestimate good ole bodyweight training.
First, bodyweight exercises build strong muscles. A study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Sports and Physical Therapy found that bodyweight exercises resulted in a 31 percent increase in lower body strength.
Bodyweight training also burns more fat. How? When you engage in bodyweight training, you activate your sympathetic nervous system and initiate your fight or flight response. This signals your body to release fat.
Now that you know a few benefits of bodyweight training, let’s get into a beginner workout you can try at home.
Beginner Body Weight Workout
This workout was designed to target large muscle groups that burn the most calories and provide core strength. The movements are simple so you spend more time pushing yourself, instead of trying to figure out the exercise.
Aim to complete three sets with 12 to 15 repetitions (reps) of each exercise. The goal is to perform the exercise until you fee slightly weak and shaky towards the final rep.
Okay, enough chit chat.
Here are 5 bodyweight exercises that work your body from top to bottom:
- Begin with your elbows slightly bent and hands directly underneath your shoulders.
- Contract your ab muscles, tuck in your tailbone, and maintain a strong and straight torso.
- Try not to keep your hips square — don’t let them lean towards the floor or pike up to the ceiling.
- Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step backward with one foot and bend both knees to lower your hips toward the floor.
- Both knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
- Return to the standing position by pushing through the heel of your front foot.
- Repeat this movement for both legs.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Lift your left knee to your chest.
- Switch to lift your right knee to your chest.
- Repeat this movement, alternating legs and moving at a moderate to fast pace.
Knee Grab Sit-Up
- Lie on your back with your arms extended.
- Curl up to perform a sit-up while bending your knees towards your chest.
- Grab your knees your hold this position for 2-3 seconds before straightening your legs and lowering to the floor (similar to boat pose in yoga).
- To increase difficulty, release your grip on our knees and hold the same position using your core strength.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Start by doing a standard squat, then jump up.
- When you land, lower your body back into the squat position, never locking out your knees.
Who Said You Need Equipment for a Good Workout?
As you can see, you can get a good workout without any fancy equipment or weights. The exercises in this list simultaneously engage multiple muscle groups and accelerate fat loss.
We always recommend taking a moment to yourself after completing a workout. Either laying in savasana as with a yoga practice or taking a few moments to sit in meditation. This way you can allow your body to take in all the work you just put in while giving your mind a moment of peace and clarity. Try this quick 3 minute guided meditation after your workout today!