Sure, you can deadlift with dumbbells, hoist heavy metal plates on weight machines, or reach for resistance bands. But you can also get an effective, fun, and safe strengthening workout using equipment you carry with you every day: the weight of your own body.
Time to Get Moving
Your bodyweight workouts should involve all the major muscle groups of the body: legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms. Here are a few types of exercises you might include.
Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you and your arms stretched in front of you. Exhale, tighten your abs and core muscles, then raise your arms and legs a few inches off the ground. Hold briefly, then inhale and slowly lower.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your weight in your heels. Inhale, push your hips back, and lower yourself down toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor or until your heels lift off the ground, whichever comes first. Exhale and return to standing.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abs, exhale, and squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips up off the ground. Inhale and slowly lower.
Choose a sturdy chair with armrests and sit with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale, lean forward, and grasp the arms of the chair. Exhale and use your arms to push upward and out of the chair. Hold for about one second, then inhale and slowly lower.
Other standard bodyweight moves include lunges, planks, heel raises, jumping jacks, push-ups, and pull-ups.
Check with Your Doctor First
If you have a chronic health condition or haven’t had a checkup in a while, talk with your primary care provider (PCP) before starting a new exercise program. He or she can even help you develop a personalized at-home fitness regimen! Click here to learn more about what our PCPs have to offer.