How to Use Bodyweight Exercises to Improve Your Fitness

Hi there!

It’s been a while since I did a workout post, which is strange because those are my favorite posts to write.

As a wife, mom, and business owner, I have to have a quick workout routine that doesn’t involve a lot of expensive equipment that I can take anywhere.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m an advocate for body weight exercises. They’re easy to learn (most of the time), convenient, and can be modified for just about any fitness level!

I’ve also seen many, many clients through the years achieve phenomenal results with body weight exercises, not only maintaining their fitness levels but advancing their fitness levels by leaps and bounds.

I’ve also had many personal training clients and group fitness participants say to me, “Oh, I just didn’t work out this week because I was out of town and couldn’t get to my gym.” That’s just crazy. Doing something is better than nothing.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love free weights, and resistance  bands and pretty much any kind of resistance you can think of, but at the end of the day, what matters is that you trained.

(Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products, the sales from a portion of which help support my blog, which I put a lot of effort into. The opinions of any products I review are my own, and I only recommend products which I believe are exceptional. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

Really, the only equipment you need is you, or a yoga mat or towel. I prefer a yoga towel because they’re sweat absorbent and can easily be folded and placed in a tote bag or suitcase.

So you see, you really can’t go wrong with this type of workout.

With body weight training, your body experiences these benefits:

  • Less chance of injury
  • Ability to focus on your form and technique, rather than the amount of weight you’re lifting
  • A convenient workout you can do just about anywhere
  • A multitude of exercises so you can add endless variety to your workouts

To give you a taste of body weight training, especially if you’re new to exercise, I’ve provided a sample workout for you. You can do this workout as many rounds as you like, but I recommend completing the series, one exercise after the other, with little to no rest in between, anywhere from two to five times. You can use any variations of these exercises that you like, so the possibilities are endless!

 

They are pretty basic exercises, but if you really do them correctly, you’ll definitely feel them working.

Squats: butt, legs

This classic exercise is one of the best at boosting your metabolism because it uses some of the largest muscle groups in your body. Try basic, plie, single-leg, and jump variations. Try holding still at the bottom of a squat for 30 extra seconds at the end of each set.

Side Planks: abs, obliques, lower back, shoulders    

Side planks can also be done on your elbows and also have lots of variations. The key is to make sure your head is in a straight line from your head to your heels.

Pushups: shoulders, triceps, chest

Another classic exercise, push-ups are a great way to get your heart pumping. They also have numerous modifications. And for those of you who need to build up your upper body strength, they can be done on your knees instead of your toes. Just don’t let your stomach hang to the floor and aim for a straight line from your head to your heels.

Lunges: butt, legs, core

Lunges are another exercise that can really rev up your metabolism. There are lots of ways to to do them too: static, front, rear, side. The options are almost endless. Just remember to put your weight into your front heel to stand. (If you’re a beginner, gradually make your lunges deeper and deeper as you get more fit.)

 

What’s your favorite body weight exercise?

Tell me in the comments below!

 

– Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Minute HIIT Ab Workout and Fitness Towel Review

 

Disclaimer: I received this product at a very discounted rate in exchange for my honest review. However, I only give items positive reviews when I feel it is a trustworthy product.

Hi! So, I'd recently been looking for a fitness/yoga towel to take to classes with me so I wouldn't have to lug around a mat. So, I when Mango Fitness let me try their yoga/fitness towel. I was so excited!

Why would I want to use this towel?

- It's antimicrobial and wicks away moisture, aka, sweat.
- It has non-slip corners that overlap over any standard size mat.
- It adds just a little extra comfort to your mat.
- If you borrow a mat at your facility, this is a great way to give you a barrier between you and a mat.
-If you want a little extra traction, so that you're not slipping in sweat, this yoga towel becomes non-slip when wet!
- It's easy to clean. Just throw it in the wash!

Adam, is the owner at Mango Fitness, and he was very helpful and super courteous. I really loved working with him!

You can order Mango Fitness Hot Yoga Towels on Amazon

Here's a great quick workout that I wanted to share with you!

Exercises:

Inchworm Walk-outs
Boat Situps

Perform 8 reps of each exercise then, move immediately to the next ab exercise, without any rest. During the next round, perform 7 of each exercise, then 6 of each exercise, and so on until you reach one rep of each exercise. This is a great way to break a sweat and strengthen your core at the same time.

I loved using Mango Fitness' towel, because it made me feel like I had a great grip on the mat with no slipping.

To see demonstrations of both exercises, check out my instagram!

 

A Move to Carve Your Core – Workout for the Holidays

Wow…I actually had a Thanksgiving post planned…I think I’ll post it next year.

There has been a lot more going on than I could possibly write about in one post  – starting a new job, performing in a concert, and other fun events. I can honestly say that between this and Micah’s birthday this month, we will be going constantly on the weekends. Right now, I would be happy if I could hibernate after this week. (Bears definitely have the advantage on this one.) That being said, I’ve still been staying on top of eating healthy and workout out daily for the most part, even if I workout 5-10 minutes, I try to sneak in fitness when I can.

Christmas survival hint: just do something. It may not be the ideal, but at least you won’t be regretting that you didn’t do any workout.

Celebrate the healthy choices you do make!

I want to stay healthy but also have time to spend with friends and family, so I’ve been working on a 7-day fitness challenge. I’ll be posting the full program on pinterest on Tuesday of next week. All you need is 5-10 minutes for workouts each day, and your list of healthy habits. We will be adding one healthy habit at a time to the list, so by the end of the week, you will have 7 new healthy habits! It’s a start!

This leads me to an awesome exercise that I like to use. There’s a modification for almost any fitness level, and multiple muscle groups are worked, meaning that more calories are burned.  Word of Caution: Be careful if you have a history of wrist or shoulder injuries. In this case, start out with tabletop pose or even seated leg lifts on the floor. Here is the most advanced version, or just hold the reverse plank pose.

Think of this as your sneak peak move. There will be a different move/mini workout each day of the challenge, in fact, you won’t spend more than 10 minutes each day working out, so this is totally doable during this busy time of year. 
For a reverse plank, start out seated on the floor, hands behind you and legs straight out in front of you. (In tabletop feet are bent.) Lift your hips, keeping your shoulders down and core engaged, maintaining a straight line from head to toe. If this is not challenging enough, lift one leg at a time while in reverse plank….and don’t stop breathing…hehe. Hold reverse plank for 30 – 45 seconds or 2-4 leg lifts each leg for 3 sets. Do this first thing in the morning, and you won’t need that cup of coffee…or maybe more so. 
Anyway, tell me what other exercises you’d like to see in the challenge! I can’t wait to hear from you! 
Julie