Most of us who are into fitness in any small way have probably realized over the years that strength training is where it’s all at. It protects against disease, builds lean muscle and is really able to keep weight off.
It improves bone strength, joint health and balance and flexibility as well. However, for a number of reasons some people may be reluctant to do weights.
Either for reasons of cost of equipment or because they (read a lot of women) think that weights lead to bulking up and are not keen to get ‘that’ look, weights may be viewed with some ambivalence.
The truth however is that you can use your own body weight very effectively to get an excellent resistance or strength workout.
Here are some easy to implement strength training exercises that use no weights, require no expensive purchases and need no gym memberships:
Jumping rope: For the price of a few dollars, you buy this length of rope or even fashion it at home if you want. If you have done skipping or have jumped rope as a child or as an adult you know what a strenuous workout this can give you. So long as there are no knee problems or medical reasons to prevent you, you can get an excellent workout from jumping rope.
Pushups: This is of course the classic method of using the body’s weight to get an excellent work out and it isn’t just for the Marine either. Pick the right kind of pushup for you and your level of fitness by taking the pushup fitness test and go for it!
Chin Ups: This one of course is not for the beginners among us, and doing chin ups is quite frankly difficult. One would of course also need to find a suitable bar or high platform around the house in order to be able to do this at home.
Jumping Jacks and Side Jumps: The Jumping jack requires you to really get moving, with the arms and the legs in motion and offering a great workout! The side jumps, performed with your feet together are also good and help strengthen thigh muscles.
Squats: You can do one legged squats or the regular ones. You can add resistance by holding a couple of large water bottles. If you are not used to one legged squats, make sure to do them next to a wall when you start out, this way you won’t lose your balance and tip over.
Take the stairs: Climbing stairs is another great but underrated exercise that can use the body’s own weight for getting a workout.