Feel the Burn with Bodyweight Exercises
There’s no shortage of complex fitness machines and equipment at gyms, each one dedicated to working out a specific set of muscles. Seeing all that might give you the impression that you need those to get a workout on. But that’s not entirely true.
No matter where you go, you always have access to one of the most useful tools for exercising: your body. Think about it: your body weight is no different than the weight of any dumbbell or barbell. We’ve outlined some exercises and the muscles they engage to help you feel the burn.
Squats (glutes and quads)
Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward. Squat like you’re about to sit into a chair, pressing your weight into your heels and keeping your core tight. Be careful not to let your knees go past your toes.
Pushups (shoulders, triceps, chest)
Lie face down. Place your palms and toes down on the ground shoulder-width apart. Press against the ground to push up, keeping your body straight. Your elbows should be tucked in and not sticking out. To modify this exercise, you can rest on your knees instead of your toes.
Skater jumps (core, balance, cardio)
Stand up with your left foot on the ground and your right foot behind you. Get your arms ready in a running position. Like an ice skating motion, hop across the mat onto your right foot and put your left foot behind you. Keep a slight bend in your torso.
Jumping jacks (cardio, core)
Stand up in a neutral position with your arms at your side and feet together. Jump and put your arms up over your head and your feet shoulder-width apart. Remember to breathe and keep your core tight.
Tricep dips (Triceps, shoulders and core)
Place a chair behind you like you’re about to sit in it. Grab the bottom of the chair with both hands and walk both legs out in front of you so they’re straight. Give yourself enough space so you won’t hit the chair when dipping. Dip down and try to form a 90 degree angle with your elbows. For extra support, you can slightly bend your legs.
Calf raises (calves, hamstring)
Stand behind a chair with your hands on the back rest. Stand up tall on your toes, pressing onto your big toe and engaging your abs. Hold for two to three seconds. Bring your heels back onto the floor.
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