Sunday, September 2, 2007

Strength Training - Body weight training.

Strength training is very important for good physique, but what if you do not have access to a gym for whatever reason ? The answer is body weight training. You can get a descent workout by only using your body weight , here are some exercises for lower body and upper body.

Lower body
1. Squat variations. Squats are great exercise for building lower body strength if you do not have enough strength or flexibility the body weight squat could be
really helpful. The key here is to go as deep as you can and at lest you should go below parallel. As your strength increases you can progress into 1 leg squat also known as Pistol. It requires great strength and flexibility.

2. Lunges. Lunges are also very good exercise for lower body and the good thing about this is that it will help you build stability. there are 5 types of lunges that you can do.

a. Static lunge or split squat
b. Forward lunge or walking lunge
c. Reverse lunge
d. Step up lunge
e. lunge with back foot elevated or Bulgarian split squat.

3. Single leg Deadlifts.
As with single legged squat deadlifts are great way to build stability, here its advisable to add some external loading to make this exercise more challenging.

4. Burpees.
This is one of the best lower body exercise you can do It comprises of following 5 steps:
a. squat down and put your hands on the floor
b. kick your legs back until you are in a pushup position
c. Do 1 pushup

d. Bring your knees back in
e. Stand up again and do a small jump.

5. Jumps and Plyometrics.
various jumps like Box jumps, tuck jumps , jumping jacks can be very effective in developing speed and will also help in burning some extra calories. Do remember that these can be very taxing and do not overdo them.

6. Sprinting / running.
You all must be aware of these but just to remind that long distance low intensity running won't help you much. The best thing is to do interval training i.e running for 30 secs fast and 1 min slow and repeating this for 10 mins. you can change the intervals based upon your current fitness level.

Upper Body
1. Pushups. Pushups are really great exercise not just for just chest or triceps but also for core. You can progress through following style of pushups

Pushups from knees --> Push ups with hand at shoulder width --> Pushups with
feet elevated --> By elevating 1 foot from the ground --> By elevating both the feet from the ground --> By using 1 hand only --> By using 1 hand and elevating the opposite feet.

Altering the hand position will also effect the muscle being worked out. If you narrow the grip most emphasis would be laid on triceps but if you widen the grip chest muscles would be worked out more.

2. pullups. Pullups / chinup are great exercise to develop strength in back , lats and biceps.

Unfortunately there are not much upper body body exercise , but if you have weights like dumbbells or stuff like bricks, sand bags you can still get a pretty descent workout.

But If you really serious about strength and want a great physique its best to join a gym or build a home gym if you have enough space and money :)

If you want me to cover any of these exercise in details please leave a comment.
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