Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
If your main excuse for not exercising is lack of money for a gym membership or at home equipment, get ready to put it behind you. You don’t need a gym to get an effective and challenging workout. You don’t need weights or infomercial gadgets. You already have the only equipment you need – your own body.
Body weight exercises are some of the most effective (if you can’t move your own body weight how do expect to lift heavy dumbbells?) and they can be done anywhere (fitting well into a busy schedule at home or on the road.)
I have 5 essential body weight exercises for you. If you do these exercises you will hit all your major muscle groups; doing them circuit style will get your heart rate up at the same time for an extra cardio boost.
Single Leg Squats: This exercise will target not only quads and hamstrings, but also your adductor, or thigh, muscles.
Pushups: These are the defining exercise for upper body strength, in my opinion. Your core, back, chest and arms are all working together. Start on your knees if necessary but work your way up to a standard toe pushup.
Walking Lunges: People with knee pain or injuries often steer clear of lunges. However when done correctly they can be beneficial for strengthening the muscles that support the knee joint. The secret is to not push forward but instead lower your body to create a 90 degree angle in both legs. Make sure your knee doesn’t go past your toe and keep your toes pointed forward.
Bench Dips: You do need one piece of “equipment” other than your body for this exercise, but it can be one of many household items: a sturdy chair or bench, a bay window seat or even your staircase.
Squat Thrusts, aka Burpees: Legs, arms and core all get attacked in this exercise. I have yet to meet a personal trainer or fitness enthusiastic who actually likes them, but we all do them because they work.
Add in calisthenics like butt kicks, high knees and jumping jacks for an excuse proof fat burning workout-no gym required.
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August 31st, 2011