Body weight exercises can be really intense, if you do them right.
Those are the hardest exercises to do, but when you master them, there is nothing more rewarding!
The best thing about body weight exercises is that you can do them just about anywhere, you can do them at home, at the backyard, at a kids playground etc. Try to stay away from stores because the security guards don’t like you hanging on door frames doing chin ups, bus stations are okay though, if you don’t mind when people stare at you.
I happen to love body weight exercises and am very passionate about them. They served me well when I could not afford a gym subscription.
Did I mention that they are safe? There is less of a chance that you will get injured doing sit ups. Barbell squats are basically the same exercise but there is the chance that you will get hurt with the barbell (disclaimer: I did not say you WON’T get injured if you aren’t careful).
So let’s begin:
1. Do Some Push Ups
Everyone knows about push ups and everyone takes them for granted. While they are looking for some magic exercise that will make them pack on muscle, they have no idea that they already have one right under their noses.
Push ups are an awesome exercise because they are the only replacement for a barbell bench press that you will ever find if you can’t afford buying weights. You can add extra weight by wearing a weighted vest or just have your baby sister sit on your back.
They mainly stimulate your chest and triceps kind of like a bench press.
For an extra challenge do them with elevated feet. Put them on a chair and try doing push ups now. I bet you that it’s harder.
2. Sit Ups – They Are Just Like Squats but With No Barbell
In my opinion barbell squats are only meant to be done by a man who can do more than 30 sit ups.
Sit ups target your quads and also your abs. Like I said, squat replacement.
I want to encourage you to keep going when it starts to hurt, and don’t stop until you just can’t do one more sit-up.
This morning I did sit ups until my legs hurt so much that I walked around like a 2 year old who can’t stop tripping over his own feet.
You can wear a weighted vest or have your baby sister hanging off your back if you need extra weight. Actually, you can do many things to add more weight, so use your imagination (so long as you don’t tie the fridge to your back).
If you want an extra challenge (my role model Vince Delmonte says that this exercise isn’t optional, it’s a must), you can do one legged sit ups. Get on an elevated area (leave your other leg hanging), and do 1 legged sit ups there. I promise you that your leg will feel it will break on the first rep (an awesome feeling if you ask me).
3. Doing Pull Ups On Door Frames
Pull ups are great for your back, I don’t know many alternatives for this exercise so I always do it. For this exercise I always used the monkey bars in a playground not too far from my house.
It can be hard to find a place to do this exercise at home. You can try hanging on the freezers door, but don’t be surprised if you break it.
Luckily, there is also lots of places outside the house, maybe a tree branch right outside the house (just get a gym subscription if you can afford one).
To add extra weight tie a weight plate to yourself. Tie it hard enough so it won’t fall off or get your girlfriend to pull on you, whatever works.
I heard that the pros do a harder version of this exercise, they put their hands really far from each other(as far as they can), and when they pull themselves up they put their head behind the bar they use, not the front. Just be careful because this exercise should be used sparingly, it can damage your back.
4. Chin ups, Don’t hit your chin
Chin ups are almost the same as pull ups except you hold the bar (ideally) with your palms facing you and they must be close together.
This exercise targets your biceps so that you can use it aside from dumbbell exercises.
Try not to do this exercise right after pull-ups, your hands might still be tired.
5. Doing Dips On Tables or Chair
Dips are great for your Triceps, better than push-ups since you are holding your entire body with your arms.
I remember doing dips on chair or 2 tables back in school. This exercise is not easy for first timers. A first timers arms will start shaking like an old mans.
I found doing this exercise much easier than using dumbbells.
For extra weight you probably already have an idea of what to do, so I will end the dumb jokes (not).
6. The Hanging Leg Raise For Chocolate Squares On Your Abs
This exercise is challenging if you have weak hands, you won’t be able to hang for long if your fingers start to turn red after 30 seconds of holding on. Hell! It’s a challenge even if you have strong hands.
You hang off something (we already discussed this), and raise your legs. Not to their full length just the knees while your legs are bent. When you won’t be able to lift your legs anymore. Leave them up until your abs feel like they are on fire.
There is also a full hanging leg raise in which your legs are fully extended. If you can do this, it means you have very strong abs.
I the full hanging leg raise is too easy for you tie some weight plates to them and we will see how you can handle that.