Guest Coach Patrick: Strength training without weights
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to do strength training without weights. Pushups, dips, and other basic muscle building exercises are some examples. Without the need for equipment, these exercises can be performed anywhere, at any time; but they can still be as effective as the heavy, expensive machinery at the gym.
Place your palms flat on the ground, spaced evenly, shoulder width apart. Bend your legs, and rest on your knees. Go all the way down until your chin touches the ground. That’s one rep.
Same as knee pushups, except you want to straighten your legs and balance on the balls of your feet and toes. Try to stay as straight and stiff as a board.
The more you elevate your feet, the greater the difficulty. Start out by assuming the Traditional Push-up position, only this time, rest your feet on something slightly higher than the ground, like a dictionary or two piled up or perhaps a small stool. As you get better at these, you can elevate your feet even further, resting them on a chair while your hands are still on the ground.
Take a big step forward with one foot. When your foot lands, immediately begin to bend both knees until your back knee is touching the ground (or very close to the ground). Next, straighten your legs and step with the other foot. That’s one rep. Make sure you keep your torso straight the entire time. You can do this while walking in a line, or if you don’t have a lot of room, you can stay in place.
Proper form is crucial for this activity. Place your feet shoulder length apart or slightly farther apart. Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself down as far as you can go. Ideally, your butt will be inches off the ground. Keep your hands dangling in front of you. It helps to visualize yourself sitting on a stool. Make sure you keep your back straight at all times. Also, angle your neck slightly up and gaze above you. This will help keep your back straight and your butt out. If it’s too difficult for you to do at least 5 reps with proper form, you can make this exercise easier by actually squatting down on a chair or stool.
There are two ways to do this exercise. While lying on your back, you can either keep your legs glued together and raise them together, or you can alternate, raising each leg separately (raising separately is harder). Regardless of the way you choose to do this, your legs must be kept as straight as possible.
Yoga is a form of stretching and strength training without weights. Yoga is a series of poses that you are supposed to keep your body balanced in.
Because balance is something that many of us don’t work on, the struggle to balance the body can create the ideal conditions for strength training. As your body has to work hard to keep yourself upright.
Of course, this form of strength training without weights is also good for posture and flexibility. Yoga classes are available on television, DVDs, in books, and through gyms and community centers.
This form of strength training without weights is more of a cross between Yoga and calisthenics.
Pilates can be found in a number of facilities, DVDs, and books for anyone to try this strength training without weights.
The trick with strength training without weights is to find something that you enjoy doing. If you like something a little more aggressive, bodyweight exercises might work well for you, but if you like a calmer exercise, yoga works well too!