You don't need weights to get great results as body weight exercises can be hugely effective. Add these 5 bodyweight exercises to your workout routine to boost the burn and ramp up your results.
1. Lunge Kickthrough
If you want to torch your legs without doing squats, this is the move for you. This exercise will target every muscle in your legs from the glutes to the calves and can even target your core if you do it correctly.
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Step back into a lunge on one leg, making sure you bend the knee at a 90 degree angle and keep your chest proud. Using your arms for balance, bring that leg forward and instead of placing it back on the floor, kick it in front of you. Really squeeze your glutes as you kick and then step straight back into a lunge on the same leg. This will also test your balance! Complete 10 reps on one leg and then swap to the other.
2. Two-Footed Jumps
Not only will this exercise tone your legs, it will increase your power and therefore help your sports performance. This is a full body exercise utilising your arms, core, and legs to achieve the best result. It will also work your cardiovascular system and help to improve your lung capacity and VO2 max.
Mark your starting point with something; this can be anything from a jacket to a towel to a water bottle, anything you have nearby. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees and draw your arms behind you. Jump forward with both feet as explosively as you can. Once you land, shuffle back to your marked starting point. Jump as far as you can and try to beat it each time.
3. Pull Ups
This is a classic exercise that will be found in all good strength training routines and is well-loved by those who do callisthenics, CrossFit, and free running. This is an upper body move and will target your lats and shoulders mainly with a little of the core being hit too.
Place your hands wider than shoulder width on a bar and dangle your body so that your feet don't touch the ground. Pull your entire body weight up until your chin goes over the bar. Pull your elbows in and tighten your lats. Breathe out as you pull up to assist in the movement. If you cannot complete this move unassisted, have a friend hold your legs to help you or use a resistance band.
4. Plank Get Ups
This is a killer exercise which is perfect at the end of your workout. It will target your shoulders, triceps, core, and chest. It is a mix between the classic plank hold and push ups and will really test your strength both physically and mentally.
Start in a push up position with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet slightly wider than hip width. Lower yourself down onto your forearms one arm at a time, then push yourself back up onto your hands, again one hand at a time. Keep your core squeezed tight and don't rock your hips as you move. Complete as many reps as you can in 30, 45, or 60 seconds.
5. Back Extensions
The posterior chain refers to the muscles down the back of your body, from your hamstrings to your glutes and into your back. This is a really important set of muscles to work as they will help keep your posture correct and can often be neglected during a workout. Back extensions are the perfect way to really target your posterior chain and help to tone your legs and butt as well as reducing back pain.
Start by laying on the floor face down with your fingers by your temples. Keeping your eyes looking at the floor and your elbows high, lift the upper part of your body off the floor. It will feel quite tough and you might not be able to move very far, but really squeeze through your back and glutes. Take the reps slowly and really focus on every movement.
Finding the time to workout when you're a dad can be tough, so we've put together this easy Father's Day workout that will get you great results and help you turn that dad bod into a killer physique!
Fat Loss Muscle Building Workout For Men
This workout incorporates elements of cardio, HIIT, and weight training to give you a full body workout that will torch fat, build muscle, and leave you feeling like a god. Try doing this workout 2 or 3 times a week to really see results and get the physique you've always dreamed of.
Our workout begins with 4 minutes of boxing to get your heart rate up, get your lungs working, and warm up your muscles. Tabata is a type of training that uses short, sharp intervals of work to burn maximum calories and get the best results. Your boxing Tabata starter will consist of 8 rounds of 20 seconds work-10 seconds rest lasting a total of 4 minutes. You can either use a punchbag or just punch the air.
Simply punch the punchbag or the air as fast as possible, with good form of course, for 20 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds. Then repeat for 8 rounds! Make sure your core is tight as you punch and keep your shoulders and ankles relaxed.
Most men will have tried deadlifts at the gym at one time or another and know what a great full-body exercise they are. But have you ever tried snatch grip deadlifts? If not, your world is about to be flipped upside down! Snatch grip is a wide grip used for the snatch movement of Olympic weightlifting, also found in CrossFit. By doing a deadlift with a wide grip, you change which muscles you are working and your arms and lats must work a lot harder to keep you balanced.
Hold the bar with your hands as wide as you can. Bend your knees and, keeping your back as straight as possible, pick the bar up off the floor. Keep your arms straight as you lift the bar and lift with your legs and glutes. This exercise will also test your grip so be warned!
Complete 3 sets of 6 reps at a fairly high weight for good results.
Back to our Tabata intervals. Your forearms will be torched after the deadlifts so this will be a real killer! Hit the rower for 8 rounds of 20 seconds work-10 seconds rest. Make sure that for the 20 seconds of work you are sprinting as hard as possible and working at almost 100% effort. Keep your back straight as you pull on the handles and keep your elbows high.
This is our finisher and will be harder the older/bigger your child! Get your son (or daughter) involved to finish off this Father's Day workout in style. Holding your child to your chest in front of you, start with your feet wider than hip width with your toes turned out. Drop into a squat as low as you can. Squeezing your glutes, push back up with your weight firmly in your heels. Complete 3 sets of 6-10 reps, depending on how heavy your child is!
If you have a toddler or a baby, you can make this exercise harder by holding the child away from your body with straight arms. This will really target your abs and shoulders as well as your legs. If the child is older and too big to hold in front of you, they can sit on your shoulders.
Resistance bands are a great way to get a workout in wherever you are. You don't need expensive equipment or even a gym membership, just a resistance band and your body weight. Follow this resistance band workout with exercises for arms and legs for a full body workout that will get results.
What are the benefits of resistance bands?
There are many benefits to using a resistance band to workout. They are very convenient and portable so you can take them with you wherever you go for an outdoor or home workout. You could even take your resistance band on holiday to keep your fitness and strength ticking over while you're away.
Body weight exercises are great, but adding resistance will really ramp up your workout and give you better results. By using a resistance band you can increase the return on your workout and get better results in a shorter time. They are not only great for strength workouts, but also for lower intensity training like stretching and physio.
Resistance band exercises for legs
Using a resistance band when you train your legs can not only strengthen the muscles but also the joints and supporting muscles which will lead to better balance and reduced risk of injury. Try some of these resistance band exercises for the legs and feel the burn!
Place the resistance band around your ankles and stand square with your hands on your hips. Find your balance on your left leg and lift your right leg out to the side as far as you can. Make sure you keep your foot facing forwards and squeeze from the hip. Repeat 10 reps on each leg.
With the resistance band still round your ankles, this time squeeze your bum and lift your leg out behind you, keeping the leg straight. This will really challenge your glutes and hamstrings as well as working your core. Do 10 reps on one leg then swap and do 10 on the other.
Lie on the floor and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. With the resistance band just above your knees, lift your back off the floor and squeeze your bum into the air. Keep your arms and hands flat on the floor and use them to help push you up. Keep your knees out and push them against the resistance from the band. Do 10 repetitions.
This is a great exercise if you've got flat feet or if you struggle with your squat form. Place the band just above your knees and make sure you use a fairly light weight. Drop into a squat, but keep your knees pushed outwards against the resistance of the band the entire time. You'll notice that they want to cave in, so stay strong. You'll realise how much you need to use your glutes to fire you back up, and this will highlight any muscle weaknesses. Try 3 sets of 10 reps.
If you haven't exercised in a long time, if you're overweight, or if you've never exercised at all, the prospect of joining a gym or going for a run can be overwhelming and just down right terrifying. We're here with top tips and advice for getting active as a complete beginner.
There's no better time than right now to change your life. If you've been thinking about getting started for a while but you've been putting it off or making excuses, you need to just start. There will always be a million reasons why you can't get out there, but it won't be until you've broken the ice that it becomes easier. Go ahead and join that gym or buy those running trainers.
Treating yourself to fresh activewear is a great way to get motivated and start you off in the right frame of mind. Having comfortable, proper gym tops rather than an old t-shirt and a stylish sports bra instead of your normal bra can be the difference between a terrible workout and a great one and will make you want to exercise so that you can show off your new fitness clothing!
You're already exercising more than you think
If you take your dog for walks or go walking at the weekend with your family, you have already made a great start! This is an easy base to improve upon, by making those dog walks longer and brisker, and by finding more challenging routes to walk at the weekend with your kids. If you take public transport to work, you perhaps have to walk to the station or from the bus stop to your office. Have confidence in yourself and make sure you know that mentally you're not going from complete scratch. This will make increasing your weekly exercise easier mentally.
Find a type of training you enjoy
There are so many ways to workout; you don't have to slog on a treadmill for hours or do some crazy manoeuvre that you saw someone else doing at the gym. Activities like yoga are very low impact and are a great way to build up your base fitness if you haven't moved in a while. Walking is also perfect as it's free and you can do it anywhere! If you do want to try running, you may benefit from group running as it takes the guess work out of it and will mean all you have to do is turn up and run. In the same light, there are many benefits of joining a running club such as companionship and making new friends.
Working out when you're overweight
It can seem very daunting to start exercising when you're overweight. If you're not ready to join a gym or hit the streets with a run, you can easily make a start in the comfort of your own home. Try a home workout that doesn't require any equipment and just uses body weight. By getting up and getting moving, you are making an excellent start.
When overweight, it's important not to put your joints under too much strain. Start with low impact movements like body weight squats, lunges, and sit ups. Go back to basics with a simple circuit training routine that gets your heart rate up without compromising your health and making you feel like your chest is going to explode!
If you are coming back from an injury or from having kids, you need to take it slow. There are lots of easy ways to exercise when you have kids, but getting back into it after giving birth can be a scary prospect. Take it slow and always listen to your body.
If you're looking to try a new sport, break it down into manageable chunks. Activities like cycling are much more accessible than you think and you don't need all the fancy gear to get out there. For something more complex like a triathlon, find a triathlon training plan for absolute beginners that you can follow which guides you through the training process and helps you understand what you need to do to succeed.
Make it enjoyable!
One of the biggest reasons why people give up on exercise is because they don't enjoy it. There is absolutely no reason why you need to be forcing yourself to go running or lift weights if you don't enjoy it. These days, there are unlimited ways to get fit from gym classes to dancing and it's all very accessible. There are some surprising ways to get fit like hula hooping and trampolining which are far more fun and enjoyable than pounding the pavements for mile after mile. If you enjoy your workout, you will be far more likely to continue the trend and stick to it.
Having little ones at home can leave you feeling like you don't have a spare second in the day. Between rushing to and from school and picking the little ones up from activities and trying to squeeze in daily errands too, it's no wonder that the average mother only gets 17 minutes of 'me time' each day. So how can you fit in exercise when you have no time? We give you all the tips you need along with with a working mom workout routine for you to try.
How can I find time to workout with kids?
Finding time to exercise as a working parent can feel almost impossible, but it doesn't have to be! Try some of our ideas and see if you can fit exercise into your busy day.
1. Get a training buddy
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to partner up. Whether it's a work colleague, your husband/wife, a friend, or a family member, working out together can make things more fun and interesting. Not only this, but if you have someone to be accountable to and someone who you will let down if you skip your session, you'll be more motivated to get that training session done!
2. Utilise playtime
When it's your child's playtime, get involved and burn some calories! If you have an energetic toddler, run around with them by playing adrenaline-fuelled games that involve running or chasing. If your children are a little older, find games where you can both get active, especially in the garden if it's summer time as there are lots of benefits to training outdoors.
3. Try dancing
Dancing is something that burns a lot of calories, will get you up and active, and can be very fun! If your children are very energetic, put on some music and dance away. This will not only help them burn off that extra energy and get you moving, it can be a great bonding experience.
4. Swap your car for walking or cycling
By combining your errands with exercise, you can make the time to get active without compromising any of your daily activities. Try walking or cycling to the shops instead of driving, or walking your children to school. It may be easier than you think to get around without your car!
5. Exercise before you start your day
By getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual, you could fit in an entire workout and start your day right. There are lots of workouts you can do in under 30 minutes, like this 5-minute punchbag workout, 10-minute tabata workout, or this 20-minute home workout. Even a short workout is better than no workout at all, and it'll energise you for a productive day. If you don't want to get up earlier than you already do, try this lunchtime HIIT workout instead.
How can a stay at home mum lose weight?
There are lots of tips and tricks to losing weight if you are a stay-at-home parent. Follow these dos and don'ts to make sure you're staying healthy while at home with the little ones.
1. Don't eat anything you wouldn't feed to your kids
There are lots of things you wouldn't feed to your children because the salt or sugar content it too high, so why feed them to yourself? A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you wouldn't give it to your child because of the ingredients, you should avoid it yourself too. Stick to whole foods and try to avoid anything overly processed or pre-packaged.
2. Don't snack mindlessly
If you find yourself in a rare moment of calm when your child is playing happily alone or watching a television show, it can be tempting to mindlessly eat food that you don't really need. Avoid temptation by not having snacks in the house, and stick to eating at set times.
3. Do make mealtime an occasion
If mealtime is an occasion to look froward to when you eat together with your kids, you'll be less likely to have an unstructured day. Try to have at least one meal a day together as a family where you sit at a table and focus on what you're eating, rather than grabbing whatever is nearby because you're so rushed off your feet. This might mean deliberately making time for it in your day, but it will be worth it ultimately.
4. Don't eat through stress
Being at home on your own with the kids all day can get pretty stressful. If tempers raise and tantrums ensue, make sure you're not reaching for food as comfort. Comfort eating is something that many of us do without realising and can be an almost impossible habit to break. As above, not having any temptation in the house will help with this and always count slowly to 10 before you eat a snack so that you're not eating it out of a stressed panic.
5. Do make food fun and creative by getting the children involved
Getting your kids to help in the kitchen is a fantastic way to bond and to help them develop vital skills for later in life. Let them get creative by coming up with new recipes and help them with the cooking. If you really want sweet treats, bake cookies or cupcakes together so that you really feel you've earned them and can have fun in the process.
Working mom workout routine
If you have kids at home or are pregnant, try this working mom home workout routine by Sundried ambassador Carly Newson.