Build Muscle Without Weights – 4 Bodyweight Exercises That Pack A Punch
Article by Jefferie Wilkenson
Building muscle without weights is not as hard as it may at first seem. With these following bodyweight exercises you will be adding the pounds onto your frame in no time at all…from the comfort of your own home.
Basic crunches. This the most well known exercise for developing the abs. You basically lay on your back with your knees raised and feet on the floor. Put your hands behind your head and raise your shoulders a few inches off the floor. Hold. And repeat. The key to cruches is to go slowly and to really pause and squeeze the abdominial muscles at the top of the exercise. Make sure you do not lift your shoulders to far off the floor otherwise it will become more like a sit-up, which is for endurance and not muscle. To make basic crunches harder try really slowing down the speed on really squeezing those abs for a few more seconds during each rep. Try to go slowly enough so that you cannot physically do more than 25 reps or so. A good way to help you feel the squeeze in your abs is to rest an object such as a book onto your abs. It will then become more obvious when you contract your ab muscles and it gives you something to focus on.
Box jumps. Box jumps are a cardio bodyweight exercise that a good for burning off fat and also developing explosive strength in the calves. To do a box jump simply jump onto a box! Start in an upright standing position, swing your arms forward, and jump up and forward onto a sturdy box. Make sure your knees are bent when you land on the box to reduce the impact on your joints. Since this is a cardio workout, keep repeating this exercise by jumping on and off the box in quick succession. It looks like a simple exercise, but in reality it is brutal!
Oblique Twists. Abdominal crunches tend to work the middle part of your abs, and oblique twists are similiar exercises but work the side of your abs (the obliques). Lay flat on your back, with your feet on the floor and knees raises. But you arms behind your head. Raise your shoulders a few feet off the floor as you would do with a normal abdominal crunch, but this time do it slightly to the side. So for you first rep you will do it in the direction so that your right elbow goes towards your left knee and for the next rep your left elbow will go towards your right knee. As with basic ab crunches, focus on squeezing the abs throughout the exercise to make sure they are being worked out to maximum effect.
Abdominal Leg raises. This bodyweight exercise involves lieing down on your side, with one hand held behind your head and one hand on the floor for support. To do the exercise raise the upper of your legs up to the ceiling whilst still lieing on your side. As you do so push your torso forwards towards your legs. Hold the end position for one or two seconds, then lower your legs and repeat. The second where you pause in the exercise is very challenging and helps stabilize that core.