By Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition
Do you think that you need exercise equipment to get into great shape? Have you been putting off exercising because gym equipment in stores and on-line has been hard to come by? If that sounds like you, I have great news for you, your own body is actually the best piece of gym equipment that you have. It goes everywhere with you, no need for any complicated set up’s and therefore there is never an excuse for not squeezing in a good toning up the session into your day.
Effectively using your own body weight against gravity is truly an effective training method, in fact, even the most basic functional movements when done right can help you reap all of the benefits associated with resistance training such as improved muscle tone, strength, enhanced bone density, and of course exercise promotes the release of endorphins that can make you feel energized.
Tips for Using your Body Weight Against Gravity
As a beginner doing basic movements such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and other functional exercises will be enough of a challenge, however as you become stronger, you’ll need to get creative to ensure you adequately stress the muscle to elicit the desired muscle building/toning response.
The key to getting fit and toned is to use repetition, timing and getting creative with angles to maximize your use of gravity.
Timed holds and slower reps increase the tension and stress placed on the muscle. Consider adding in a hold at the bottom of each movement. Take 2 counts down, hold for 2, and 1 count up. This timing works great for squats, lunges, and push-ups.
Reduce your rest time during your session. This will push you to enhance your overall cardiovascular fitness, when you start exercising before you have fully recovered your body must learn to more efficiently meet your body’s energy needs. Another way to accomplish this less rest and more exercise volume approach is to do supersets and circuit style training.
Boost your Angles
Changing the angle of an exercise can help place additional stress on targeted muscles. As an example, performing a push up with your feet elevated places more stress on the chest muscles. The same is true for making exercises easier for beginners, doing a push-up using a table or placing hands on a wall to keep the feet below the chest will reduce the gravity and make an exercise easier.
Bring in the Balance
Once you are effective with basic movements, starting to do isolation work on one side of the body at a time will enhance the difficulty level of an exercise at the same time as recruiting more of your core stabilizing muscles.
Have fun with your routines, aim to accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Knowing that your own body can be used to get you toned, I hope will help you to feel less anxious about gyms being closed and exercise equipment being out of stock.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.