Bodyweight squats target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and increases hip, knee and ankle mobility.
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to blast fat and shape up, and are easily modified to challenge any fitness level.
BODYWEIGHT exercises ranked among the top fitness trends in 2013, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) predicts that the training style will continue to thrive in 2014.
Bodyweight training uses minimal equipment, and because you rely mostly on your own body for resistance, these exercises can be performed anytime, anywhere.
Research suggests that high-intensity, bodyweight-based exercises such as plyometrics, burpees and squats can produce cardiovascular benefits and strength gains to maintain good health.
Bodyweight exercises are also a great way to shape up, and are easily modified to challenge any fitness level. Adding extra repetitions, or performing the exercises faster or slower are some ways you can make a simple exercise more challenging.
In her book Lyn Kong’s Guide to Fitness for Busy People, author, speaker and personal trainer Lyn Kong shares some simple and practical home bodyweight workouts for fitness novices to kickstart their journey towards a better lifestyle.
Kong demonstrates how to do planks, which are great for shaping the abdominals, and helps improve core strength and posture.
“Many people do not have time to go to the gym,” says Kong, who is also a certified Kettlebell Level 1 and CrossFit Level 1 trainer.
Her guidebook provides step-by-step instructions on various exercises and bodyweight training programmes that can be done in the comfort of your home.
The following are the top five bodyweight exercises Kong recommends to help you get in tip-top shape.
Muscles targeted: glutes, quads, hamstrings. It also increases hip, knee and ankle mobility.
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes slightly turned outward.
2. Keep your core tight for stability while keeping your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the ground.
3. Bring your hips back and down, as if you’re sitting on a chair, while keeping your weight on your heels.
4. Extend your arms in front of you for balance as you lower yourself until your thighs are slightly below parallel to the ground. While doing this, keep your back straight and do not let your knees come past your toes.
5. Lift your hips and torso back up at the same time to the starting position.