Monday, 25 March 2013

Body Weight Training and Schedule

I work out at home mostly because I hate Bangalore traffic and don’t want to spend hours stuck in traffic jams to run on a treadmill in a gym. Home workouts give me the flexibility to workout whenever I have the time and for whatever time that I can spare. And this is the case with most working moms; you need to pack so much in so little a time. Coming back to workouts, so when you work out at home you don’t have the advantage of using all those fancy machines (unless you are super rich to have home gyms). So you are left with few hand weights and yourself. That’s when body weight training is your savior. This post is about the body weight exercises that you can do at home and also a training schedule that you can follow (Tried this last month during my break between Body Revolution and RushFit which I am following now).
Bodyweight training is exercising using your own body weight to add resistance to the moves. It does not involve using any equipment’s or free weights so can be done anywhere as long as proper form is maintained. Most of the moves use the entire body so one works on multiple muscle groups at the same time. Below I have listed  most common bodyweight exercise along with how to maintain posture while doing them.


 Air Squats
You stand in an upright position with feet hip width apart and slowly lower your body to the ground while bending your knees trying to get your thighs parallel to the ground in a squat. Imagine sitting on a chair. Then slowly move back to the upright position. It’s very important to take care of two things
1.       Make sure that the knee doesn’t move past your toe, make the gluteus to do the work for you and try to press your heels to floor, don’t transfer your weight to the ball of the feet.
2.       Keep the back straight , don’t round the back  only tilt the upper body forward ever so slightly
The muscles that this works is the one in the hips (gluteus maximus) ,legs( quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors), back (erector spinae) and abdomen (rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis muscles)



Plank
This one works on your core better than all the umpteen number of crunches. It is the best core workout to give you that washboard abs.
So to plank, like down on your belly with arm elbows placed under the armpit just below your shoulders. The forearms should be pointed in whatever direction is most comfortable, with no additional weight on the forearms, wrists or hands (from no forward lean). The hands may be flexed into a fist or relaxed. Push off the floor to lift your hips up balancing your body on your toes and hand. Make sure you hold your core tight, don’t dip the hips or raise it too high. The aim is to keep your back flat not arched. Imagine a string pulling your belly to the ceiling so tucking it in. This works on the muscle group the transverse abdominals that gives you the sculpted abs.  If you want to make this easier then go down on the knees still maintaining form.

Burpee
This is a killer, because it works whole body and works as a cardio as well. I will break this movement down for better understanding
Step 1: Stand upright with legs hip width apart.
Step2: Bend your knees to squat and place your palms on the ground besides your legs
Step3: Hop both your feet together back into a plank position
Step4: Hop your feet back between your hands
Step 5 Jump up to the standing position
                                                                                                                                                       
Lunge
So when you want those perfectly sculpted legs that look sexy in a skirt on skinny jeans then you should add these to your workout routines.  It’s one of those simple exercises that is functional and effective.
There are variations to this move and here I describe the forward lunge.
Standing straight with legs hip width apart lift your right leg and step forward  Bend your right knee to form a 90 degree angle and the knee doesn’t go past the toe. Dip your left knee to ground by lifting your left heel of the ground and balancing on the ball s of your foot. Make sure that the left knee is just a n inch above the ground. Stand up straight and come to first position. Repeat with the other leg.
For the backward lunge instead of placing feet ahead you place the feet at the back and perform the same move.

Pushup

This one basic move done in proper form can give any fancy exercise machine a run for its money. It works on arms, legs and core simultaneously making it the best exercise for overall workout.  Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise body up off floor by extend arms with body straight. Keeping body straight, lower body to floor by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat. Resistance can be reduced by performing push-ups with knees bent on floor or placing hands on elevated horizontal bar, in between narrow doorway, or edge of elevated surface.
 This is the basic Pushup , and to make it tougher or work on some more muscle groups( like this isn’t enough…..) there are variations like one hand pushup and decline pushups to name a few.

Superman

No I am not asking you to tie a cape and fly though the exercise itself will help you with super-hot superman body.
Lie on your stomach and extend your arms in front of you palms facing down. Lift your legs and arms simultaneously at least 6 inches off the ground. Keep each movement slow and controlled to prevent pulling muscles.
Alternate lifting your arms and legs one at a time for a beginner's version of the same exercise. For example, lift your left leg with your right arm, and then lower them. Switch to your right leg and left arm.

These are some of the basic body weight moves, there are more exercises. But that I will publish in the second installment of bodyweight exercises.

Now for the routine that I tried for a month, but before you try please do so with caution as I am not a fitness expert and these workouts are from my experience. I dint create this program, but was taken from the researches that I did on Google. When performing the workouts it is advisable to do it in front of the mirror to take care of form and prevent injuries.

 Each of these workouts are performed 4 or 5 times of course vary them based on your intensity. All workouts should start with a proper warmup and end with a cool down. To warm-up I try doing some stretches and 5 Suryanamaskar. For cool down I do stretches and child’s pose. There are loads of stretching exercises on the internet so research before you try.

Workout 1
1.     Bodyweight squats – 8-10 reps
2.     Push-ups (or knee-pushups) – 5-8 reps
3.     Plank – hold for 15 seconds
4.     Jumping Jacks – 15 reps
5.     Bodyweight Reverse Lunges – 6 reps per leg
6.     Superman’s – 10 reps
7.     Burpees  5 reps

Workout 2
1.       Jumping Jack 25 reps
2.       Forward Lunges  10 per leg
3.       Burpees  10 reps
4.       Pushups  10 – 12 reps
5.       Planks hold for 20 seconds
6.       Squats  10- 12 reps

Week 1 & 2
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Warm-up
Cardio of your choice
Warm-up
Cardio of your Choice
Warm-up
Cardio of your choice
Rest
Workout 1
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 1
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 1
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 1
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Cool Down
Cool down
Cool down

In the second week increase the number of circuits to 5 instead of 4 times.

Week 3 & 4
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Warm-up
Cardio of your choice
Warm-up
Cardio of your Choice
Warm-up
Cardio of your choice
Rest
Workout 2
Workout 1
Workout 1
 90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 2
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 2
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Workout 2
Workout 1
Workout 1
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
90 seconds rest
Cool Down
Cool down
Cool down

In the fourth week increase the number of circuits to 6 instead of 5

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