Health

Ultimate bodyweight training guide by our Trainer Ed

By Ed Stephenson, Healthy Man Trainer

With COVID-19 impacting everyone significantly, including those involved in the health and fitness industry, it’s important to be able to train and exercise with as much consistency as previously possible. The closing of gyms and health clubs with various lockdowns does not necessarily mean the decreased ability to exercise, and if viewed in a positive light, can expand knowledge and encourage us all to train in a different yet more positive way than before.

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We can use the inability to comfortably train in a gym to focus on a more functional style of training, using a wide range of bodyweight exercises and different body movements to achieve our goals. I’m going to run through a range of great options for your bodyweight training to build a program around to keep moving forward!!

Full body bodyweight workout

Upper body bodyweight exercises

Pushups

Start with your feet together and your hands flat on the ground at shoulder width. Keeping your core and torso tight, lower yourself to the ground by bending at the elbows until your chest touches the ground, then drive up strong to the starting position. Your elbows should come out to a 45-degree angle to your torso as you lower and your hips should rise and fall at the same rate as your chest throughout

Shoulder taps

Begin in a pushup position with your arms fully extended. Keeping your core tight and torso rigid, bring your right hand to your left shoulder and return back to the ground. Do the same for the left hand to the right shoulder and return to starting position.

Inchworms

Start by standing upright with your feet together. Keep your core tight and reach down to the ground. Touching the ground, slowly walk your hands out until you’re in a rigid pushup position. Either complete a full pushup or not before walking your hands back to your feet before you stand upright once again. Repeat

Y raises

Lying face down with your legs together outstretched behind you. Position your arms so they are above your head so that you’ll resemble the letter Y from a bird’s eye perspective. Raise both arms into the air while your chest stays flat on the ground. Hold for a 2 count at the top and return the arms back to the ground. Repeat

Tricep dips

Using a secure object, plant your hands on the corner and face away from the object, walk your feet out far enough that the arms are straight and the legs are straight. This is your starting position. From here, bend at the elbow and lower yourself vertically down. Lower to a comfortable depth and push back up until the arms are extended again, repeat. We don’t want to feel this in the shoulders! Only the triceps.

Cardio bodyweight exercises

Jumping jacks

Start with feet together and arms by the side, jump out so your feet 1.5 x shoulder width and arms are in the air. Jump back into the starting position and repeat

High knees

In a standing position, almost like a sprinter, rapidly drive your knee up to your chest. In a jumping fashion, alternate legs and drive the opposite knee up to the chest. Keep your core and abs tight and continue the process until set or duration is completed.

Burpees

Start off in a standing position, reach down and firmly plant your hands on the ground. In an explosive movement kick both legs out so you’ll appear in the top stage of a pushup. Complete a full pushup by bringing your chest down to the ground. As you drive your body up from the ground, jump both feet into their starting position and stand up tall.

Toe taps on bench/Fast feet

Stand with feet together facing a box or step. Place one foot on the edge. With the timer on, rapidly alternate between feet on the box with a jumping motion. Complete for a designated duration.

Box Jumps

Stand roughly 30cm away from a sturdy box or platform. Facing the platform, drop down into a deep squat. From the bottom of your squat, explode up into a jump, landing on the platform. Step or jump down and return to the starting position.

Lower body bodyweight exercises

Squats

Feet hip-width apart, feet angled 5 Degrees out. While keeping our weight evenly distributed through our feet, bend the knees and sit down into a squat position. We want the thigh/femur to be horizontal to the ground. Stand back up strong and repeat. The inside of our knees wants to track inline with our 4th toe throughout the movement to fire up the glutes!

Static lunges

Feet together & standing up straight, take a big step forward and in line with your feet, as you contact the ground, bend your knee so your body drops vertically. Arrest the movement just before your trailing knee hits the ground and drive back up into your starting position.

Glute bridges

Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Forcing your heels into the ground, drive your hips straight up into the air, taking care not to arch your lower back in the process. At your maximum height, lower your hips back down to the ground and repeat

Bodyweight good mornings

Start with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on either side of the head. With soft knees and a tight core, hinge forward so your chest drops down toward the ground. Stop dropping once you feel your hamstrings engage and drive your body back up to an upright position. Your knees should not bend like a squat and your back should remain neutral throughout.

Core bodyweight exercises

Situps

In a lying position with the knees bend and feet flat on the ground. Rapidly squeeze your abs and lift your chest and head up toward your knees. Sit up as high as you can and return to the starting position.

Side planks

Start with your feet together and one elbow/forearm placed on the ground. With a timer on, brace your core and drive your hips into the air so your body is off the ground. You should form a straight line with only your elbow and feet touching the ground. Continue for the designated duration then complete with the other side.

Planks

Position yourself comfortably on your forearms on the ground with your feet together and torso rigid. Elevate your body so only your feet and forearms are on the ground and hold. Stay as rigid and tight as possible in this hover position for a designated duration. Keep your core engaged as to not feel this through the lower back

Read more tips and advice from Ed here.

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ed-stephenson
written by:

Ed Stephenson

Ed is The Healthy Man's Trainer and Ambassador, he has 7 years of experience in the fitness industry. His qualifications include a Certificate III, Certificate IV in Fitness, with a Certificate in Nutrition. He's here to help men get fit, lose weight and gain strength through exercise, nutrition and making the right decisions.