5 Bodyweight Exercises That Will Make You Better At Everything


Mitch Stout

No doubt that in the past few months your workout routine has changed. Depending on the space available that was in your home and what equipment you have access to that change may have been drastic. If you really enjoy lifting heavy and make that the focus of your training then you may have gotten frustrated.

“Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are.”
-Teddy Roosevelt

Over the 6-8 weeks we were closed at WRCF, you had an awesome opportunity to deload your body, rehab nagging injuries, and bulletproof your body to come back to training ready to rock. There is a lot you can do right now that will strengthen your joints, build up core strength, and address imbalances and weaknesses that may have been holding you back while we were closed.

So check out the top 5 Bodyweight Exercises that will make you better at everything and show up to the gym ready to crush it!

  • Candlestick
  • Hollow Body Wall Walk Ups
  • Pullups
  • Pistol Squats
  • Glute Bridges
  1. Candlestick

Roll out the yoga mat or find some space on any type of floor. The candlestick is a fun exercise that has tremendous benefits. If you are about functional training this is perhaps the best demonstration of real world functional movement. In fact, the ability to move one’s own body from the ground to standing is a great indicator of fitness (burpees anyone?!). You will also learn coordination, balance, and build your core strength as you strive to maintain a hollow body position. Try filming yourself as you do these to refine your positions and maintain a global shape from head to toe. Candlesticks translate really well to pullups, toes-2-bar, pistols (single leg squats), etc. You’ll feel way more comfortable in the gymnastics field!

Check out a great video on the candlestick here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXoNNx-uOtU

  1. Hollow Body Wall Walk Ups

Wall walks for short. Think of these as planks taken to a whole new level. The key here is to maintain your position and not let your low back arch. If you are nervous to go all the way upside down or have trouble getting your nose all the way to the wall don’t worry. Just go as far as you safely and comfortably can – there are still so many benefits to doing this exercise!

Focus on moving slowly as you work on these and challenge yourself to spend more time under tension rather than completing the wall walk up as quickly as possible. Play around with different variations and mix in elements like shifting your weight from one hand to the other – this will have tremendous carryover to skills like handstand walking (or any variation of being upside down)!  It’s a whole new world upside down!

Pro Tip* Do not perform these on the bathroom door while someone else is in there! 😉

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmbZyKmJwbo

  1. Pull Ups

Pull ups can’t be beat when it comes to upper body strength training. Build up your lats, arms, and core strength by adding these in daily. Pull ups respond well to training frequency so try to do more small sets throughout the day to build up your neuromuscular efficiency. Try doing sets that are 50% of your max number of pullups to ensure you are always able to rep them out (if 8 pullups is your max always do sets of 4 with plenty of rest in between). If doing your first pullup is the goal then focus on doing just the lowering phase of the movement. Step up so your chin starts over the bar and control your lowering at a steady rate of speed so that it takes at 4-5 seconds to get your arms fully extended at the bottom of the movement.

Most of us have picked up a basic pullup bar that can hang from a door frame but even if you missed the boat or don’t have the space we have you covered. Check out this video for pullup variations that don’t require a bar!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=299&v=vGAK2-_kn1U&feature=emb_logo

  1. Pistol Squats

Pistol squats (single leg squats) are a great way to maintain leg strength without any external load (Ex. barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.). They also improve your squat mechanics and mobility if you are disciplined with your form and really focus on movement quality. Make sure you are mobilizing your ankles and properly warming up before diving into pistol squats.

Below is a great progression you can use to warm up and train this beneficial movement!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WFpjKRP_HI

  1. Glute Bridge

The movement we all know and love and probably don’t do often enough (EVERY. DAY. For warm-up at Wellness, right?!?!). If you are working from home right now (or spending more time on the couch than usual) then set an alarm on your phone to drop and perform some glute bridges every hour. Your low back will thank you and so will your Levi’s!

There are a ton of variations of the glute bridge that you can train. Performing these as often as possible with your bodyweight will pay huge dividends. It can help alleviate back and sciatic pain and will also improve your squat and deadlift. Checking out this video is a great place to start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl6xvm4-Qk0

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
-Vince Lombardi

Fitness is a mindset. Not an activity that you go to the gym to perform for an hour 4-5 times a week. Our gym and community is here to facilitate your fitness journey. Let us know if you need guidance, motivation, or just someone to sweat with (virtually or in-person)!

 

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