Is there anything more satisfying than seeing your body transformed as a result of a good diet and exercise?
We think not, but appreciate that this is easier said than done - especially the latter part. While signing up to a gym is a great start, attending regularly doesn’t always go to plan. Here are some common pitfalls that people encounter:
Time - In the first few days or weeks of a gym membership, you may feel like you’ve caught ‘the bug’. But then life happens. An increased workload or change in personal circumstances can make it hard to get to the gym in the first place.
Money - Regular gym-ing is a financial commitment. The average Aussie spends $73 per month for their memberships, according to Canstar Blue - over time, this can really add up.
Personal preference - Some people simply don’t like exercising in a room full of total strangers, or the loud atmosphere of most gyms.
If any of the above resonate with you, fear not. In this article we’ll show you three top body weight exercises you can do without equipment, in the comfort of your own home.
Before we jump in, however, as quick word of advice. If you’re new to exercise, or have had some time away from working out, talk to your GP first. This helps ensure the regime you plan to start is safe and appropriate. It’s also worthwhile considering engaging a local personal trainer for a session or two to check out your form, and make sure you’re doing these exercises safely. Especially before you move on to more repetitions (reps) or harder versions.
- Wall squats
Okay, we said no equipment - but a wall doesn’t count, surely?
This exercise primarily targets your quadriceps, the muscle group found in the front of your thighs, but also benefit glutes and calves. To complete a wall squat:
- Start with your back against the wall. Your heels should be your foot’s length away from the wall, and shoulder width apart.
- Slowly slide your back down the wall until your legs are at a 90° angle.
- Hold this position. Aim for 10 seconds to start, and increase this as your muscles get stronger.
- Slide back up the wall.
- Repeat for 3 reps.
- The bird dog
Bizarre name aside, the bird dog is a fantastic core and lower back exercise, once you’ve perfected the technique.
- Start on all fours, with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips
- Next, extend your right leg straight out behind you, pointing your toes. At the same time, lift your left arm in front of you until it is in line with your back.
- Hold for a second, return to the starting position, and then repeat with your left leg and right arm.
The key with the bird dog is to take it slow. Sometimes it takes a minute to get the coordination right, but once you do you’ll find yourself slipping into a rhythm.
Build the reps up gradually. Five per side is a good starting place: you can build from here once you’re used to the motion.
- Mountain climber
The mountain climber isn’t as scary as it sounds, but is another step on the way to peak (sorry, we couldn’t resist) fitness. Here’s how it goes:
- Begin as if you were about to do a pushup - arms straight, feet supported on your tiptoes. Keep your legs straight, and engage your ab muscles.
- Starting with whichever leg you prefer, quickly pull your knee up to your chest and then drive it back to the starting position.
- Repeat, alternating the moving leg. For each set, aim for 10-15 reps per side.
The benefits of the mountain climber go far beyond your leg muscles, and after a few of these you will feel a great burn in your back, hips and abs - which are engaged to keep you stable.
If you’re liking the sound of equipment-free exercises, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are heaps more where these came from, meaning, unfortunately, you’re all out of excuses - time to knuckle down!