17 Nov Minimalist Bodyweight Workout: A Simple Session That Works
If you’re like me, then you’re always looking for an effective workout.
Simple, time-efficient, and effective.
Here’s a bodyweight-only training session that can be done anywhere and at any time.
Obviously, one of the great benefits of bodyweight training is that it requires absolutely no equipment.
All you need is a space, some comfortable clothes you can move around in, and a little time.
For this one, block off 30 minutes, but you may not actually need 30 minutes to do this.
Don’t think just because this is a simple bodyweight workout that it’s easy.
I can tell you this, never underestimate the power of bodyweight-only exercises.
I’ve come to greatly respect performing only bodyweight exercises for many reasons besides just the convenience, the challenge and the total body strength and conditioning benefits.
Anyway, here’s one for you to test out.
First, The Dynamic Warmup:
I like to quickly warm-up with some movements to increase blood flow and get the joints mobile.
1-Jumping Jacks, a few minutes, resting as needed. (For the record, I am a big fan of the simple jumping jack as a dynamic warm-up exercise).
2-Run in Place with High Stepping, knee to chest, intervals for a few minutes.
3-Hip Swings, standing in place, swinging leg through in straight line forward and backward.
4-Crawling (Leopard Crawling) is always going to be one of my favorites to warm-up.
NOW, HERE’S THE WORKOUT.
Workout Circuit (or round) = one circuit is completing each exercise back to back with no rest.
That’s one circuit, you will REST (60-90 seconds) at the end of one circuit, then REPEAT for 3-5 rounds
The Minimalist Workout:
1-Push-ups: Keep your body in straight line, tensing all muscles (glutes, abs, thighs, etc), lower your body to the ground and then press back up, keeping your body tight.
Tension is the key.
I know you know how to do a push up, but the key is to keep the entire body tight.
Many of us forget to do this, but the push-up is full body tension and integration.
Take the time to execute the push-up correctly.
Perform 10 to 30, depending on your strength.
If you can only do 5, then do sets of 5.
Find your starting point.
2-Bodyweight Squats: Hands clasped behind your head. Bend your knees, squatting down to parallel, driving your hips back as if you were sitting back on a bench.
Keep your back flat and head in a neutral position.
REPS: 10-30 controlled reps.
3-Front Lunges: With your hands clasped behind your head, step forward with your right leg first, lowering yourself to the ground to the point that your left knee gently touches the ground.
Maintain balance and control.
Return to the start position and do the opposite leg, alternating legs.
REPS: 10 reps each leg.
4-Bird Dogs: Get in the all-fours position, so that you are on your hands and knees on the ground (on a soft surface, but stable surface).
Now, raise your right arm and your left leg and the same time so that each arm and leg is now parallel to the floor and forms a straight line with your spine (arm out in front, leg straight out to the back).
Hold the position for 3-5 seconds, then return to the start position, alternating arms & legs.
REPS: 10-15 each side
5-Bridges – With Single Leg Extension (there are 2 parts to this exercise, the bridge, then the leg extension).
On your back, with knees bent to 90 degrees and feet planted firmly on the ground.
Slowly and in control, raise your hips (pelvis) off of the floor, forming a straight line from you knees to you shoulders.
Now, holding this position, slowly extend (straighten your knee) and hold for 1-2 seconds, then flex the knee again and plant on the ground and slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
Repeat again, extending the opposite leg you did from the 1st repetition.
REPS: 10-15 each leg.
END OF ONE CIRCUIT, COMPLETE 3 TO 5 CIRCUITS, RESTING 60-90 SECONDS BETWEEN.
6-Planks (To Finish): Finish off your session with a static plank, one of the most effective core strengthening exercises there is.
Lying on the ground, face down, come up onto your elbows and toes, forming a straight line from your head to your toes.
Tighten all the muscles in your body (abs, glutes, thighs, etc) and breath slow and controlled.
Hold this position and time yourself holding for as long as you can.
Shoot for 30 seconds initially, then progress up to 2 minutes or longer.
You may progress by increasing reps or time.
Decrease rest time between circuits and consider changing the order of exercises.
Simple, effective, and full body.
Some of my personal favorite bodyweight exercises are found in this simple session.
Of course, there are countless variations and combinations for bodyweight training.
This is only one example.
Try this out and make sure to perform the important tips I mention in the article. What I mean is, use full body tension and control when executing each seemingly simple exercise.
It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.