There is a big shadow that’s cast on body weight training. I remember when I personally thought that body weight training was for the injured or old people (insert clip of a chair aerobics class ). There is a big misunderstanding when it comes to the benefits of this body weight style of training. I often find myself looking at how shredded the dudes are in the Olympics swinging from bars and ropes. How do they get so big?
There is no secret…these guys do use a varied Olympic lift routine from time to time but their main training program has tons of body weight movements 5+ days a week. Easy right!?
Ever since I can remember I have been passionate about lifting weights. I started off lifting strictly traditional and over time have added some pretty cool programs into the mix. I am one lift away from scratching what I do now and going strictly to body weight and unorthodox training…maybe two lifts. One thing I can say is that ever since I have started experimenting with this style of training I have uncovered some killer movements.
If your angles are right, you can leverage your body weight to give you the same affect free weights would.
Here are a few exercises you can cycle into your current weight training routine.
- Rope or Towel Pulls: Throw a rope over a branch or a towel over a door and do pull ups. Simply said. With my technique I try to keep my elbows tucked by my side once I start to pull myself up. Once the technique is on point I focus my attention on the bicep curl aspect of the lift. Your not just pulling up. Think about the muscle your trying to hit. For beginners you can do negatives. Jump up and try to hold yourself up. When you begin to fail slowly fight the urge to just drop. Instead fight the fatigue and slowly lower yourself to the ground.
- Hand Stand Push Ups (HSPU): (fast forward to 1:50) My all time favorite shoulder exercise. I honestly believe that these are more mentally difficult then physically. Of course there are always situations where this is wrong but most people who are afraid of being in the handstand position find out that they are stronger than they think once they get over that fear and just do it. I don’t expect you to just throw your legs out and start repping these things out so start from the basics. You can start with your knees on a bench and your arms straight out on the floor. Your goal is to have your butt straight up into the air (from your hands to your hips should be vertical). As you progress move your legs further and further to the point where you are able to at least hold your body in the handstand position against a wall. Once you are here start with partial reps until you are able to go all the way down.
- Max Box Jumps and Sprints: I don’t know why but I love box jumps. I am getting more and more into cycling weeks of max height jumps into my program. These things are killer!! Be sure to gradually work your way up to your desired height and complete 6-8 sets of max jumps. If doing a one rep max set is to much then bring it to a height that you can safely do 3-5 reps. Focus on your explosion from the ground! Sprints: Weird right? have you ever done a few sets of all out 50 yard dashes? Your legs are killer sore the next day! Especially if your not used to doing them. Try them out. Set out a distance whether its from mail box to mail box or street light to street light but go all out once you hit the ground running. Leave nothing behind!
Get after it!
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