5 best bodyweight exercises
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The Only 5 Exercises You Need to Get in Shape, Says a PT

It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, office worker, stay-at-home parent, or anything in between. Everyone needs to exercise. 

But which exercises should you do based on your unique needs? This is a hard question to answer without a thorough evaluation and a discussion of goals (1). However, a few general exercises should be a part of everyone’s exercise routine. 

Bodyweight exercises to get in shape
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In this post, we’ll review the top 5 exercises you should be doing every week to keep yourself as fit as possible.

1. Press Ups

Press ups, also known as pushups, are an exercise which is as old as time itself. This move is critical for building the pushing muscles of the upper body, such as the triceps and chest.

How to Perform

  • Place your hands on the ground below your shoulders.
  • At the same time, place your toes on the ground, spaced about hip-width apart.
  • Slowly lower yourself down to the ground, keeping your back straight, by bending your elbows and extending your shoulders back.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range, push yourself back up to the starting position to complete the rep.

2. Squats

Anytime you go to sit in a chair or stand up, you’re performing a squat. For this reason, the squat is widely considered to be the most functional move there is. This is why squats need to be a part of your routine!

How to Perform

  • Start standing with the feet about hip-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your buttocks down toward the ground by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range, stand back up to complete the rep.

3. Pull Ups

Pull-Ups and chin-ups

While pushups work the upper body “pushing” muscles, pull-ups work the “pulling” muscles of the upper body, such as the biceps and lats. This exercise is also helpful for fitness and mobility at any age.

How to Perform

  • Grasp the bar with both hands with whatever grip you prefer.
  • Pull yourself toward the bar, tapping it lightly with your upper chest.
  • Slowly lower back down to the starting position to complete the rep.

4. Lunges

Power Lunges
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Lunges are essentially a single-leg squat. Therefore, they are a great exercise for determining if you have any asymmetries or problems that exist on one side as opposed to the other.

How to Perform

  • Start with your right leg forward and your left leg behind you.
  • Bend your right knee as you lower your left knee toward the ground.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range, slowly stand back up to complete the rep.

5. Triceps Dips

Even though pushups work the triceps, they don’t hit them as hard as triceps dips do. This exercise is great for building strength in the shoulders, chest, and, of course, the triceps.

How to Perform

  • Grasp one parallel bar in each hand.
  • Slowly, lower yourself down by bending your elbows and extending your shoulders back.
  • Once you reach the bottom of your range, push yourself back up to the starting position.

Conclusion

Bodyweight exercises, such as those described above, are great for building strength, endurance, and mobility for people of any age or occupation. 

Try to complete 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise 3 times a week, then build up from there. You’ll develop a great physique and functional strength very quickly by doing so!

Works Cited

  1. Archila LR, Bostad W, Joyner MJ, Gibala MJ. Simple Bodyweight Training Improves Cardiorespiratory Fitness with Minimal Time Commitment: A Contemporary Application of the 5BX Approach. Int J Exerc Sci. 2021 Apr 1;14(3):93-100. PMID: 34055156; PMCID: PMC8136567.

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