Beginner Bodyweight exercises

1. Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms extended by your sides. Pushing through your feet and bracing your core, raise your bottom off the ground until your hips are fully extended, squeezing your glutes at the top. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

2. Chair squat

Stand in front of the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Hinging at your hips and bending your knees, lower back and down until your bottom touches the chair, allowing your arms to extend out in front of you. Push up through your heels and return to the starting position.

3. Knee pushup

Get into a high plank position from your knees. Maintaining a straight line from your head to your knees, bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the ground. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Push back up to start.

4. Plank to Downward Dog

Get into a high plank position, with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders and your feet close together. Keeping your core engaged and your hands and feet stationary, pike your hips up and back into the Downward Dog pose. Your body should form a triangle with the ground. Keep your neck neutral. Your gaze should be directed toward your feet. Hold here for a second, then return to the plank. Repeat.

5. Bicycle crunch

Lie on your back and bring your legs to a tabletop position. Bend your elbows, and put your hands behind your head. Crunch up and bring your right elbow to your left knee, straightening your right leg. Release the crunch slightly. Bend your right leg and straighten your left leg, then bring your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

6. Forearm plank

Assume a plank position on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from head to feet. Ensure your lower back and hips don’t sag. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

7. Get-up squat

Drop down into a squat position. You won’t stand at all during this move. Drop your knees down to the ground one at a time so you’re kneeling. Step your feet back to the ground one at a time, maintaining that squat position.Repeat as quickly as you can while maintaining good form.

8. Side Plank

Lie on your right side on an exercise mat with your left leg lying directly over your right leg and bend your knees to a comfortable position. Raise your upper body to support yourself on your right arm, your right elbow should bend to 90 degrees and be positioned directly under your shoulder. Align your head with your spine and keep your hips and lower knee in contact with the exercise mat. Exhale, gently contract your abdominal / core muscles to stiffen your spine and lift your hips off the mat, but keeping contact with your knee, and head aligned with your spine. Inhale and gently return yourself to your starting position.

9. Cobra

Lie prone on an exercise mat or floor with your hands by your sides, positioned directly under your shoulders and hands facing forward. Extend your legs and plantar flex your ankles toes point away from body. Gently exhale and press your hips into the mat or floor and pull your chest away from the ground while keeping your hips stable. This will arch your low back and stretch the muscles in your chest and abdominal region. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Gently relax and lower your upper body to rest back upon the mat or floor.

10. Squat Jumps

Stand with your feet feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides, depressing and retracting your scapulae without arching your low back, and to stiffen your spine. Begin your downward phase by first shifting your hips backwards then slowly moving downwards to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until your feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Try to maintain a flat back by bending forward at the hips, keep your head facing forward and position to your arms where comfortable or where they offer the greatest degree of balance support. With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode upwards through your lower extremity, achieving triple extension. As you jump into the air, keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor. The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity which places additional stresses upon your knees. Attempt to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling backwards quickly towards the heels.

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