There are some exercises that everyone has heard of. Pushups, pullups, and squats for example are some pretty good examples of exercises I would be willing to bet that if you asked almost anyone they would say they have heard of them. Probably even done them.
However, those same people also happen to have a big problem. Even if everyone knows what these exercises are, they don’t understand the nuance that they have to them. They probably don’t know how to do them correctly, or at the very least not in the most effective way
Furthermore, people tend to be ignorant in general about things they don’t do very often. Like, for some reason people might not have heard of Springbok casino if they don’t play online casinos very much. Perhaps have a rethink about that?
Or, they can be ignorant about things in a negative way. For instance, let us say that same someone just wanted to begin working out. Perhaps they want to be more healthy, or made a certain new years resolution as they say?
Anyways, it is most likely that that person would do 3 or 4 exercises specifically. First, pushups. Everyone knows about pushups. Second, they would probably do squats. Gotta exercise those legs right? Third, perhaps planks or a run. Depends on the person.
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The fourth exercise is where we run into a dangerous problem with ignorance while exercising. They would probably do situps to strengthen their abdominal muscles. However, situps are really hard on your back and can lead to lasting repetitive movement injuries.
Not just situps as well. Many exercises if done improperly can lead to serious, or even if not serious just avoidable, joint, back, muscle, or tendon injuries. So, I implore anyone who is looking to get fit, to make sure you know at least somewhat what you are doing before you jump in.
Besides, even if you don’t injure yourself, doing exercise wrong just makes them less effective. If you really want to get the most out of your workout, don’t take it at a discount. Do it right, push yourself, and see results.
To begin, there is the simple pushup. As I mentioned above the pushup is an excellent exercise that most people have heard about, and probably have done in their lifetime. There is a good reason for this too. The pushup is one of the best bodyweight exercises there is!
However, there are some important points we should clarify about how a pushup should be done. I see many people get this wrong, and it will just help you improve your goals by fixing a few little things that I’ve seen people do.
First things first, is hand placement. I have seen a lot of people get the hand placement for pushups wrong. Generally, they put their hands too far apart, but too close together can also be an issue if not done as a diamond pushup or something similar.
The proper hand placement for pushups is right up close to your sides, about just below your pecs. The easiest way to find this is to simply lie facedown on the ground. Place your hands under you, and put them where they will be nestled between your ribs and pecs.
I have also heard other people who place their hands so that the tips of their thumps would be just under their nipples. I have this on a good word, so either hand placement seems to be fine to me. Whatever is easier for you to get right.
Sorry for all the ladies, these tips might not be as useful for y’all as your hardware is a bit different in that area. Another way to figure it out would be to sit upright in a chair, back straigh
Lay your arms loose at your sides, and then just bend them up at the elbow only until your elbow is at a 90 degree angle. Splay out your hands, and if you pull your arms backward while keeping your elbows tucked in, that should be about the right spot.
At the end of the day, text is always not going to be the clearest. Thankfully we have the internet, so if you need more help you can always check images or videos to help clarify things exactly.
Another important thing is to keep your elbows tucked and your back straight. Both of these problems with form will lead to having a less complete range of movement, and ultimately you having a less effective workout.
Hollow Body Hold
Now, this is probably an exercise most people have never heard of. However, it is by far one of the single best ab exercises I have ever done. And, it doesn’t have the problem of back injury like doing situps does!
To do this exercise, you lie down on your back. Now, you stick your arms out above your head. The final step is to lift your arms and legs off the ground, so you will be resting on the ground just on your lower back.
It’s best to do this on some sort of mat or perhaps some grass as it can hurt to do this exercise on a hard floor. You could also end up bruising your back as your spine might press into the hard ground.
Now, you might be thinking, “Wait a second! I thought you just complained about exercises that bent and put pressure on the spine! This one has you resting on your back, and lifting yourself off the ground!”
Excellent question my dear reader! There are a couple of reasons why this exercise is different. One, it is static. It doesn’t have a repetitive movement of bending the spine and straightening back out.
Second, the stress isn’t going to be on your spine. If the exercise is done right, you should feel a whole lot of something in your abs, and your spine should just be there doing its thing.
It’s also important to just be smart. Don’t do this exercise on a hard surface, and you should be fine. Although to be fair, I have done it on a concrete basketball court and it wasn’t really a problem.
But, I would certainly recommend doing this exercise on a soft surface, just in case. Better safe than sorry as they say.
One final thing to note about this exercise is that it can be scaled for difficulty. The more you
lift your limbs off the ground, the easier it gets. Why is that? It has to do with physics and leverage. What’s easier, holding a water bottle to your chest, or as far out as you can reach?
But you can always give it a try if you don’t believe me. It’s always good to fact-check things on the internet. You never know what kind of weirdo could be writing things on here am I right?
Lunges are an exercise that can commonly be seen done by health junkies everywhere in your local parks. And, to be fair, there is a really good reason for this. Lunges are one of the only bodyweight exercises that can be used to target one of your legs at a time.
There are other exercises that can do this such as pistol squats, however, pistol squats are very difficult for most people. Firstly because they require good flexibility of the calves which many westerners lack, and because they require good balance and strength in your legs.
That makes pistol squats a better exercise if you can do them, as it is more challenging. However, lunges are easier as you don’t need anywhere near as much flexibility and you can balance yourself on both legs
You can also scale the difficulty much like most bodyweight workouts. This can be done by holding weights while you do the lunges, or by doing jumping lunges. Jumping lunges are exactly the same as regular lunges but at the end of the movement, you jump when switching legs.
Doing a lunge is a simple movement, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing them. Firstly, you don’t want to bend your legs more than 90 degrees. That is the sweet spot. Don’t want to do less, but also try not to do more.
Second, you want to keep your back straight and your arms at your sides. This will help you keep your balance and make sure you are doing the movement properly. This is especially important if you are going to do weighted lunges so you don’t hurt your back.
Finally, keep your feet straight. Try not to splay them out. This can just help prevent stress on your ankles especially if you are going to do jumping lunges.
Oh, and one last thing. You can do lunges by sort of “walking” while lunging, or you can do them in place by simply switching legs. As far as I can tell, both are good and you can do whatever you find more comfortable or fun.
Working out your back is important for keeping all of your muscles properly balanced and having a healthy strong body. So, we need a bodyweight exercise that will strengthen that back of ours.
One of the best exercises I know for bodyweight training is body rows. Also known as Australian Pull Ups (I have heard Australian Push Ups as well, but I think that is a joke) this is a simple exercise, however, it is the first I have mentioned requiring some kind of equipment.
You simply need some form of a bar or just something that you can lie underneath and pull yourself up on. This could also be a sturdy table (don’t use a plastic folding lawn table, you will probably just end up hurting yourself…) or a set of sturdy chairs.
The exercise is done by lying on the ground under the thing you have to hold onto. I will use a bar for our purposes as it is easiest to explain the motion. Grip the bar, while your feet are still on the ground and your arms should currently be straight.
This should leave you in a sort of upside down push up position (hence why I heard the joke about Australian Push ups). Finally, you simply perform a rowing motion by pulling up while trying to bring your shoulder blades together.
At the apex of the motion, your elbows should be shoulder height, bent, and pointing away from you to either side. Again, if you need additional help, the internet is your friend. You can find all sorts of tutorials to help illustrate how to do all of these exercises online.
With body rows, you can make them easier by bringing your feet closer to your body under you, or you can make it harder by moving them farther away. Also, the more straight you stand up, the easier the exercise will be. On the other hand, if you raise your feet on something, it will be harder.
A lot of people hate cardio. It’s hard, for many people it can be boring, and they are more interested in strength training than endurance etcetera. However, and this might be blunt, but if you want to be healthy, get over it.
Running is simply the single best exercise for you from a health standpoint. So, if you want a properly balanced workout that can keep you not just strong, but healthy as well, add a 10 to 20 minute run to it. Believe me, your body, heart, and cardiologist will thank you later.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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