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8 ways to continue bodyweight exercises without adding weights

With Body Weight Exercises everyone can do a good workout. There are so many options and variations, and since they do not require any equipment, you can run them anywhere and for free.

However, it is also common to begin with consistent and ever-increasing bodyweight exercises to feel that they are becoming too simple. As if you need something to make her more challenging again – and that's definitely something to celebrate. For some people it might be useful to use free weights like dumbbells. But what if you are not ready for weights ( this can help you figure that out, by the way ) or have no access to them? In fact, there are many really easy ways to make bodyweight exercises more challenging without involving a single device.

Below are some ideas on how to customize your Go-to-Bodyweight Exercises so that you can train your muscles in a slightly different, more sophisticated way.

. 1 Slow it down.

"People think that in so many cases faster is better, but the first thing you can do to make an exercise more challenging is to really slow down the pace," explains Kira Stokes, celebrity trainer and Group fitness trainer and creator of Kira Stokes Fit App tells SELF. For example, she suggests that you need three to four seconds to squat down. Press and hold the button for one or two counts, then take three to four seconds to get up again. (Also, remember to pause for a moment at the top of the movement!) As you move slower, you take the momentum out and rely more on the power. Stokes states that this will force you to put more stress on your core to stay in balance longer. The biggest advantage? You will keep your muscles under tension for longer (aka "work").

As you slow down, you also need to think about what you do or what Stokes calls "paying attention to your muscles." When we do something quick, we often put on clothes I do not have time to think about it and just go through the motions. As you slow down, you need to think about what's going on in your body and what you need to do to get involved, says Stokes. This can help you activate the right muscles more effectively .

Stokes recommends slowing down the entire exercise, only slowing down the lower part and only slowing down the upper part.

. 2 Speed ​​it up.

As you increase your speed, your muscles act in different ways, and your heart rate increases faster, increasing cardiovascular conditioning and muscle endurance, depending on how long you do it. The most extreme way to increase speed would be to add explosive force, which we know as plyometric exercises, says Stokes. Some explosive moves, she adds, can be applied to sports-specific training, such as squat jumps and one-leg jumps, if you're a runner. If you want to get to a plyometric point (such as a squat that lifts your feet off the ground, as opposed to a normal squat that keeps your feet standing), Stokes recommends that you start your regular exercise for your muscles warm up first. "Make it a development," she says.

To speed up an exercise, it may be easier to imagine time, rather than repetitions . For example, instead of making 10 squats, you can see how many squats you can do in 20 seconds. They move much faster and the exercise will feel much more intense.

. 3 Add a pulsating motion.

Pulsing or getting into the difficult part of an exercise and then just moving up and down an inch (as opposed to going through the entire range of motion) is just another way to keep your muscles under control. It ultimately trains your muscle endurance.

"To pulsate deeply in a movement, at the point that is most difficult to hold, when you feel that you just can not stand it anymore, is especially great when you're running out of time," says Stokes. "Cover the fire that happened – that's the good," she adds. A burning sensation in your muscles is a sign that they are working hard, but not a sharp, piercing, and / or sudden sensation of pain. Take care of your body and stop when you feel pain. Stokes suggests performing around 10 repetitions of the pulsing simultaneously to train the muscles without going overboard.

Squats and pulsations, make sure you're done with a few reps of a full-range squat, Stokes recommends. This is because it is only good to get used to moving the muscles fully to promote mobility and reduce tension.

. 4 Make it one-sided.

This obviously does not work for all movements, but for some exercises – such as deadlifting – that of the classic version (both feet planted on the ground and both arms involved in holding the weights) become a [19459004wechseln] unilateral or single-legged variant (one foot planted, the other lifted off the ground with each repetition) adds an additional stability challenge, says Stokes. Another great example is a one-armed hallway where you step into a solid hallway and then slowly lift one arm off the floor and hold it by your side. This variant attacks your oblique muscles on the sides of your torso, even more than a normal board, as your core works overtime to keep your body stable.

. 5 Do more repetitions.

This is self-explanatory, but worth mentioning. If you're doing bodyweight exercises and they feel less tiring, increasing the number of repetitions can make the same workouts feel harder. This is because more reps increase your total workout volume or how much stress you use on your muscles. If you have no weights, you can easily increase the number of reps or add an extra set to your typical workout to put a little heavier strain on your body than before.

. 6 Less rest.

Shortening pause intervals is an easy way to make bodyweight training more challenging, says Stokes. Again, it's about extending the time your muscles are under constant tension, but less rest keeps your heart rate higher for longer, which increases cardio benefits. Always make sure to listen to your body: If you have less rest, but feel drowsy or gasp during exercise, this is a sign that your body needs a little more time to recover before you work hard again.

. 7 Increase your feet.

A simple way to make a push-up harder in particular? Put your feet on a raised surface. (Raising the arms makes the movement easier.) By slightly changing the angle, you relieve your feet and strain the upper body muscles, which do the main work, forcing them to work harder. A similar phenomenon occurs with a glute bridge when you raise your feet on a bench or step.

Another example: deficit deadlift where you stand on a weight plate and thereby increase your distance I am able to lower. As you move in a wider range of motion, your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are more stressed than with a normal deadlift (and this is a useful modification for beginners to learn the right form of deadlift).

. 8 Combine some variations.

Sure, each of these improvements can work on their own, but Stokes suggests combining a few different variations to really spice things up. For example, start with a normal squat at a slow pace for 5 reps. Then lower into a squat and throb for 10 repetitions. And then switch to a regular squat and jump squat for the next 5 reps. Get creative by combining the different elements to make your workout different and challenging. "There are countless possibilities," says Stokes. The more comfortable you are with bodyweight exercises in infinite variations, the better prepared you are for adding weights, she says.

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