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How to get an effective workout with simple bodyweight exercises

How to get an effective workout with simple bodyweight exercises

As a personal trainer being fit is part of my job requirement. People are often surprised to learn that my workouts are typically only 15-30 minutes long and use little or no equipment. By working larger muscle groups in a quick paced circuit and using my own body weight I stay in great shape without having to devote much time or energy. There is no reason that you can’t do the same.

Try these simple exercises for just a minute at first. If you have the time and energy repeat them, and if not then don’t. You don’t need a full hour in the gym to get a good workout. Something is always better than nothing. You can burn fat and strengthen your muscles by doing even just a few minutes daily.

Strength Training
Reverse Lunges tone thighs, glutes (rear), core, and improve balance.

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Stand with good posture and feet placed shoulder width apart.
Tighten your rear, hamstrings, abs, and pelvic floor.
Step back and lower your body towards the floor.
Weight stays on your front heel and the knee does not go in front of your toes.
Return to starting position and switch legs.

Pushups on knees strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms, and core. Being on the knees instead of toes allows you to increase the range of motion and do more repetitions. Don’t let me hear you call them “girl pushups”!

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Start in a kneeling pushup position with your back/neck straight and abs tight.
Place your hands in line with your chest and wider than your shoulders.
Slowly bend the elbows and lower to the floor.
Be sure not to sag your lower back down or raise your hips too high.
Press back up to the start position as you exhale.

Bridge increases strength and tones glutes, hamstrings, and core.

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Lie on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.
Kick one foot out straight in front of you. Press your hips up until it makes a straight line from your shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes as you exhale.
If pressing with one leg is too difficult then use both feet.
You should feel this in the back of your thighs and rear. If you feel it in your knee or it feels awkward try a different foot position.
Pause for a few seconds at the top. Inhale and lower down to the mat.

Plank strengthens your core and shoulders. Pulls abs in like an ‘internal girdle’.

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Lie with forearms on mat and elbows positioned under shoulders.
Draw your abs in tight as if you were bracing your belly.
While keeping the abs drawn in, tighten your rear, and hold your body straight. Never lower your hips past the straight body position.
Raise hips or take a break if you can no longer hold perfect form. Form is more important than how long you hold!
You can be on toes with hips elevated, or on knees with body straight. Keep abs tight the whole time, and don’t forget to breathe!!

Cardio

Burpees are a full-body exercise that elevates your heart rate and burns fat.
Squat down to the floor. Place your hands flat on the mat and step or jump you feet behind you into the push up position. Return to the squatted position and press your body up and reach hands overhead.

These exercises and many others are included in the Fit Pregnancy Plan. Visit www.fitpregnancyplan.com to learn more.

About The Author

Tatum

I currently reside in Austin, TX. I joined the Army at age 17 and served as a Drill Sergeant. Throughout my career I consistently received the highest fitness awards, including the best fitness score in Basic Training and Drill Sgt School, competing amongst mostly males. My personal training and pre/postnatal fitness certification are from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). I studied Kinesiology and Communication at Texas Christian University receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, and also hold a Master’s degree in Business Administration. I’m not your typical gym rat. In fact I spend as little time in the gym as possible! My workouts usually consist of taking my dogs to the park and using the pull up bars, doing push ups, stepping up on a bench, and running around with them. I prefer to be outside, and believe that it does not take much equipment to stay in great shape. Just a little knowledge about how the body works and some creativity. As a regular contributor, you can follow me here at A Healthy Mom or on my own site www.totalmommyfitnessonline.com

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