This is a guest post by Rafi Bar-Lev. Rafi served in a special forces unit in the IDF before getting injured during training, which gave him insight into what it takes to heal and stay in shape despite an injury. He runs a fitness blog dedicated to simple, straightforward advice on getting into shape. You can check it out at http://thefitnessadviser.com.
How To Get Strong With Only 3 Body Weight Exercises
The two common misconceptions about body weight exercises are that:
1) You can’t get ripped using only your body weight and
2) You need to do ab exercises to get 6-pack abs
The truth is that for years I also had these misconceptions, until I met a guy name Alberto who taught me what it means to be strong and fit. Not only was Alberto physically ripped, but unlike a lot of weight lifters, he could also sprint like a cheetah and do over a hundred and fifty push ups at a time. He was also extremely toned, and yet never did sit ups since he didn’t enjoy them. Alberto taught me all I know about getting strong with only body weight.
The Secret To Six Pack Abs
There’s nothing wrong with doing exercises that target the abs, and I even encourage doing exercises like planks. But ab exercises aren’t what will show off your six pack. What will give you a six pack is a combination of exercises that get your abs going (which is almost all bodyweight exercises) and having low body fat. How do you get low body fat? Count your calories, work out, and make sure that you’re taking less calories in than you expend. Sound simple? That’s because it is. Now that we have that out of the way, here are the 3 body weight exercises to get you strong.
The Push Up
The most basic of all the body weight exercises, the push up is an awesome exercise for overall strength that gets the pecs, arms, and shoulders going. You can target different muscles by switching how close your hands are together and by doing diamond pushups, where you put your fingers in a diamond. If you want to target your chest more on this one, you can also do push ups on your fists (I recommend a mat for this one.) They key is to switch up the different push up styles to work different muscle groups.
The Pull Up
The Pull Up is the most feared and yet the most beloved of all the body weight exercises. The Pull Up targets your arms, shoulders, and upper back. Face your palms away from you and grib a pull up bar, and lift yourself up until your chin is over the bar. That’s one repetition. The further out your hands are spread on the bar, the more it works your upper back exclusively and the harder it is. Start out with a narrow-grip, and as you get better, progress to a wider-grip.
The Parallel Bar Dip
The parallel bar dip is the answer to people who think you can’t get a well developed chest without weights. The exercise targets the lower and inner chest, places that are usually hard to target without weights. To do them, place your hands on the parallel bars, and lift yourself straight into the air. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent, then lift yourself, and you’ve completed one repetition.
Sample Workout Plan
Monday – 3 sets of 15 normal push ups. 3 sets of 3 medium grip pull lups, and 3 sets of 6 parallel bar dips.
Tuesday – Aerobic exercise.
Wednesday – 3 sets of 10 close grip push ups, 3 sets of 3 medium grip pull ups, and 3 sets of 6 parallel bar dips.
Thursday – Aerobic exercise.
Friday – 3 sets of 10 diamond push ups, 3 sets of 3 medium grip pull ups, and 3 sets of 6 parallel bar dips.
Saturday – Aerobic Exercise
Sunday – Rest
There you have it. Those are the 3 core body weight exercises that will get you strong. Do those and eat right, and you’ll be on your way to getting fit and strong without having to use weights!