A quick glance at the magazine rack in your local grocery store, will display wonderful athletic and fitness magazines that feature big, strong guys and girls on their covers.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the only way to get in that kind of shape would be do get in the gym and pump some iron, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
You don’t need to hit a commercial gym to get fit and acquire the body you desire. What you do need to do, is put in some form of exercise, every single day.
With this strategy, it will be easy to get your dream physique, provided you put the work in. Nothing worth having was ever given away for free and the same is true for your body.
So how do we get fit and in shape if we don’t hit the gym then? The answer comes in the form od calisthenics.
Calisthenics is a fancy word for using your own body weight to exercise with. While this may seem like a pale comparison to attending a gym, you may be surprised to learn what you can actually achieve with this form of exercise.
Let’s take a look at three calisthenics exercises that you can do at home in the morning at your own convenience and not having to worry about driving to your local gym.
How Powerful is a Push-Up?
The push-up is the founding father of the calisthenic revolution.
This exercise works your chest, shoulders, arms and back, while keeping your core tight and rigid.
Push-ups come in many different variations and techniques that can help you isolate muscle groups. Use Diamond push-ups to work the triceps, wide palm push-ups for your chest and close grip push ups to develop your shoulders and rear deltoids.
Clap push-ups, one arm push-ups and jumping push-ups are techniques to add to your workout when you are moving toward the advanced stage of your training.
These techniques require good physical strength, so make sure you don’t just jump straight into these as it may injure you.
Handstand push-ups have to be the epitome of this specific exercise, practice them against a wall, with your feet lightly touching the wall.
Start with just holding the handstand position and then work your way up to sets of ten reps.
A good push-up program will start with 3 sets of 8 and work its way up to 10 sets of ten.
When you are able to do 100 push-ups in a row without a break, you know that you are getting strong. Take this goal as your benchmark and aim to get there with consistent practice.
A Squat Is Your Starting Point
Squats are the grand-daddy of exercises.
They offer a full-body benefit as they are a compound movement’,i.e. a movement that includes all your major muscle groups.
Squats are murder on the hamstrings, quads, back and core. They work the entire muscular system and the cardio-vascular system as well.
Squats also come in many different variations and they can be a bit challenging to master the form necessary to bring results.
Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and then squat down as close to your ankles as possible, exploding out from the bottom of the movement with enough force to just gently lift your feet of the ground with the movement.
Jump squats, heel claps and one-leg squats are examples of advanced techniques that you can progress into once you build up the physical strength in your legs and they are great for toning the bum too!
Start off your squat routine, aiming to hit 3 sets of 8.
As your strength increases, look to hit 6 sets of 10 to 12 reps before you move on to the advanced techniques. Squats will help build your legs, strengthen your core and assist in your posture.
Make sure that you do your first few sessions in front of a mirror and watch your form in the decent and accent of the movement.
Make sure that your hips are straight and you achieve a full range of movement with the exercise.
If you have heard that squats are bad for your knees, this statement is true if done incorrectly, if you have great tech. Squats are fantastic for strengthening your knees, provided that the correct form is used in your training.
The Patience and Reward of Doing Pull-Ups
Perhaps the most intense of the three exercises, pull-ups are a beast that build your back, rear deltoids and chest.
There are also many variations to choose from, however, when you are getting started, opt for an underhand reverse grip that will also work your biceps, this is the easiest form of pull-up.
Many beginners struggle with pull-ups, finding that they struggle to achieve even one rep with decent form.
If you need some help in your pull-ups, begin by doing them seated on the floor and lift half your body up. A couple of weeks with this and you should be able to do your first, full-form pull-up.
For advanced forms of pull-ups, look at the wide grip and once you are able to do 50 of them in a row, you will notice that your strength is greater than it ever has been.
Use Each Exercise Interchangeably
While each of these three exercises are effective forms of muscle building, combining them into a daily program will bring you the best results.
Start with your pull-ups, then push-ups and then squats to finish off your workout.
You should begin to see and feel results in the third week, after that, it is just a matter of time and consistency for you to achieve your goal physique.
Remember that a trim, lean physique does not just come from exercise alone.
What you do in the kitchen is every bit as important as your workouts.
Make sure you are eating a nutritious, healthy diet that is rich in nutrients. This will give you more energy during the day and make for better workouts.
Remember to stay hydrated and get your 8 glasses of water in every day. Dehydration has been proven to affect athletic performance by up to 50% so make sure you are always pounding down the water.
The final benefit of calisthenics training is that you can do it anywhere you are, at home, on the road, in a hotel, where-ever.
You will no longer be a slave to the commercial gym and you can work at your own pace and at your preferred time of day.
We suggest trying to get your workout in in the first 30 minutes of the day.
This will provide you with an endorphin release that will keep you alert all throughout. Our last piece of advice, stay committed to your goal and put the work in, nothing worth having ever came easy!
Good luck in your training!
About the Author: We are McBryde Mats, a sports mat manufacturer that’s based out of Lubbock, Texas. Our CEO, Clayton McBryde, founded the company in 2014 after plenty of research and consideration into the mat market – Today we pride ourselves on making the best quality mats at affordable prices to keep athletes in all sports categories safe from accidents and injury.