You are probably wondering how in the world you can create a knock-out fitness and strength program without using any weights, machines, or by having to buy a gym membership. Remember that no matter your goals you absolutely have to increase your level of physical exertion in order to achieve optimal strength and muscular development. In order to do this you have to incorporate certain body movements that involve the overall tension and action of multi-joint exercise. Remember that if I want to work my chest muscles then why do a fly movement when I can do a push-up. This way I not only work my chest muscles, but target my shoulders, abdomen, triceps, and hips all from this single movement.
Lets start out by you asking yourself a question. How many exercises can you think of right now that involve using nothing but you and your living room floor or front yard? How ever many you came up with that number is a good start for this body-weight strength program. Also, thinking in this way will cause your program to be better because you have to get more creative in order to challenge yourself and to get to greek-god status! Now I’m going to start by helping you think in a creative way like a “strength and conditioning specialist” would think.
I have always thought of ways to challenge the athletes and clients I work with because a true strength and conditioning program has to be ever-changing and highly innovative. Lets look at the age old exercise that we know as the Push-up. Now you might not be capable of doing a single push-up, you might be able to do 10 or 20, or you may even be able to do a 100 push-ups! Nonetheless all levels can be improved. For instance, the individual that is not capable of a push-up should be. He or she can practice lower intensity drills like doing them on their knees or with their hands elevated on a bench putting more force on the feet instead of the upper body. As they get better at these they can eventually progress to the floor to execute ordinary push-ups. If we look at the person that can do 10 or 20 then he or she can start into practicing more intense one arm drills like the one-arm push-up. They can start their practice in ways like the no push-up group mentioned above by starting with one-arm on a bench with having more weight distributed to their feet until they are ready to go to the floor. Looking at the third group that is capable of doing a 100 push-ups we can still challenge their abilities by including even more intense drills like the very dynamic dive-bomber push-up or the one-arm one-leg push-up! These are both intense and impressive my friend.
Next, lets think of a way that you can challenge more of your legs and cardiovascular system. Here you can perform a normal standing squat. Just like the push-up you are familiar with the squat. You may not be capable of executing a proper squat, you may be able to do 10 or 20, or you may be capable of doing a 100 standing squats. Just like the push-up drills we can learn the basic squat and once mastered we can learn and execute other more intense variations of squats. For the person that isn’t capable of a proper squat we can learn this technique with the use of a wall. We’ll use the wall to incorporate a drill I like to call a “form drill.” First, you need to walk up and face a wall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. You should only be about 3 to 4 inches from the wall. From here execute the form drill by squatting and lowering your body in a controlled manner down the wall. The key here is to not “frog” the knees or “bow” them out. You must descend in a controlled manner or you will bump the wall with either your face or your knees. You should feel the muscles in your spine tension. This is a proper “form squat.” You want to progress by going as low as possible. Just like the push-up drills the people that are capable of doing 10 or 20 squats at a time can move on to practicing single leg squat drills with the aid of a chair or bench. You can do this by lifting a leg in front of you and then on one leg lower your rear to touch the bench or chair before standing up. From here you can lower the bench until you progress to eventually going all the way to the floor. For the people that can do a 100 squats we can incorporate similar drills and continue to challenge them with the inclusion of more dynamic movements like squat jumps and single leg squat jumps!
I think you get the picture. Hopefully you understand that the basic exercises of the push-up and squat can be utilized to create more results for you than any other method of training you have ever done. You now should understand that a basic push-up or squat can be manipulated into many variations to continually challenge you for explosive results! Think like a “strength and conditioning specialist!”
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