How to get the best bang for buck out of your body weight movements. Here are some variations you can play with to get the most out of your workout routine:
Squats: You can do any of these with or without light to moderate weight .
Wall squats: with your back against the wall hold a parallel squat for as long as possible, then try to beat your previous time – repeat 2-3 times
Jumping Squats: Change your squats into a explosive, dynamic movement- this will also get your heart rate soaring. Go all the way down to the bottom of your squat, drive through your heels and drive up as fast as you can toward the sky.
Pause Squats: slowly lower yourself into a squat to the count of 4, pause at the bottom position for 2-4 seconds, then stand up quickly. Repeat x 12 reps for 3-5 sets.
Split Squat: Split squats, simply step yourself out into a lunge position, feet fixed on the ground lower your back knee to the ground, then stand straight up keep your feet in the same position as the start. Perform 12 reps on one side and 12 on the other, repeat x 3.
Single leg squat (pistols): these require great ankle mobility, and great knee stability. Pointing one leg out in front , lower down on the one leg until the crease of your hip is below parallel and then stand up. For an easier variation, lower yourself to a plyometric box and then stand up. This is a great exercise to work your glute stabilisers.
Standard push-up: Arms underneath shoulders, lower yourself to the ground, elbows tracking on a 45 degree angle until your chest touches and then push straight back up.
Diamond Push-up: bring your hands together so your thumb and index finger tips touch, creating a diamond shape with your hands. Lower yourself all the way to the ground to touch the top of your hands and back up- this will target your triceps.
Wide Push-up: Arms out past the shoulder, lower yourself down elbows will be about 90degrees to the body- this will target your pecs (chest).
Clapping Push-up: this requires a lot of core stability, come down in to your push up and then drive up as fast as you can the faster you are the more air you will get, the more opportunity you have to clap, the less likely you are to face plant.
Elevated push-up: There are two variations- one is to elevate your feet on a bench or plyometric box, this will add more body weight to your push up and make it tougher (stick the the ‘standard push up technique), or the second variation is you elevate your upper body on to a bench, keeping your feet on the ground- this will help eliminate some of the body weight and make it a little easier this is a great way to help transition into getting that push up on the ground.
Single arm medball or bosu ball push-up: Place one hand on a medball or bosu ball (we are looking for an unstable or ‘challenging’ surface), lower yourself all the way to the ground and then back up under control. Not for the faint hearted- ideally you should have a standard push up before attempting this.
Pike Push-up: starting in your standard push up position, crawl your hand back toward your feet, keeping hips high (similar to a downward facing dog position), lower the crown of your head to the ground keeping your eyes on your toes the whole time.
Handstand Push-up: the pike push-ups evil step sister. Kick yourself up into a handstand position against a wall, slowly lower yourself to the ground under control (aim the crown of your head toward the ground) and then push back up until your elbows are fully extended. Safety warning- on your first attempt place a mat or a large rolled up towel in between your hands- as a target/landing pad for your head.