With winter on its way and the weather growing colder, it’s getting increasingly difficult to muster up the motivation to leave the house and go to the gym- let alone to go for a run or a jog in the park. Luckily, there are loads of ways you can get in a good session, right in the comfort of your own home.
Calisthenics is the official name for exercises or drills that can be done without equipment or apparatus. The exercises are designed specially to use bodyweight as resistance, working against gravity or increasing power and speed to up the intensity.
With no fixed equipment, fancy machines or heavy weights to lug around, Calisthenics is the perfect training for anyone who can’t bear step out into the cold, wet, icy conditions.
1) Press Ups
Probably one of the most obvious bodyweight exercises but it’s included here because it’s a classic – and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The perfect thing about press ups is that there are so many variations, which means you can really challenge several muscles from lots of different angles. Wide arm targets the chest, whereas diamond and close arm are perfect for tricep work.
2) Shoulder Press
Not for beginners! By handstanding against a wall or raising your feet up onto a chair, sofa or table, it is possible to mimic a press-up movement that will primarily target the shoulders, instead of the chest.
3) Squats/Squat Jumps
You don’t need a fully stacked bar to really challenge your squat. Bodyweight squats are ideal for testing endurance and perfecting technique, but if you want to really push the booty you can progress onto squat jumps, squat pulses or pistol squats, with one leg raised out in front.
4) Calf Raises
Calf raises are so easy to do simply with a step, or stairs, or any similar raised platform. Make sure the balls of the feet and the toes are securely on the step, with the heels left unsupported. Slowly lower the heels down (you’ll get a nice calf stretch) and then rise up onto the balls of the feet. Repeat. You can hold onto a wall or banister if you have trouble balancing, or you can make it more difficult by performing the exercise on leg at a time.
5) Superman Walkouts
Loads of abdominal exercises use only bodyweight- so if you’re sick of crunches and bored stiff just holding the plank you can get experimental. Superman walkouts are an excellent abdominal calisthenic exercise as they target the obliques (on the side) as well as the rectus & transversus abdominis. Start in a standing position, then bend forwards, rolling down through the spine until your hands are on the floor. Try to keep the feet where they are as you walk out with your hands, first into plank position, and then a little further, making sure to maintain a flat back and tight tummy throughout. Walk the hands back in, return to standing, and repeat.