Over the past year, many of us have lost access to our commercial gyms. Some of us are still facing restrictions that are barring us from going back; and some of us have developed a New Normal-routine where working out at home makes sense and fits into our goals.
Changing where we can workout has changed how we workout; and for a lot of people, that means revisiting and delving further into bodyweight workouts. Of course, the beauty of bodyweight is it can be done essentially anywhere, with little to no equipment, and it’s challenging!
But after a year of doing mostly-bodyweight workouts… we know you might be a little bored.
So we have 5 different tweaks you can make to your bodyweight workouts that will add a challenge, and hopefully spark some excitement for these exercises again!
Let’s delve in!
Add some dimension to your workouts with a bit of elevation! For example, change up your glute bridges by putting your foot on a bench, a box, the couch, whatever you have lying around. Elevate your feet; or switch it up even further by performing one-legged elevated glute bridges.
Elevating your feet can also change it up for push ups and planks; elevate one foot behind you for squats to do some split squats; raise one leg during your yoga practice in the middle of downward dog; there aren’t set rules and it can be fun to listen to your body and play with movements.
Another switch-up that feel small in the set up, but will feel so different in the execution: staggering.
Staggered hip hinge, hip thrusts, good mornings… there are so many places to plop it in! The staggered stance – also known as the B Stance – starts with feet at hip width, then shifting one foot a step back so the big toe of the back leg is even with the heel of the front leg. This acts as a single leg training while still maintaining stability, thanks to the back foot still being on the ground.
Again, this is a fun way to play with movement and listen to your body. Shift your feet when you’re doing some of your favourite movements to test your balance, stability, and make these movements you’ve been performing for months more interesting!
Complexes are one of my personal favorites because – and maybe this is just me – complexes make me feel smooth and coordinated, like I’m part of a choreographed-dance-for-one.
Anyone else? Anyone? Anyways...
You can combine movements and move from one directly into the other to keep intensity up! Don’t forget about your form: form shouldn’t compromise for the sake of the complex. Some examples include:
- Commandos (going from arm-extended planks to elbow planks and back again)
- Plank kick through
- Burpee tuck jumps
- Lunge and squat
Add equipment to make your bodyweight exercises less… bodyweight-exercise-y! Sliders and bands are AWESOME pieces of equipment that are compact, versatile, easy on the wallet, and change the exercise with a dab of instability and a splash of added resistance!
Banded squats and glute bridges; slider planks, body saws, and lunges; the possibilities are extensive! Making such changes to the exercises you have been doing for months will help get your brain interested in them again, and might also prompt you to revisit your form, your strengths/weaknesses, and bring focus back to your workouts.
Ohh, tempo work. This will test your patience, persistence, and ability to count 😉
From squats to pull ups to push ups and beyond, changing the amount of time you spend at the top, in the descent, at the bottom, and in the ascent of the movement.
For example, a 3010 tempo squat means:
- 3 second lowering phase
- No pause at the bottom
- 1 second ascending phase
- No pause at the top
Tempo training helps you build mental and physical strength. Spend more time under tension and move slowly – and with control – through your reps. No more mindlessly moving through your reps. Now you’ll be breaking each movement down into the fundamentals.