Bodyweight exercises

You need to be doing a wide variety of types of exercises and workouts.  Our customers highly recommend our exercise sandbags.  But there are more ways to get a great functional fitness workout than sandbags.  And one of the best is bodyweight exercises.

There are many advantages to bodyweight exercises.  The most obvious is that they do not require any equipment.  But that is only partially true.  Some do require equipment.  For instance, rope climbs require a 1.5" thick rope about 25 feet long.  I got mine from McMaster-Carr online.  Pushups require a pair of cheap basketballs to put your hands on, and for extra resistance, a pair of 7 inch tall stools.  Situps need a mat to lie on, and either a pillow or an AbMat to preserve the curve of your back.  Preserving that curve is important.  Do not do situps without it.  Pullups require some sort of bar to pull up on.  It can be a simple bar that you hang from the beams on your porch like me, or it can be a special bar that hangs from either your ceiling or wall, or it can be a freestanding power tower.

Now we will go through our list of best bodyweight exercises.  There is no priority to them, but I still will list them in order of my favorites first.

Pushups are the obvious.  Why risk your life doing bench presses when you can do pushups?   It has been said that pushups work more multiple muscle groups than bench presses.  There are more ways to do pushups than any one person can list.  Here are a few.  Let's assume you can only sneak in a few at work at your desk.  You are in luck.  You can do one arm pushups against either your desk or the wall.  The angle that you choose is how you adjust the resistance.  Of course you can do one or two arm pushups on the floor also.  But for men, one arm pushups against a wall or desk is a great upper body workout.

My favorite way to do pushups is on the floor.  I use a pair of basketballs to put my hands on.  This increases the resistance by introducing instability into the act.  Your upper body struggles to stabilize itself over the shifting basketballs.  To further increase the resistance, put your feet on a pair of 7 inch tall stools.

Pullups can be done either on a bar as described above or, if you are on vacation, on a doorknob.  Use a towel to pull yourself up with.  Drape the towel over the doorknob, sit on your butt on the floor in front of the door, and pull the towel to pull yourself up to the door.  Stand up as best you can in the movement.  You can also stand under stairs that are made of single planks.  Grab an overhead plank and pull yourself up.

As for stairs, they are a great leg exercise.  Every motel and many homes have them.  Use them.  You can also use stadium stands.  You can either walk or run.  You can also weight yourself with a vest made of chain or a workout sandbag.  

You can do situps lying on a bed if you must.  Use a pillow or an AbMat to put under the curve of your back to preserve and protect it.

Any bodyweight exercise can be done by itself or with added weight for increasing the resistance.  If you are truly fit, you can do pushups and pullups with one arm.  Keep it fun!  Here are some good tips for sandbag training.

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