Think you can only gain strength with the help of the gym or heavy equipment? Think again! There are many very effective bodyweight strength building exercises you can incorporate into your workouts - as well as lots of ways you can modify them to make them even more challenging!
Bodyweight workouts can be extremely effective in helping to increase your strength and are also a great accompaniment to any other heavy weighted sessions you currently do. Using just your bodyweight and playing around with tempo, timing and depth, as well as perfecting technique will only benefit your weighted sessions. Not to mention challenge many of the smaller, stabilising muscles and your core.
Using just our bodies, we can effectively gain strength, fitness and endurance - below I'm going to show you two killer quad burning moves that do just that!
Don't be limited to just these exercises though...Press ups, lunges, planks, pull ups and squats are all examples of effective exercises using just your bodyweight.
As I mentioned above, try changing the tempo to make these (or any bodyweight movement) more challenging - slow down, fast up or maybe throw in a pause or pulse at the bottom....Embrace the challenge and the burn! Timing, tempo, pauses and increasing range are your best friends when it comes to bodyweight exercises.
Another way to increase the difficulty of a bodyweight move is to use something to elevate the hand or foot. For example elevating one hand in a push up, or as I'm about to show you, the heels in a squat. Doing so can alter the muscles that are being worked as well as allow you to go deeper into the movement. Elevating one hand in a push up puts more work on the side that is elevated, or elevating the foot during a lunge allows you to move deeper, therefore forcing your body to work harder!
Try adding these two exercises next time you're looking to fire up that lower body! The only (optional) equipment you require is something to elevate your foot. I'm using a stepper, but anything you can stand on safely will do - a thick book, step or yoga block are perfect!
👉 Heel Elevated Squat or Squat Pulse
Elevating our heels forces more of the work into our quads, as well as challenging our balance and stability.
With your heels on your step of choice, lower yourself into a squat position (chest and head up, knees pushing outwards). Pause briefly at the bottom, then push through the feet to come up halfway and repeat.
If the pulses are too much, start off by doing full range - come right back up to the top for each rep.
Try for 45 seconds work with 15 seconds rest for 3 rounds 🔥
👉 Kneel to Squat
With this one, think about keeping all of the work in the front leg, predominantly the quad (front of the thigh).
Starting in a kneeling position with your front leg at 90 degrees, then bring your back leg up to come into a squat. STAY LOW. From the squat come back to the starting position, then repeat on the same leg 🥵
If doing single leg is too much, begin by alternating and build up to working one leg at a time. There are always options!
Try for 3 rounds of 12-15 on each leg, alternating each round (so 6 sets in total).
Alternatively, work for 45 seconds with a 15 second break to swap legs for 3 rounds.
I have used a stepper to elevate my front foot to make this a little harder, but trust me it's a challenge without one too!
If you're feeling like a little extra, a dumbbell can be added to both of these moves to make them more challenging!
As with all movements, it's important to think about the muscles you're working as you perform them. This mind to muscle connection helps to focus the work where it should be and keep your technique tip top!
Let me know if you give these ones a go and how you found them. They're great examples of strength training exercises you can do from home with little to no equipment!
If you're interested in personal or group training with me, please don't hesitate to get in contact - my details can be found HERE.