Body weight exercises are designed to target one or more muscle group, and engage it in a high-intensity workout which hones, builds and strengthens the muscles over time. An ideal body weight workout should include exercises that target all the muscle groups, and should be rigorous and intense enough to keep your heart rate elevated throughout. For optimum results, schedule two body weight workout sessions per week, and include 8 to 10 exercises in each session.
Excellent for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps, squats are among the top body weight exercises, and make the knees stronger and more resistant. When performing a squat, it is essential to push the hips back and concentrate most of the weight on the heels, in order to make it effective.
To really work your biceps, try incorporating a couple of pullups into your exercise routine. Underhanded pull-ups target the biceps, while overhand pull-ups place primary emphasis on back muscles and secondary emphasis on the biceps.
One of the most effective body weight exercises, pushups make for a more sculpted upper body, as they target the triceps and front deltoids, honing your arms and making them lean and strong. When doing pushups, it is essential to keep your abs, glutes, and the overall core tight at all times. Start on your knees to begin with, and as you grow more comfortable, try more advanced methods, like placing your feet on a chair or table for a more intense workout.
Lunges are excellent if you are looking to work your glutes and hamstrings. Walking lunges that incorporate long, stretched out strides are extremely effective, as are uphill lunges, such as on a hiking trail or on the stairs. In addition to these, you can also try reverse lunges, which will require you to place exaggerated emphasis on the rear leg lift as you back up.
This version of pushups is particularly designed for the shoulders, rather than the chest area. These are performed by placing your feet up on some sort of an elevated objects, and bending your body at the waist so that your hips rise up to a height over your shoulders. Then, proceed to bend your elbows, and try to touch the floor with the top of your head.
These are repetitive jumping exercises, and the best part is that they target all the lower body muscles, along with the core. Extremely effective for burning calories, these workouts require power, speed and strength. If you are a beginner, start out with squat jumps and straight jumps. Then, move on to exercises like tuck jumps, lateral hops, and single leg jumps.