Each year scores of women make the same old new year’s resolution: to attain that toned and sexy summer body. It’s certainly every woman’s dream but not every woman wants to regularly struggle in the gym for it. Fortunately, you don’t have to.
Here we have for you seven neat bodyweight exercises, explained in simple intuitive steps and illustrations, that you can do at home to burn that excessive fat and advance towards the perfect toned body.
Lunges (3 sets)
Lunges are a back-friendly lower body exercise that target primarily the quadriceps, but also involve the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core abdominal muscles. This amazing muscle recruitment repertoire doesn’t come with much hassle either as lunges are one of the easiest and most intuitive exercises for the lower body.
- Begin by standing straight and relaxed. Keep your shoulders back, and chin up (Primary position)
- Now step forward with one leg and slowly lower yourself down till both knees are at right angles to each other as in the illustration. Engage your core to keep the back straight.
- Now squeeze your quads and glutes to stand back up, and then repeat for the other leg. This is one repetition.
- Repeat for 15 repetitions, 3 times to properly activate the lower body.
Pushups (3 sets)
Who doesn’t know or accept the universality of the good ol’ pushups? They’re a staple in every bodyweight routine and rightly so. Not only do they translate into remarkable upper body strength, they also secondarily involve your abdomen as you will see next. Pushups are thus, both exquisite fat-burners and muscle builders.
- Begin by getting down and supporting yourself above the ground with extended arms. Place your palms at shoulder width, and your feet at the paws (Primary position)
- Keep your body in a straight line from ankle up to the head. This neutral position activates your abs while protecting your spine from excessive strain.
- Now lower yourself at the elbows steadily, keeping them close to your body, till your nose just touches the floor. Then push yourself back up to the primary position, all while maintaining that straight spine.
- Perform 10 repetitions 3 times.
One-knee pushups (3 sets)
This is a variation of the pushups for when your core gets tired but your arms and chest don’t. This type has the additional advantage of involving your glutes and leg muscles as in the illustration.
- Start with the pushup position, but his time supporting your body on one knee while keeping the other leg straight and both feet in the air. Use your glutes to maintain this position. (Primary Position)
- Perform the regular pushup, keeping your feet mid-air and spine neutral. This is one rep.
- Perform 15 repetitions, switch knees and repeat. This is now one set.
- Perform 3 sets of this exercise to fully activate the upper body.
Squat jumps (3 sets)
This is a neat variation of the classic bodyweight squat. Squat jumps train the explosive muscle fibers in your quads and core, whilst simultaneously burning the fatty tissue to provide quick bursts of energy on demand.
- Stand with your feet at shoulder width, body relaxed and straight (Primary position)
- Perform the standard squat, maintaining control throughout the movement.
- Once your hands touch the floor, using your core and quads, quickly jump up in an explosive manner.
- Land back and immediately but slowly return to the squat position.
- Perform 15 repetitions of this movement for 3 consecutive sets.
Bicycle Crunches (3 sets)
Bicycle crunches are a fun set of movements that combine the regular crunches with the pedaling movement of cyclists. It certainly looks cool and requires consistent control to fully yield great results for toned belly and thighs.
- Lie down and keep as much area of your back in contact with the floor as you can (Primary position)
- Put your hands behind your head and then lift your knees towards your chest while simultaneously lifting your shoulders towards your knees. Keep your neck straight.
- Now straighten one leg out while rotating your upper body in the opposite direction by about 45 degrees.
- Return to crunch position and repeat for the other leg.
- Return to primary position and repeat the whole movement for 15 repetitions.
Descending Planks (3 sets)
Planks look easy but let those few initial seconds kick in and you will start to feel the burn they’re so famous for. Nevertheless, they are an under-rated and even more under-estimated method of core muscle building and fat loss.
- Begin with the position of a pushup but supporting yourself on your elbows instead of the palms, and your feet up on a bench or chair.
- Now straighten your body, contracting your abs, quads and glutes.
- Maintain this position for 45 seconds and repeat after a brief rest.
Burpee (2 sets)
Burpees combine the movements of all of the above into a single explosive exercise that invariably involves the whole skeletal musculature and will get you sweating in no time. It is the perfect exercise for women running on the clock and can’t find time for a full proper workout routine.
- Begin by standing straight and relaxed (Primary position)
- Lower yourself into the squat position, with hands touching the ground.
- Kick your feet back and get into the pushup/plank position. Then perform a pushup.
- Jump your feet in back into the squat position. And then jump upwards as in the squat jump.
- Perform 10 repetitions for 2 consecutive sets.
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