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The Best Isometric Tricep Exercises

What are the Best Isometric Exercises for Triceps?

Isometric tricep exercises are a great way to increase growth and muscle size in your arms. The tricep muscles are considerably larger than the biceps and so contribute significantly to arm size. If you want to grow big arms, isometric exercises can help build muscle and ‘shock’ your body into more growth.

Isometrics Provide a Different Type of Movement than Traditional Exercises

With traditional exercises, you move the weight from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and back while maintaining muscular tension throughout. This ‘pumping’ movement is what most people think of in relation to growing muscle.

However isometric exercises can really add to a traditional weights workout by increasing the amount of tension muscles are under. This creates more micro tears which stimulate protein synthesis and ultimately muscle growth.

Many isometric exercises require very little equipment and so can be done at home, in the office or at school. Here are the best isometric exercises for big triceps.

Diamond Push Up with Isometric Hold

Get into the traditional push up start position. Your body should be rigid, core tight. Your arms and shoulders are locked with your hands below your shoulders.

Now move your hands closer together so that your index fingers and thumbs meet, making a diamond shape.

Slowly lower your body down until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Keep your elbows tucked in to increase the stretch.

Keep your core tight and don’t raise your hips up – that’s cheating. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release. Repeat three to five times.

Parallel Bar Dips with Isometric Hold

This exercise can be incorporated easily into your chest/triceps workout. Perform your normal sets and reps for dips. However on the last set, perform isometric holds for a huge pump and muscle burnout.

Caution: Do this towards the end of your workout as this will really fatigue your triceps.

As you lower yourself down into the ‘hole’, hold your body with your elbows slightly straightened. Your upper arms should be above parallel with the floor. Flex your triceps and lean back slightly. This will shift the focus onto your arms, away from your chest.

Hold for five to ten seconds then complete the rep. Do this three to five times or until you reach muscular failure.

Bonus tip: You can also do this exercise using a chair or parallel bars in a playground.

Tricep Extension and Hold

The tricep extension and hold is one of the best exercises for triceps because you don’t need any gym equipment. All you need your body weight.

To Start: Seated or standing, raise your hands up overhead. Clasp them together.

The Movement: Contract your right tricep while simultaneously pulling down on your wrist with your left hand. This creates resistance. As you fight against this resistance, you will feel the contraction deepen in your triceps. This will lead to your muscles feeling tight and pumped. Hold for 15 seconds, release, and change arms. Do this three times.

Bonus Tips: You can increase the contraction in your triceps by moving your arms slightly behind your head with your upper arms touching your ears.

Skull Crusher Hold

This is a simple isometric hold that you can incorporate into your weights routine. To perform a skull crusher, lie on your back on a bench. Grab a dumbbell with both hands and hold above your upper chest/face with arms extended.

Bend your elbows, allowing the weight to travel under control behind your head. When your elbows are at 90 degrees, flex your triceps and push the weight back up towards the start positon. Try to pause before you lock out your arms, maintaining the contraction in your triceps.

Don’t let your elbows flare out. This makes the movement easier. If it’s too difficult, reduce the weight for the next set. Do three sets of five holds for a big tricep pump.

Double Tricep Flex and Hold

This is a really easy movement to use when you are training triceps in the gym, especially when doing burnout sets of cable push downs.

At the end of each set, stand upright with your hands clasped in front at your hips. Push your wrists down, flexing and contracting the triceps muscles. These will already be burning from your high volume cable set. Hold this for two 15 second bursts during your rest period.

Do this during the rest periods of all your cable push down sets for a bigger pump and greater muscle growth.

This technique is a key part of Hany Rambod’s FST-7. FST stands for Fascia Stretching Technique as completing the isometric hold along with high volume machine exercises increases blood flow and stretches the muscle fascia. This in turn leads to bigger muscles.

Use Isometric Tricep Exercises to Boost your Arm Growth

As you can see, isometrics can be easily added into your existing arm workout or even used as a separate routine. They can be done with very little or no equipment and will add an important new dimension to your weight training.

Kettlebell-Swing

21 HIIT workouts to do at home

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become extremely popular in recent years and for good reason. Not only are HIIT workouts extremely effective but they are also time-efficient and can be modified endlessly.

There are pretty much no limits to the type of exercises you can use for interval training, which makes it the perfect workout method to use at home. This article will present you with the ultimate list of HIIT workouts you can do at home.

Some of the workouts below may require a small amount of equipment but it is all affordable and useable in a small space. Other workouts will be completely based on bodyweight movements so can be done absolutely anywhere.

You should also be sure to complete a 5-10 minute warm up before diving into the workouts.

Without further ado, here is our list of 21 HIIT workouts you can do at home.

Bodyweight HIIT workouts

Workout 1

Instructions: you will need a stopwatch for this one. It is a very simple interval style workout that is based on the TABATA timing method, which involves working as hard as you can for short bursts of 20 seconds and then resting for half of that time period.

To complete this workout, you will alternate between exercises A and B. Perform 20 seconds of exercise A followed by 10 seconds of rest before performing 20 seconds of exercise B followed by 10 seconds of rest. You will then repeat the entire sequence for a total of 4 rounds, which will last 4 minutes.

If you wish, you can then take a short rest and complete another set of 4 minutes.

  1. Mountain Climbers – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.
  2. High knees sprint – Standing on the spot, sprint while bringing your knees up towards the ceiling with each rep. Pump your arms hard just like you would if you were sprinting on a track.

Workout 2

This workout will take on a more circuit training approach. There is 5 total exercise, labelled A-E. You are to perform each exercise for the stated number of repetitions before moving on to the next one. After every single exercise, you will perform a 15-second cardio exercise.

Perform 3 total rounds of this circuit, changing the 15-second cardio exercise for each round.

  1. Squats X 10 – Take a shoulder width stance with your feet and slightly point your toes out. Keeping your chest, drop down between your thighs by sitting back slightly and opening up your hips. Once you have reached the bottom point, drive back to the start position by pushing into the ground and straightening your legs.
  2. Push-ups X 10 – Begin in a prone position on your toes with your arms extended out in front of you. Hands should be underneath your shoulders and your body should remain in a straight line. Bend at your elbows to lower your whole body towards the ground, go as low as you are comfortable going before extending your elbows and returning to the start position.
  3. Alternating lunges X 12 total – Stand upright with your abs braced and a neutral spine. Take a large step forward with one leg and drop down until your front knee is bent to around 90 degrees and your back knee is just off of the ground. Push through your front foot and drive your body back to the start position. Switch legs and repeat.
  4. Lying leg raises X 10 – Lay completely flat on your back with your legs and feet together. Brace your stomach so that your lower back is pushed into the ground. Raise both feet towards the ceiling while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Stop just before your legs and body are at a 90-degree angle and slowly lower the back towards the ground. Lower them as far as you comfortably can without touching the ground before repeating.
  5. Glute bridges X 12 – Lying flat on your back, bend your knees up and plant your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips towards the ceiling by tensing your glute muscles. Take a slight pause at the top and tense your glutes hard before slowly lowering under control and repeating.

15-second cardio exercise:

Round 1 – Mountain climbers – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.

Round 2 – Jumping jacks – Begin standing with feet together and your arms by your sides. Take a small jump and lift your arms out to the sides while your separate your legs at the same time. Land in a star like position on the front of your foot before taking another small jump and bringing your arms back down with your feet together. Repeat this for the given time frame or a number of reps.

Round 3 – Plank thrusters – begin in a push-up position with your arms extended and legs straight. Bend both knees at the same time and bring them in towards your elbows, which should look like a frog jump position. Shoot your legs back out by straightening them and repeat for the next repetition.

Workout 3

For this workout, you will be switching up the intensity as you go between moderate intensities and high intensities. You will complete 1 minute of moderate intensity/strength-based exercise followed by 30 seconds of high-intensity effort. Repeat the entire workout 2-3 times total with a 1-2 minute rest in between rounds.

Moderate intensity 1:

Push-ups X 30 seconds – Begin in a prone position on your toes with your arms extended out in front of you. Hands should be underneath your shoulders and your body should remain in a straight line. Bend at your elbows to lower your whole body towards the ground, go as low as you are comfortable going before extending your elbows and returning to the start position.

Lateral Lunges X 30 seconds – Start with your feet together and abs braced. Take a large step out to your side with one foot. Bend your stepping leg to around 90-degreed while keeping your other leg straight. Push off hard with your stepping leg and return to the start position. Switch legs and repeat.

High intensity 1:

High knees sprint X 30 seconds – Standing on the spot, sprint while bringing your knees up towards the ceiling with each rep. Pump your arms hard just like you would if you were sprinting on a track.

*Rest for 30 seconds*

Moderate intensity 2:

Single leg balance X 10 per leg – Start standing with your hands clasped behind your head. Shift your weight onto one foot and hinge forward while keeping your standing leg slightly bent. Your other leg should remain straight and directly behind you as you tip forward. Try and bring your torso parallel to the floor before returning to the start position. Keep one foot off the ground and repeat.

Commando planks – Begin in a push-up position with your arms straight and extended in front of you. Keeping your abs braced and body in a straight line, take one hand off of the ground and replace it with your forearm before doing the same with the other hand. You should now be on your forearms in a plank position. Reverse the movement and return to the start position to complete one rep.

High intensity 2:

Squat jumps X 30 seconds – Perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.

Workout 4

Here we have a pyramid style workout. You will be performing each exercise for varying amounts of time as follows:

10 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

40 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

10 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

Perform each of the following exercises in the above format.

  1. Alternating jump lunges – Start with your feet staggered, one foot in front of the other. Bend both knees before jumping into the air. As you jump, switch the position of your feet so that the back foot is now in front and vice versa. Land softly and repeat.
  2. Plank thrusters – begin in a push-up position with your arms extended and legs straight. Bend both knees at the same time and bring them in towards your elbows, which should look like a frog jump position. Shoot your legs back out by straightening them and repeat for the next repetition.
  3. Mountain climbers – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.

Workout 5

For this one, you will need a bit of extra space to run in. If you really can’t get outside on a field, you could replace the actual run with on the spot running instead.

The idea here is to combine explosive exercises with cardio. You will perform a given number of reps for each exercise for a “set”. Each exercise is to be performed for 3 total sets. Between each set, you will take a 30-second, moderate effort run.

  1. Broad jumps X 8 reps per set – Stand with your feet parallel and around shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a shallow squat as you swing your arms down and behind you. Swing your arms powerfully overhead at the same time as extending your knees and propelling yourself as far forward as you can. Land with bent knees to absorb the landing and repeat. Depending on space, you may need to turn around between each rep.
  2. Plyo push-ups X 8 reps per set – Perform a push as normal but be as explosive as possible as your push up so that your hands leave the ground between every rep. Absorb the landing by bending your elbows and dropped straight down into the next push-up.
  3. Squat jumps X 10 per set – Perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.

Workout 6

Here we have a purely cardio circuit that you can perform in a very small space. You will need to grab a stopwatch for it since you will be timing every exercise.

This is an extremely simple workout that consists of 4 exercises, which are to be done back-to-back for 30 seconds each. You will then take up to 60 seconds’ rest and repeat the circuit.

Complete 6 total circuits.

  1. Jumping Jacks – Begin standing with feet together and your arms by your sides. Take a small jump and lift your arms out to the sides while your separate your legs at the same time. Land in a star like position on the front of your foot before taking another small jump and bringing your arms back down with your feet together. Repeat this for the given time frame or a number of reps.
  2. Bunny hops – Get yourself into a standard push-up position with your arms extended and feet together. Bend your knees slightly and jump both feet out to one side. Keep your feet together the whole time. Jump your feet from one side to the other and repeat as quickly as you can.
  3. Skater jumps – Start with your feet close together and knees bent slightly. Take off from one leg and jump laterally in the direction of your other foot. For example, jumping from your right foot would mean jumping to your left and landing on your left leg. After landing softly on your opposite leg, jump back to the other side. Repeat this side to side jumping for the target time or a number of reps.

Kettlebell HIIT workouts

For the following workouts, you will be making use of kettlebells. Kettlebells are a fantastically versatile and portable piece of exercise equipment, which makes them perfect for home workouts.

Workout 7

The following kettlebell workout revolves heavily around one of the best and most widely used kettlebell exercises, the swing. Between each exercise in the circuit, you will be performing a set of 10 kettlebell swings.

The workout plan goes as follows:

Exercise A

10 x swings

Exercise B

10 x swings

Exercise C

10 x swings

*rest for 60secs*

Repeat for 5 total rounds

Exercises:

  1. Overhead press X 10 – Preferably, this would be performed with double kettlebells but if you only have a single kettlebell, it can still be done. Stand with your feet around hip-width apart with your knees soft and abs braced. The kettlebells should be in the rack position at your shoulders. Keeping your abs braced, press the weights overhead. As you press up, your arm should rotate so that your palms end up facing forward at the top of the rep. Lower back to the start position under control.
  2. Goblet squat X 10 – Hold the kettlebell at your chest with the bottom facing up and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Descend into a squat by bending your knees and sitting back slightly. Drop as low as you can go while maintaining a neutral spine before reversing the movement and driving back to a standing position.
  3. Single arm rows – Stand with a staggered stance, one foot in front of the other. Hold a kettlebell in the hand on the opposite side of your front foot. Lean your body forward by resting your free hand on your front thigh, your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Pull the kettlebell upwards by driving your elbow back behind you and pulling your hand to the side of your stomach. Lower back under control to a fully extended arm.

Kettlebell swings – Grasp the kettlebell with a double overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.

Workout 8

Here we have a kettlebell complex. The aim of this workout is to keep hold of the kettlebell and not set it down until you have completed an entire circuit. This workout is also a single arm workout so you will be doing everything twice.

There is 4 total to be done in sequence on one hand before switching hands and going through the 4 exercises again.

You will perform 5 reps of each on your right hand then 5 reps of each on your left. Then, you will switch back to your right hand and do 4 reps of each then 4 reps of each on your left, back to your right hand for 3 reps and so on.

Exercises:

  1. Single-arm swings – Grasp the kettlebell in one hand and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.
  2. Single arm overhead press – Stand with your feet around hip-width apart with your knees soft and abs braced. The kettlebell should be in the rack position at your shoulder. Keeping your abs braced, press the weight overhead. As you press up, your arm should rotate so that your palm ends up facing forward at the top of the rep. Lower back to the start position under control.
  3. Single arm overhead squats – Hold the kettlebell in one hand with your arm fully extended overhead, your palm should be facing forwards with the kettlebell resting on the back of your forearm. From here, perform a squat as follows: Take a shoulder width stance with your feet and slightly point your toes out. Keeping your chest, drop down between your thighs by sitting back slightly and opening up your hips. Once you have reached the bottom point, drive back to the start position by pushing into the ground and straightening your legs.
  4. Single arm high pulls – Grip the kettlebell with an overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance with the kettlebell hanging from your arm between your legs. Take a fast, shallow dip with your knees and reverse the movement quickly to a full standing position again. As you begin to stand, pull the kettlebell vertically towards the ceiling. Keep your elbow above your wrist and pull the kettlebell handle to around nipple level. Lower and repeat.

Workout 9

Of course, you can mix up bodyweight exercises and kettlebell ones for even more variety. This workout does exactly that. It is a simple circuit style session so the exercises are all performed back to back.

Each exercise should be performed for 40 seconds for 4 total rounds with 30-60 seconds’ rest between rounds.

Circuit exercises:

  1. Kettlebell swings – Grasp the kettlebell with a double overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.
  2. Plank – Start in a prone position with your upper body resting on your forearms. Bring your entire body off of the ground by coming up onto your toes and resting on your forearms. Tense your abs and glute muscles to maintain a straight line with your body.
  3. Squat press – Hold a single kettlebell at your chest with the bottom facing up, palms around the bell and your thumbs underneath the handle. Drop down into a squat. As you extend your legs and stand up, use your momentum to press the kettlebell directly overhead. Bring the weight back down to your chest before repeating for the next rep.
  4. Single arm Kettlebell rows (20 seconds per arm) – Stand with a staggered stance, one foot in front of the other. Hold a kettlebell in the hand on the opposite side of your front foot. Lean your body forward by resting your free hand on your front thigh, your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Pull the kettlebell upwards by driving your elbow back behind you and pulling your hand to the side of your stomach. Lower back under control to a fully extended arm.
  5. Squat jumps x 12 – Perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.

Workout 10

This next workout is perhaps the simplest of the entire list yet it had to be included for its’ devastating effectiveness when it comes to conditioning and fat burning.

All you need is a relatively heavy kettlebell or a pair of kettlebells and somewhere to sprint: a hill works best.

All you need to do is perform a heavy lower body exercise for 8-12 reps followed by an all-out sprint that lasts around 15-20 seconds. You would then take up to 2 minutes’ rest before repeating. Repeat this combination for 8 total rounds.

If you have enough weight to make it challenging, a front squat is a great exercise to use before the sprints. If not, high rep swings (around 20 reps) can be done instead.

The workout is very simple: Kettlebell exercise for 8-12 (20 if swings) > drop kettlebells and immediately sprint > rest max 2mins > repeat 8 times total.

Exercise descriptions:

Front squat – Hold the kettlebells in “rack” position at your chest and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Descend into a squat by bending your knees and sitting back slightly. Drop as low as you can go while maintaining a neutral spine before reversing the movement and driving back to a standing position.

Kettlebell swings – Grasp the kettlebell with a double overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.

Workout 11

A double circuit workout. As you may have guessed, this workout features 2 separate circuits. Within each circuit, you have an upper body, a lower body, a core and a cardio exercise.

You must complete 5 rounds of circuit one before moving on and completing 5 rounds of circuit 2.

Each exercise in a circuit is done back to back for 30 seconds. Take 30 seconds’ rest between rounds and 60 seconds’ rest between the 2 circuits.

Circuit 1

  1. Single arm high pulls – Grip the kettlebell with an overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance with the kettlebell hanging from your arm between your legs. Take a fast, shallow dip with your knees and reverse the movement quickly to a full standing position again. As you begin to stand, pull the kettlebell vertically towards the ceiling. Keep your elbow above your wrist and pull the kettlebell handle to around nipple level. Lower and repeat.
  2. Sumo deadlift – Take a very wide stance (feet outside of shoulder-width) directly over a kettlebell. Grip the kettlebell with an overhand grip in both hands and stand with it hanging straight down between your legs. Descend into a squat-like position by bending your knees. Touch the kettlebell to the ground and reverse the movement by pushing hard against the ground and tensing your glute muscles.
  3. Lying leg raises – Lay completely flat on your back with your legs and feet together. Brace your stomach so that your lower back is pushed into the ground. Raise both feet towards the ceiling while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Stop just before your legs and body are at a 90-degree angle and slowly lower the back towards the ground. Lower them as far as you comfortably can without touching the ground before repeating.
  4. Mountain climbers – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.

Circuit 2

  1. Overhead press – Preferably, this would be performed with double kettlebells but if you only have a single kettlebell, it can still be done. Stand with your feet around hip-width apart with your knees soft and abs braced. The kettlebells should be in the rack position at your shoulders. Keeping your abs braced, press the weights overhead. As you press up, your arm should rotate so that your palms end up facing forward at the top of the rep. Lower back to the start position under control.
  2. Goblet squat – Hold the kettlebell at your chest with the bottom facing up and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Descend into a squat by bending your knees and sitting back slightly. Drop as low as you can go while maintaining a neutral spine before reversing the movement and driving back to a standing position.
  3. Russian twists – Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you. Lean your upper body back until you feel your abs tense up. Now, keep your feet together and pick them up off of the ground slightly. Hold this position while rotating your entire torso to touch the ground on one side of your body. Rotate to the opposite side and lightly touch the ground. Keep the movement slow, controlled and make sure your whole upper body is moving as a single unit.
  4. Plank thrusters – begin in a push-up position with your arms extended and legs straight. Bend both knees at the same time and bring them in towards your elbows, which should look like a frog jump position. Shoot your legs back out by straightening them and repeat for the next repetition.

Barbell HIIT workouts

With a barbell and a few weight plates, you can really open up your options when designing workouts. Home barbell sets are inexpensive and are available in space-saving sizes so you may consider buying one if you like the sound of the workouts below.

Workout 12

Barbell complexes are a great way to get your heart racing while training your entire body. They work the same way as the kettlebell complex from earlier. The aim is to complete all of the exercises in a row without setting the barbell down until the round is complete.

The following complex is made up of 5 exercises that are to be done for 5 reps each and for 5 total rounds. Take a 60-second rest between each round.

Exercises:

  1. Romanian deadlifts – Take a double overhand grip on the barbell at shoulder width and stand with a hip-width stance. Keeping your knees soft, tip forward at your hips by pushing your butt behind you. The bar should travel down towards the floor, as soon as you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, reverse the movement by engaging your glutes and bringing yourself back to standing.
  2. Bent over rows – Grip the bar with a shoulder-width grip and stand with a hip-width foot stance. Bend your knees slightly and tip forward at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor with the barbell hanging out in front of you. Start the rep by driving your elbows behind you and pulling the bar into your stomach. Lower under control until your arms are straight again and repeat.
  3. Upright rows – Stand up straight with your abs braced and take a wide grip on the bar. Keep the bar close to your body as to pull it vertically to mid-chest level. Ensure your elbows remain high and above your wrists as you pull. Lower under control and repeat for the next rep.
  4. Front squats – Holding it in your fingers, rest the barbell across the front of your shoulders and close to your neck. Your elbows should be out in front of the bar and kept high, this will bend your wrists backwards so requires some flexibility. Bend your knees and open up your hips as you descend into the squat. Squat down as low as you can while maintaining good technique before pushing through your feet and returning to a standing position.
  5. Overhead press – Begin with a shoulder-width grip and rest the barbell across the front shoulders. Your abs must remain braced as you bring your head back to allow the bar to be pressed straight up. As the bar clears your head, bring your head back forward into a neutral position. When the bar is lowered, you will need to move your head back slightly so that it remains on a straight bar path; the bar moves in a straight line, your head must move around the bar.

Workout 13

Working the big muscles of your lower body requires a lot of effort from your heart and lungs. So, lower body exercises are some of the most effective when it comes to performing HIIT training with resistance exercise. This workout takes full advantage of using those larger, more powerful muscles.

The workout itself consists of 5 exercises in a circuit format that focus mainly on your lower body. Perform each exercise for the given number of reps back to back. Rest for 1 minute between rounds and complete 4-5 rounds.

Exercises:

  1. Bodyweight squats x 20 – Take a shoulder width stance with your feet and slightly point your toes out. Keeping your chest, drop down between your thighs by sitting back slightly and opening up your hips. Once you have reached the bottom point, drive back to the start position by pushing into the ground and straightening your legs.
  2. Romanian deadlifts x 15 – Take a double overhand grip on the barbell at shoulder width and stand with a hip-width stance. Keeping your knees soft, tip forward at your hips by pushing your butt behind you. The bar should travel down towards the floor, as soon as you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, reverse the movement by engaging your glutes and bringing yourself back to standing.
  3. Front squats x 10 – Holding it in your fingers, rest the barbell across the front of your shoulders and close to your neck. Your elbows should be out in front of the bar and kept high, this will bend your wrists backwards so requires some flexibility. Bend your knees and open up your hips as you descend into the squat. Squat down as low as you can while maintaining good technique before pushing through your feet and returning to a standing position.
  4. Plank thrusters x 5 – begin in a push-up position with your arms extended and legs straight. Bend both knees at the same time and bring them in towards your elbows, which should look like a frog jump position. Shoot your legs back out by straightening them and repeat for the next repetition.
  5. Bodyweight squats x 20 – Take a shoulder width stance with your feet and slightly point your toes out. Keeping your chest, drop down between your thighs by sitting back slightly and opening up your hips. Once you have reached the bottom point, drive back to the start position by pushing into the ground and straightening your legs.

Workout 14

The Tabata protocol that we used earlier can be applied to any type of training. While this one won’t technically be Tabata training since Tabata involves some kind of sprint, we will still be using the same timing scheme.

It is an extremely straightforward workout of just 2 exercises. You will work for 20 seconds at a time and then rest for 10 seconds.

Perform exercise A, using this 20 on, 10 off timing method, for 8 rounds.

Take a 2-minute rest before doing the same for exercise B. The whole workout will only take 10 minutes but it can be repeated if you have the fitness.
Exercises:

  1. Push press – Take a shoulder-width grip on the barbell and rest it across the front of your shoulders. Perform a short dip down by breaking slightly at your knees. Reverse the movement by rapidly straightening your legs again. As you start to straighten your legs, drive the barbell straight above your head. The idea is to create momentum with your legs in order to press the bar towards the ceiling powerfully.
  2. Barbell Squat jumps – With the bar resting across your upper back muscles, perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.

AMRAP workouts

AMRAP stands for “as many rounds as possible” and is a common feature of CrossFit style workouts. The aim of an AMRAP is to complete as many rounds as possible of a particular set of exercises within a given time frame. They require some mental toughness and a willingness to push yourself but are very rewarding once you get through them.

Workout 15

We will start with a nice simple version of an AMRAP. Perform the circuit below as many times as you can in 15 minutes.

Exercises:

  1. Push-ups x 20 – Begin in a prone position on your toes with your arms extended out in front of you. Hands should be underneath your shoulders and your body should remain in a straight line. Bend at your elbows to lower your whole body towards the ground, go as low as you are comfortable going before extending your elbows and returning to the start position.
  2. Goblet squats x 20 – Hold the kettlebell at your chest with the bottom facing up and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Descend into a squat by bending your knees and sitting back slightly. Drop as low as you can go while maintaining a neutral spine before reversing the movement and driving back to a standing position.
  3. Kettlebell overhead press x 20 – Preferably, this would be performed with double kettlebells but if you only have a single kettlebell, it can still be done. Stand with your feet around hip-width apart with your knees soft and abs braced. The kettlebells should be in the rack position at your shoulders. Keeping your abs braced, press the weights overhead. As you press up, your arm should rotate so that your palms end up facing forward at the top of the rep. Lower back to the start position under control.
  4. Mountain climbers x 20 total – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.
  5. Single arm high pulls x 10/arm – Grip the kettlebell with an overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance with the kettlebell hanging from your arm between your legs. Take a fast, shallow dip with your knees and reverse the movement quickly to a full standing position again. As you begin to stand, pull the kettlebell vertically towards the ceiling. Keep your elbow above your wrist and pull the kettlebell handle to around nipple level. Lower and repeat.
  6. Kettlebell swings x 20 – Grasp the kettlebell with a double overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.

Workout 16

The workout below is an AMRAP that consists of 2 separate circuits and uses only bodyweight exercises. Complete as many rounds of circuit 1 as you can in 7 minutes, rest for up to 2 minutes and then do the same for circuit 2.

Circuit 1

  1. Squat jumps x 10 – Perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.
  2. Commando planks x 10 – Begin in a push-up position with your arms straight and extended in front of you. Keeping your abs braced and body in a straight line, take one hand off of the ground and replace it with your forearm before doing the same with the other hand. You should now be on your forearms in a plank position. Reverse the movement and return to the start position to complete one rep.
  3. Skater jumps x 20 – Start with your feet close together and knees bent slightly. Take off from one leg and jump laterally in the direction of your other foot. For example, jumping from your right foot would mean jumping to your left and landing on your left leg. After landing softly on your opposite leg, jump back to the other side. Repeat this side to side jumping for the target time or a number of reps.

Circuit 2

  1. Broad jumps x 10 – Stand with your feet parallel and around shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a shallow squat as you swing your arms down and behind you. Swing your arms powerfully overhead at the same time as extending your knees and propelling yourself as far forward as you can. Land with bent knees to absorb the landing and repeat. Depending on space, you may need to turn around between each rep.
  2. Push-ups x 20 – Begin in a prone position on your toes with your arms extended out in front of you. Hands should be underneath your shoulders and your body should remain in a straight line. Bend at your elbows to lower your whole body towards the ground, go as low as you are comfortable going before extending your elbows and returning to the start position.
  3. Burpees x 10 – Start in a standing position. Drop down into a deep squat and place your hands on the ground just in front of you. Shoot your legs directly behind you so that you take up a push-up position. Bend your knees and bring them back towards your chest to return to the deep squat-like stance. Return to a standing position and jump.

Workout 17

Here is an example of a descending ladder workout in an AMRAP format. This is a circuit of exercises where you perform a decreasing number of reps for each exercise.

Perform the circuit for AMRAP in 20 minutes.

Exercises:

  1. Jumping jacks x 40 – Begin standing with feet together and your arms by your sides. Take a small jump and lift your arms out to the sides while your separate your legs at the same time. Land in a star like position on the front of your foot before taking another small jump and bringing your arms back down with your feet together. Repeat this for the given time frame or a number of reps.
  2. Bodyweight squats x 30 – Take a shoulder width stance with your feet and slightly point your toes out. Keeping your chest, drop down between your thighs by sitting back slightly and opening up your hips. Once you have reached the bottom point, drive back to the start position by pushing into the ground and straightening your legs.
  3. Mountain climbers x 20 – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.
  4. Lying leg raises x 10 – Lay completely flat on your back with your legs and feet together. Brace your stomach so that your lower back is pushed into the ground. Raise both feet towards the ceiling while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Stop just before your legs and body are at a 90-degree angle and slowly lower the back towards the ground. Lower them as far as you comfortably can without touching the ground before repeating.
  5. Burpees x 5 – Start in a standing position. Drop down into a deep squat and place your hands on the ground just in front of you. Shoot your legs directly behind you so that you take up a push-up position. Bend your knees and bring them back towards your chest to return to the deep squat-like stance. Return to a standing position and jump.

Superset workouts

A superset is a pair of exercises that are performed back to back, like a mini circuit of just 2 exercises. Supersets are a good way of doing a lot of hard work in a relatively short space of time before taking enough rest to allow you to go hard again. All of the workouts in this section make use of supersets.

Workout 18

You have 3 supersets to complete here, each of which consists of an explosive exercise and a cardio-based exercise. Rest for 30 seconds between supersets and complete 5 rounds of the superset before moving on to the next one.

Superset 1

  1. Plyo push-ups x 8 – Perform a push as normal but be as explosive as possible as your push up so that your hands leave the ground between every rep. Absorb the landing by bending your elbows and dropped straight down into the next push-up.
  2. Mountain climbers x 40 – Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and your body in a straight line. Bring one foot up off of the ground and drive your knee towards your chest. Return your leg to the start position while simultaneously bringing the other knee up. It should be a similar motion to running.

Superset 2

  1. Broad jumps x 8 – Stand with your feet parallel and around shoulder-width apart. Drop down into a shallow squat as you swing your arms down and behind you. Swing your arms powerfully overhead at the same time as extending your knees and propelling yourself as far forward as you can. Land with bent knees to absorb the landing and repeat. Depending on space, you may need to turn around between each rep.
  2. Bunny hops x 20 – Get yourself into a standard push-up position with your arms extended and feet together. Bend your knees slightly and jump both feet out to one side. Keep your feet together the whole time. Jump your feet from one side to the other and repeat as quickly as you can.

Superset 3

  1. Burpees x 10 – Start in a standing position. Drop down into a deep squat and place your hands on the ground just in front of you. Shoot your legs directly behind you so that you take up a push-up position. Bend your knees and bring them back towards your chest to return to the deep squat-like stance. Return to a standing position and jump.
  2. High knees sprint x 40 (20/leg) – Standing on the spot, sprint while bringing your knees up towards the ceiling with each rep. Pump your arms hard just like you would if you were sprinting on a track.

Workout 19

Here you will make use of a barbell to perform supersets that alternate between strength and cardio. Perform 5 rounds of each superset, rest 30 seconds between supersets.

Strength superset 1

  1. Front squat x 12 – Holding it in your fingers, rest the barbell across the front of your shoulders and close to your neck. Your elbows should be out in front of the bar and kept high, this will bend your wrists backwards so requires some flexibility. Bend your knees and open up your hips as you descend into the squat. Squat down as low as you can while maintaining good technique before pushing through your feet and returning to a standing position.
  2. Barbell bent over row x 12 – Grip the bar with a shoulder-width grip and stand with a hip-width foot stance. Bend your knees slightly and tip forward at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor with the barbell hanging out in front of you. Start the rep by driving your elbows behind you and pulling the bar into your stomach. Lower under control until your arms are straight again and repeat.

Cardio superset 1

  1. High knees sprint x 20 seconds – Standing on the spot, sprint while bringing your knees up towards the ceiling with each rep. Pump your arms hard just like you would if you were sprinting on a track.
  2. Skier jumps x 20 seconds – Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Jump laterally with both feet, land on both feet at the same time and jump back to the start position. Repeat these side to side jumps for the given reps or amount of time.

Strength superset 2

  1. Romanian deadlifts x 12 – Take a double overhand grip on the barbell at shoulder width and stand with a hip-width stance. Keeping your knees soft, tip forward at your hips by pushing your butt behind you. The bar should travel down towards the floor, as soon as you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, reverse the movement by engaging your glutes and bringing yourself back to standing.
  2. Upright rows x 12 – Stand up straight with your abs braced and take a wide grip on the bar. Keep the bar close to your body as to pull it vertically to mid-chest level. Ensure your elbows remain high and above your wrists as you pull. Lower under control and repeat for the next rep.

Cardio superset 2

  1. Bunny hops x 20 seconds – Get yourself into a standard push-up position with your arms extended and feet together. Bend your knees slightly and jump both feet out to one side. Keep your feet together the whole time. Jump your feet from one side to the other and repeat as quickly as you can.
  2. Plank thrusters x 20 seconds – begin in a push-up position with your arms extended and legs straight. Bend both knees at the same time and bring them in towards your elbows, which should look like a frog jump position. Shoot your legs back out by straightening them and repeat for the next repetition.

EMOM workouts

EMOM stand for “every minute on the minute” and, much like AMRAPs, they are common in CrossFit style workouts. The goal is to perform a given set of exercises for a stated number of reps as quickly as you can every time the clock reaches a new minute. Therefore, the faster you do the exercises, the longer rest you get before the next round.

Workout 20

This one makes use of kettlebells. Start a timer and complete the exercises below. Whenever the timer reaches a new minute, perform the circuit again. Go for a total of 12 minutes.

  1. Kettlebell swings x 10 – Grasp the kettlebell with a double overhand grip and stand in a shoulder-width stance while holding the kettlebell straight down between your legs. To complete the swing, you must swing the kettlebell between your legs by pushing your hips back behind you. Once your upper body is almost parallel to the floor, reverse the movement by forcefully thrusting your hips forward and tensing your glutes hard. Let the kettlebell drop back between your legs and repeat the movement.
  2. Goblet squats – Hold the kettlebell at your chest with the bottom facing up and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Descend into a squat by bending your knees and sitting back slightly. Drop as low as you can go while maintaining a neutral spine before reversing the movement and driving back to a standing position.

Workout 21

This is another take on an EMOM workout. However, you will be rotating through 3 different exercises as follows:

Minute 1: exercise A

Minute 2: exercise B

Minute 3: exercise C

Minute 4: exercise A

Repeat the pattern for 12 minutes in total.

Exercises:

  1. Squat jumps x 15 – Perform a shallow squat by bending your knees slightly and extending them rapidly. As you extend them, launch yourself into the air. Absorb the landing by bending your knees slightly before repeating and jumping again.
  2. Burpees x 10 – Start in a standing position. Drop down into a deep squat and place your hands on the ground just in front of you. Shoot your legs directly behind you so that you take up a push-up position. Bend your knees and bring them back towards your chest to return to the deep squat-like stance. Return to a standing position and jump.
  3. Plyo push-ups x 10 – Perform a push as normal but be as explosive as possible as your push up so that your hands leave the ground between every rep. Absorb the landing by bending your elbows and dropped straight down into the next push-up.

Final words on HIIT training

Interval training is popular for good reasons: it is effective, time-efficient and very customizable. The above workouts can all be customised to suit your own fitness level and equipment availability.

Don’t feel like you have to stick to them exactly as they are written. You can perform the workouts listed here as they are or as a template for your designing own workouts.

You can use them as an alternative to your usual cardio sessions or tag some of the shorter ones on to the end of your strength workouts.

The options are almost endless, all you need to do is get out there and put the hard work in!

The Best Bodyweight Exercises for a 6 Pack

Everybody wants to have six-pack abs, but not many people are willing to put in the work to achieve them.

The following exercises will help you to build up your abs, but you’ll also have to keep your nutrition in check, in order to reveal the abs.

Nutrition is Important

As a very popular saying goes “Abs are made in the kitchen.”

A more appropriate version of this saying is “Abs are made in the gym, but revealed in the kitchen.”

While you can build up your core strength and develop your abs over time, nobody will be able to see them if you do not keep your nutrition in check.

The less body fat you have, the more likely it will be that somebody will notice all of the hard work that you put into strengthening your core.

What is body fat percentage?

BFP is the total mass of the fat that a person has divided by the total mass of that person.

Body fat is not only the fat on the outside of the body that can be seen, but also the internal fat the cushions that internal organs.

Women need more body fat than men, due to their ability to have children.

The American Council on Exercise states that essential body fat percentages for women are 10-13% and for men, 2-5%.

This also means that women and men will need to have a different amount of body fat before abs can be revealed.

The ACE also defines that an athletic woman will have between 14 and 20% body fat and a fit woman will have between 21 and 24% BF while an athletic man will have between 6 and 13% BF and a fit man will have between 14 and 17% BF.

Unfortunately, being athletic or fit doesn’t necessarily mean your abs will show.

The general consensus in the fitness community, however, says that roughly 10% BF is needed for men to have visible abs and roughly 17% BF is needed for woman.

This does not necessarily mean that, if you hit the percentage for your sex that your abs will show.

Everybody’s body is different, which is why it is important to set a goal, but not be disappointed if your abs aren’t quite visible yet.

What should I eat?

It is best to stick to foods that are filling while still high in your needed daily vitamins and nutrients.

Many nutritionists recommend eating a lot of whole foods and cutting down on processed foods.

After all, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

However, the best diet is one you will stick to – make it a lifestyle change and it will seem like less of a hassle.

Bodyweight Exercises to Engage Core Muscles

While a trip to the gym can prove beneficial, if you don’t have the time or the money to join one, you can still achieve the body you want through doing the following exercises regularly.

Each exercise will have an easy, medium, and hard variation, so that you can cater your workout to what your fitness level is currently.

If you really want to build up your muscles, make sure you are doing each exercise for no more than 12 reps.

Between 5 and 8 reps per set is ideal.

If each of your sets is more than 12 reps, the exercise is cardio work and you are limited more by your ability to breathe than your ability to follow through on the exercise.

You want to be doing the hardest possible variation for you in order to gain strength.

This is called progressive overload.

If you keep doing the same exercises at the same level, your body will adapt to that exercise and you will stall.

If you consistently push yourself, you’ll be able to build strength using only your own bodyweight!

Remember to breathe out when you are contracting your muscles, and breathe in when you are stretching out and releasing the muscles.

This will help your workouts to be more effective.

Your abs recover quickly, so you can train them every other day, or every day if you are advanced. Try to do 5 sets at first, working up to 8 sets.

Squats

A squat is exactly what it sounds like – you lower yours upper body using only your legs and your stabilizer muscles.

Squats work your glutes and quads, but if you keep your abs engaged the entire time you are squatting, not only will you work your lower abdominals, but you will be helping your stability.

For each of the below exercises, your starting position is the same: standing with your back straight, feet hip-width apart.

Easy: Half-Squats

From the starting position, lower your butt down like you are going to sit down.

Keep your feet straight ahead, and don’t move your back from the straight position.

Go as low as you can, then come back up.

That is one repetition.

Try to do 5 or 8 reps before resting.

Medium: Full Squats

Follow the advice from the “easy” version of the s
quat, but push yourself until your thighs are parallel with the ground.

Hold for a second before coming back up.

Make sure that your knees and feet do not move position.

Hard: Pistol Squats

From the starting position, lift one leg forward, straight, trying to keep it at a 90 degree angle from your other leg.

Lower yourself down, then push back up, keeping your leg in the air the entire time.

For a “starting” pistol squat, you can hold onto your leg.Pistol-Squat

Planks

A plank is when you keep your body straight, but raised.

It requires you to contract all of your muscles in your back, abs, legs, and arms to keep yourself stable and steady.

Planks are a timed exercise rather than an exercise where you do reps, so start with 30 seconds at whatever difficulty you think you can handle.

Once you get to 60 seconds, move on to a harder variation.

Doing a plank beyond 60 seconds is endurance-based, and will not give you muscle hypertrophy.

The beginning position for the easy and medium plank versions laying face-down on the ground.

Easy: Elbow Planks

From the ground, position your elbows underneath your shoulders, then raise your body up, keeping your back and legs straight.

You should be using your forearms and hands to steady yourself – they should be on the ground.

Hold for as long as you can, making sure not to sink your shoulders into the position.

Medium: Straight Arm Planks

From the ground, position your hands underneath your shoulders, then push-up.

Use your hands to support your body.

Hold for as long as you can.

Straight-Arm-Plank

Hard: Raised Foot Planks

Find a ledge, a box, or a chair.

Go into a straight arm plank, but with your feet positioned close to the raised ledge.

After you are in the plank position, lift your legs up, one at a time, until you are planking with raised feet.

Hold the position for as long as you can, up to 60 seconds.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts work all of your abdominal muscles as well as your back muscles.

Starting position for all forms of the leg lift are lying on the ground, face-up.

Easy: One-Legged Leg Lift

Keeping one leg on the ground, lift the other leg until it is at a 90 degree angle from your body, then lower, but don’t touch the ground.

If this is too hard, you can keep the other leg bent.

Medium: Full Leg LiftLeg-lifts

Contract your abdominals and pull your legs up, while they are straight and together, until they are at a 90 degree angle from your body.

Lower, but don’t touch the ground.

Do 8 to 10 reps before you allow your legs to touch the ground again.

Hard: Hip Lift

Do a leg lift, but as you pull your legs up, also pull your hips up.

Push your hips into the air with your legs, then lower yourself back to the ground, allowing your lower back to touch the ground, but not your legs.

Push-Ups

Push-ups work your arms and shoulders, but require your abs and obliques to keep you steady and straight, since you are in the same position as a plank.Push-Up

Easy: Wall Push-Ups

Stand close to a wall. Keeping your feet together, stretch out your arms until you can place your hands on the wall.

Make sure your hands are shoulder width apart.

Push yourself into the wall and then away from it.

If this is too easy, you can move down, using different heights of ledges until you are able to do a push-up on the floor.

Medium: Straight Body Push-Ups

Start in the straight-arm plank position.

Lower yourself down, keeping your elbows close to your body and unflared.

When you get close to the ground, push yourself back up, ensuring that you keep your back straight the entire time.

Hard: Diamond Push-Ups

This is the same as a straight body push-up, except that your hands are underneath your head, making a diamond shape with your thumb and forefinger on the ground.

This is harder, as you need more balance.

Pullups for losing weightPull-Ups

Disclaimer: While some people do not consider a pull-up a bodyweight exercise, because you need something to hang from, the entirety of the work of the exercise is done by pulling your own body weight, so it will be included here.

Pull ups work your arms, shoulders, and back, as well as your obliques.

Easy: Negatives

Start from the top of the bar or ledge where you are doing your pull-ups, arms bent, chest to the bar.

Lower yourself down as slowly as you can.

Jump back up to the starting position, and repeat.

Medium: Pull-Ups

Start in a free hang from the bar or ledge.

Using your arms, keeping your abdominals contracted, pull your chest to the bar, then lower yourself back down.

Hard: One-Armed

Like the regular pull-ups, start in a free hang, but instead of using both hands, use only one hand.

Pull yourself up, keeping yourself steady and not swinging.

Touch your chest to the bar, then slowly lower yourself down and repeat.

This move really works your core, as you need to keep yourself steady and relatively straight as you do this move.

Russian Twists

Russian twists work your abdominals and obliques.

They are like crunches in that your body is in a “V” shape the entire time, but they are better for your lower back health than crunches or sit-ups.

For each of these, the basic move is the same, but the position as you are doing the exercise is different.

To do a Russian twist, keep your body in an upper sit-up position, but twist your torso from side-to-side.

Easy: Feet on the Ground

Keeping your feet on the ground, but your body in the sit-up position, and keeping your arms crossed in front of your chest, twist your torso from side to side in slow motion.

Each rep is a twist on both sides.

Medium: Hands Clasped

Start in a basic sit-up position, then lift your feet off of the ground.

Holding your hands together in front of you, twist from side to side using only your abdominal and back muscles.

Hard: Arms Out

Keeping your feet off the ground, in a sit-up position, stretch your arms out in front of you.

Then twist your torso from side to side in slow motion.

While each of these exercises is a strength exercise, be sure to include cardio in your workout.

Aerobic activity is important for the heart, and certain types of cardio can help to burn fat.

Try adding a fun cardio activity like jogging or swimming to your daily routine.

How long will this take?

Now that you know the key exercises needed to achieve your six pack, you may be wondering how long you will need to be doing these exercises before you can see results.

You’ll notice your workouts become easier within two to three sessions.

You will notice your body changes at around 6 weeks, but other may not notice until 12 or more weeks.

You can use a number of devices to measure your bodyfat changes.

The easiest way to measure changes is through using a tape measure, but for body-fat specifically, you can use calipers.

They aren’t the most accurate tool, but they can help you see changes as you progress.

Current weight loss guidelines recommend losing no more than one or two pounds of fat a week, but this for the whole body and not specific to just body fat.

The American Council on Exercise says that losing 1 percentage point of body fat per month is the healthiest and most achievable way to lose body fat.

However, some overweight and obese individuals can reduce body fat faster, since they have more overall.

Extreme dieting can help you lose body fat faster, but isn’t recommended, as it isn’t healthy.

Remember, abs are usually visible for men at around 10% BF and 17% BF for women.

HandStand

Best Bodyweight Exercises for Teens

Teenagers in the 21st Century are the most unfit generation in history.

With the rise of the internet, mobile technology and gaming, teens perform less exercise than ever before.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the number of obese teenagers has risen from 32 million in 1990 to 42 million in 2013.

This is an increase of more than 25%.

Obesity and a lack of physical fitness can be combated by exercise and resistance training.

One of the best and most suitable ways is through bodyweight exercises.

So what are the best bodyweight exercises for teens?

The Facts

Bodyweight training is a cheap and easy way to exercise, get fit, build muscle and improve health. Bodyweight exercises can be done pretty much anywhere. Some ideas are:

  • In the house – a bedroom floor is perfect

  • Outside in a public park

  • In the yard/garden

One of the best things about bodyweight exercises is that you don’t need to join an expensive gym or buy any equipment. All you need is your body, some space and a little motivation.

Bodyweight training can burn huge amounts of calories and fat. Bodyweight training is used by the Army, Marines, boxers and MMA fighters to improve fitness, build muscle and increase endurance.

Remember to Warm Up!

A good warm up is really important. You should warm up before you do any kind of physical activity or exercise. A warm up will help prevent injury by loosening joints and getting the blood flowing.

Start by walking on the spot or up and down a set of stairs. If you’re able, gradually increase your speed until you’re jogging. Your blood will be pumping and you will feel warm and be sweating a little. Take care jogging up the stairs!

A warm up should last for between 5 and 15 minutes. You should feel warm but not tired.

Harder-Pushup-Variation

You can also make pushups harder if regular ones are too easy for you.

The Push Up

The push up (or press up as it’s sometimes called) is one of the most recognizable bodyweight exercises. It works your chest, shoulder, core and back muscles. MMA fighters, soldiers and boxers might do hundreds in one day. However you can start by just doing a few and then building up your numbers slowly.

The best way is to do as many as you can and then stop. That’s called one ‘set’. Rest for a couple of minutes and then do another set. Aim to do five sets of ten push ups. Once you can do that, go for five sets of 20.

To do a push up, lie face down on the floor with your hands palm down on the floor, in line with your shoulders. Your legs should be straight. Using your chest, arms and shoulders, lift your body off the floor, keeping your legs straight. Keep going until your arms are straight but not locked. Then lower down slowly until your elbows are at right angles.

That’s one push-up (or one ‘rep’).

If you can’t do a full push up, there is a technique that you can use until you build upper body strength. Rest your knees on the floor as you push up. This means less weight is being lifted and so the exercise is easier.

The Squat

The bodyweight or ‘air’ squat is one of the best exercises to work the leg muscles, lower back and core (abdominals or abs). It will also improve flexibility in the hips and improve posture.

To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. I like to rest my hands on my head or have them crossed over my chest. Bend at the knees and hips, as if sitting down on a chair. Keep the chest up, eyes facing forward. When your thighs are at right angles to the ground, stand slowly back up. That’s one squat.

Start by doing five sets of 10 squats. Once you can do this easily, increase your numbers until you can do five sets of 20.

If you find squatting difficult, use a chair for support. Lower your bodyweight slowly onto the chair and stand slowly back up without resting. This will make the exercise easier until you are strong or flexible enough to do a full squat.

Chin Ups

So far, we’ve worked our chest, shoulders and legs. Now we want to work the muscles in our backs. The chin up is one of the best ways to safely exercise the back muscles.

Although you can buy chin up bars to fit in doorways at home, I prefer to improvise. You can use anything: a beam in your garage, the branch of a tree, even a climbing frame in the park.

Start with your hands grasping the bar. Your palms can either face you (this works the arms more) or away from you (this focuses more on the back). Pull your body up until your chin is over the bar. Then lower slowly down. This is one chin up.

Chin ups are quite difficult so start with three sets of two or three reps. When you can do this easily, increase the numbers until you can do three sets of eight.

There is a technique to improving your chin up numbers. It’s called ‘greasing the groove’. This is best done with a door-way mounted chin up bar. Every time you pass the bar, you have to do a chin up! Once this is easy, increase it to two chin ups, and so on.

You can also check out this post if you’re interested in learning how you can do more chin-ups and pull-ups.

Abdominal Crunches

Abdominal crunches are a great bodyweight exercise in that they target the stomach muscles, or abdominals. These are often referred to as ‘abs’.

A strong set of abdominal muscles helps you to perform the other exercises listed above. Strong abs also help to prevent injury, especially to your back. Crunches are easy to do. Here’s how:

Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Hook your toes under a sofa or another piece of furniture – this will help stabilize your body. Cross your arms over your chest with your hands touching your collar bone. Slowly raise your chest and shoulders up off the floor until your upper body is at a 45 degree angle. Keep your stomach muscles tight. Then lower slowly down. That’s one crunch.

Do three sets of 12 crunches. You can increase the numbers once this feels easy.

To make this move harder you can touch your head with your fingertips (don’t ‘pull’ on the back of your head). Try not to rest your shoulders on the floor in between crunches.

Tricep Dips

So far, we’ve worked the upper body, legs and abs. Now for the arms! Arm exercises are best done at the end of a workout as they require less energy than movements like push ups or chin ups. Tricep dips are one of the best bodyweight exercises for growing muscle in your arms and shoulders.

Many people spend a lot of time building their biceps, but the triceps muscles make up 2/3 of your arms. So it makes sense to focus on building them too.

To do tricep dips, all you need is a chair and a little bit of space.

Sit on the chair, with your hands beside you, gripping the edge of the seat. Straighten your legs out in front of you, heels resting on the floor. Push your body up and away from the chair using your arms.

Now lower yourself down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Your bottom should be lower than the seat of the chair. Push back up until your arms are straight but not locked out. That’s one rep.

Start by doing four sets of 12 reps. Focus on doing the movement slowly and under control. Try to ‘feel’ your arms working and don’t jerk or use momentum.

Keep your elbows pointing back. Letting them point out to the sides will make the exercise easier and won’t target your arms as well.

To make this easier, you can bend your knees a little. The more you bend, the easier this exercise is.

Summary

Bodyweight training is a great way for teens to get fit, exercise and improve muscle size and tone. These five exercises are a great way to start working out and using bodyweight exercises anywhere.

Try doing these exercises consecutively in a workout. You could also do them in a circuit For example:

1 set each of:

  • Push ups

  • Squats

  • Chin Ups

  • Abdominal Crunches

  • Tricep Dips

Rest for two minutes and repeat three or four times. Both should take under an hour with a warm up.

Once you can do these exercises easily, you could also add in other bodyweight exercises. These are more advanced so you should focus on the basics before attempting these.

More advanced exercises include: Lunges, pistol squats, single leg dead lifts, ‘diamond’ push ups, plank, shoulder press.

Remember you should always speak to your physician when starting a new exercise routine and stop immediately if you feel sick or dizzy at any time.

Woman Losing Weight With Big Jeans

25 Science-Based Tips For Losing Weight in 2017 (Number 12 is a Weird One)

Losing weight can be a difficult process.

It seems that everyone knows just the way to do it.

If everyone is so great at giving advice at losing weight, why isn’t everyone 100% healthy right now?

Because their advice is usually wrong.

It’s as simple as that.

Would you rather listen to your great uncle Ross (whose beer belly seems to be growing every year) or accredited scientists and doctors?

Let’s listen to the doctors and make sure that 2016 is the year when you finally lose that belly fat and get the beach body you’ve been dreaming of forever.

Let’s dive in!

1. Eat Protein for Breakfast

In his 4 Hour Body book Tim Ferriss explains how his dad lost 23 pounds in 2 months.

What did his father do?

He started consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.

Now you don’t have to consume 30 grams of protein to see the fat-loss effects. You don’t even have to eat it within 30 minutes of waking up.

Simply swapping your regular breakfast for eggs or any other protein-rich food can help you lose a ton of weight.

In this article in the International Journal of Obesity, they state that “egg breakfast enhances weight loss,” but you still have to do some sort of exercise even if it’s simply walking for 30 minutes per day. (Another source in PubMed)

2. Drink More WaterGlass of Water for Weight Loss

Water isn’t just good for helping your brain work better. (ScienceDirect, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Drinking more water can also help you lose weight more effectively.

In fact, drinking 500 mL of water can increase your metabolism by 30% for 90 minutes. (PubMed)

This means that your body automatically burns more calories no matter what you do.

Cool, huh?

If you drink 500 mL of water 30 minutes before eating you can decrease your hunger and thus lose more weight. (PubMed)

3. Go On a Low Carb Diet

Going on a low carb diet can help you lose more weight than standard low-fat, and other diets.

Once again this is something that Tim Ferriss suggests in his book, but he’s not a doctor so let’s look at the actual doctoral publications.

There are numerous studies about this, and instead of linking to all of them here is an article on Authority Nutrition summarizing 23 of them.

4. Have Only Healthy Food Around You

This might seem like an obvious one, but if you keep healthy snacks on your desk, near your couch, etc, you are more likely to eat them than unhealthy ones.

You could have a bowl of nuts at your work desk, a fruit-bowl near your couch, or some baby-carrots, a yogurt, or a healthy granola bar.

5. Eat Before Going Grocery Shopping

We’ve all had it happen to use.

We go to the grocery store hungry and everything looks good.

We pile tons of food into our cart, come home, eat, and then realize that half of the stuff you bought you don’t even want.

When you shop hungry you’re not just wasting money. You’re also hindering your weight-loss goals because you’re more likely to buy unhealthy snacks and foods if you’re shopping hungry.

Save your wallet and your tummy. Don’t shop when you’re hungry.

6. Use Smaller Plates

The size of plates have been steadily increasing, which means that you have to put more and more food on them to feel full. (PubMed)

If you use a smaller plate you’ll end up eating less and still feeling full after because of the way your brain works. (PubMed)

A smaller plate with food piled on top of it will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more, compared to a large plate with the same amount of food.

Smaller Plate Size With Food

7. Don’t Drink Calories

When we say don’t drink calories we mean don’t drink soft drinks like coke (yes, even coke zero), don’t drink “fruit juice” (the store bought fruit juice has the same amount of sugar as coke), and minimize the amount of sugar and creamer in your coffee.

If you love juice, then buy fruits and make your own. Studies like this one have shown that fruit juice has nearly the same amount of sugar as an equivalent amount of coke.

Milk is healthy, but it can still be fattening so try decreasing the amount of milk you take in.

There’s a reason why there is a GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) “diet” that can help you gain over 30 pounds in 30 days.

P.S.- Coke zero or any other zero-calorie drinks are terrible for you. Don’t drink them.

8. Eat More Protein

This one goes hand in hand with tips number 1 and 3.

Eating more protein overall means that you’ll probably eat more for breakfast and that you’ll probably decrease the amount of carbs you take in.

A high protein diet can increase your metabolism by 100 calories per day, and you’ll feel fuller which means you’ll eat less throughout the day. (PubMed)

9. Sleep More and Better

I’m sure you know that the average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night.

The question is, are you an average adult?

You might need 10 hours of sleep, or maybe you’re fine on 6 hours of sleep.

Try sleeping for different amounts of times for a week at a time and see how you feel.

You might be surprised at what you find.

Bad sleep also hinders your ability to lose weight and is shown to be one of the highest risk factors for obesity. (PubMed)

10. Don’t Watch TV/Videos While Eating

Watching TV while eating can cause “mindless eating” where you don’t pay attention to how much you’re eating and what you’re eating.

This might not necessarily be a problem if you already have the food that you’re going to eat on your small plate and you have no junk food in the house, but otherwise the temptation might be too great and you won’t be able to lose weight.

Consider this: eating while watching TV is “associated with poor eating behaviors in adolescents.” (PubMed)

You might be stronger than that, but why take the risk?

11. Eat More Fiber

Eating fiber with every meal can increase the feeling of fullness and help you lose weight. (PubMed)

12. Eat Spicy

Can eating spicy really help you lose weight?

Not all spicy foods will, but some of them can and will help you reach your ultimate goals.

Cayenne pepper boosts your metabolism and reduces your appetite which is great if you want to lose weight. (PubMed and PubMed)

Cayenne Pepper For WeightLoss

13. Do Resistance Training

Everyone wants to have more muscles and less fat, right?

However resistance training exercises can be confusing.

Do you really need to go to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours per day to increase your muscle mass?

No.

In fact as little as 20 minutes of resistance training per day 3 days a week can increase your muscles mass and help you lose that pesky fat. (PubMed)

No more second guessing or questioning whether what you’re doing is right.

14. Ditch Simple Carbs

This goes hand in hand with many of the tips above.

A simple explanation of what simple carbs are is this: it’s the white foods.

White bread, table sugar, cookies, cereal, white pasta, white rice, and potatoes. (Potatoes are technically complex carbs, but they tend to act like simple carbs inside the body which isn’t good.) (Pubmed)

15. Chew Slowly

Chewing your food slowly can help you lose weight.

Don’t believe me?

Your brain doesn’t register the food that you’re eating right away which is why you might feel bad after eating an appetizer, the full meal, and a dessert afterwards.

You still feel hungry right after eating the meal because your brain hasn’t registered everything yet, so you order the dessert.

However your stomach is already full and eating more just makes you feel bad and prevents you from losing weight.

Chewing slowly can decrease the number of calories you consume and also increases the production of hormones linked to losing weight. (PubMed)

16. Drink Green Tea

This might seem like strange advice, but it really works.

Green tea contains something called catechins, which are antioxidants that can lead to fat burning when combined with caffeine. (ScienceDirect and PubMed)

Do you know what the best part is?

Green tea also has caffeine in it.

This means that by simply drinking green tea you can help yourself lose weight, and if you combine this tip with tip number 7, you’ll be on your way to losing more and more weight!

17. Take Glucomannan

Studies show that a supplement called Glucomannan can help you lose weight and feel more full.

Glucomannan is a fiber that absorbs water and stays in your stomach for a while, which helps you eat less and lose more weight. (PubMed)

18. Have a Cheat Day

Always preventing yourself from eating sweets, simple carbs, and other yummy stuff is impossible.

That’s why they invented cheat days!

Pick a day of the week where you’ll allow yourself to eat whatever you want.

Throughout the week if you ever have a craving instead of acting on it, write yourself a note about what you were craving and tell yourself that you’ll eat that thing on your cheat day.

This helps you keep yourself motivated throughout the week because you’ll know that even if you don’t eat what you want to day, you can pig out on the cheat day of your choice.

19. Cut Back On Alcohol

Alcohol has all kinds of sneaky calories in it (the term beer belly is there for a reason), and while completely banishing it might be impossible, you should try to come back as much as you can.

The sneaky calories in alcohol can hurt your weight loss goals, but that’s not the only thing it does.

It can also prevent yourself from making good eating decisions, and it can hurt your performance in the gym which means you’ll be burning less calories for the same amount of effort. (PubMed)

20. Set Realistic Goals

Many of us set New Year’s resolutions without ever completing them.

Why?

Usually it’s because the goals look so big and threatening that we put it off until the next day, week, or month.

For some reason we like to think that the future me will have more control over himself and that he will finally go to the gym.

That doesn’t happen which is why you need to set realistic goals.

Instead of setting a goal of going to the gym every day for an hour, or even going to the gym at least 3 times a week do something simpler.

Start out by setting a very small goal like walking for 15 minutes every other day.

Once you do that for 2-3 weeks, a habit should start to form and you can change up your goal and make it a bit harder.

Now instead of walking for 15 minutes every other day, let’s walk for 30 minutes every other day, or let’s jog for 10 minutes every other day, or let’s do some pushups, squats, and planks for 15 minutes every day.

21. Make It a Habit

While habits might not necessarily take 21 days to form, you should still try to make it a habit of doing exercise, eating healthy, and trying to lose weight.

According to Tom Bartow there’s 3 phases to forming a habit:

  1. The Honeymoon- Everything is easy.
  2. The Fight-Thru- Things seem harder and you find it hard to convince yourself to keep doing what you were doing before. (This is the most important part of forming a habit. If you fight-thru 2-3 times, you’re onto the next stage.)
  3. Second Nature- Everything is great again, and you now have a habit. You might still be pushed back into the fight-thru stage from time to time, and that’s normal. You just have to keep going.

22. Decrease Stress

Stress can trigger increased eating and cravings and no one wants that.

Try to get rid of stress in your life, and try meditating, doing yoga, or just de-stressing by spending time with a loved one. (PubMed)

23. Do HIITBodyBuilder Flexing

High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to be more effective than simple cardio. (PubMed)

What is HIIT?

It’s running or doing any form of exercise at a very high effort for a period of time and then doing the same exercise at a low-moderate effort for some time. Rinse and repeat, and you got yourself a HIIT workout!

It’s also known as interval training if you want to learn more about it.

24. Bedroom Fun 😉

Sweating in bed can burn around 150 calories in half an hour and it reduces blood pressure, decreases stress, and it’s fun. (PubMed)

25. Start NOW

This is a big one.

Start now.

Today.

Don’t put it off and don’t make it your New Year’s Resolution.

Why?

Because it won’t work.

Your future you isn’t going to have more willpower than your current you, and your future you won’t randomly become excited about losing weight.

You yourself have to start now.

Start off with something small, and focus on one thing from this article that resonated with you the most.

Set a small goal and go for it.

We believe in you!

P.S.- This post was inspired by these two articles. (Greatist and AuthorityNutrition)