Bodyweight Exercise Routines

An Effective Bodyweight Routine...

3-4 times a week try the following routine. If you are short on time, do the warmup, then pick 2-3 exercises and finish off with some stretches.

1 - Warmup - a couple of minutes of jumping jacks.

2 - Wind Sprints - sprint as fast as you can for 10-20 seconds, and then walk for 10-20 seconds. Repeat until exhausted.

3 - Pushups - you can do many variations - standard, close grip, knuckle, fingertip, etc.

4 - Jump Squat - Go down into a squat, and explode up, jumping as high as you can. Repeat until exhausted.

5 - Wrestler's Bridges

6 - (optional) Headstands - These develop balance, as well as some neck strength.

7 - For the stronger lifter - Handstand Pushups - Do these against the wall for balance.

8 - Broad Jump - simply jump as far as you can without a running start. Repeat until exhausted.

9 - Finish off with some stretching.

"Deck of Cards" Routine

The "Deck of Cards" routine is a modification of a regimen used by Japanese wrestlers to get into shape. I was introduced to it a few years ago after reading an article about it, and have used it sporadically since then until I came across an article by catch wrestler Matt Furey on famed wrestler Karl Gotch who was the one who introduced it to Japan. That article motivated me to start doing this routine again. This routine is very effective in increasing strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular fitness in a relatively short amount of time. The basic workout as performed by the Japanese, consists of assigning black cards to push-ups, and red cards to squats. The deck is shuffled, and one draws a card. If for example, a black seven is drawn, 7 push-ups are performed. Similarly, a red nine would mean 9 squats. All face cards are assigned a value of 10, aces 11, and a joker 15, 20, 25, or 30 (take you pick). A well conditioned athlete could complete the deck in about 30 minutes or less. Different variations can be used with the above workout. For example, instead of two exercises, four can be used - one each for spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. An example of such a workout would be squats, push-ups, squat-thrusts, and sit-ups. You can up the intensity a bit by perfroming twice as many squats as the card value says. If you cannot get through the entire deck, it's okay. Start out by taking out the face cards, and go through the modified deck. The following week, add the four jacks, and so on and so forth until you're doing the entire deck. Beginners can start with the 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, and 6's, every week or so adding an additional card until they are doing the entire deck. Perform this routine 3-4 times a week with a day rest in between (you'll need it). Below are a few sample routines you can try, but feel free to make up your own. Be creative and have fun with this.

Routine 1 * Push-ups & Squats

Routine 2 * Push-ups & Sit-ups

Routine 3 * Push-ups, Squats, Sit-ups or Leg Raises & Wrestler's Bridges

Routine 4 * Handstand Push-ups, Jump Squats, Jackknife Sit-ups & Pull-ups or chin-ups

Routine 5 * Push-ups, Squats, Sit-ups & Squat-thrusts...

Suzanne Somers

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