Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Be your own weight

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More and more people are turning to resistance training as a way to tone-up and slim down. Whereas ten or more years ago many people were hesitant to lift weights (especially women), fearing that it would cause them to become too bulky, fortunately this myth, and others like it, have been dispelled, and people are getting the bodies they always wanted.

But, what about when you do not have access to weights? What do you then? Simple - you call yourself a liar! That's right, because for you to say that you don't have weights, in ANY situation, is an outright lie. Okay, so it's more like an oversight, but I'm just trying to build the drama a bit. Back to my point - you have weights with you at all times, because you always have your own body weight to provide you with resistance. How much do you weigh? Well, that's exactly how much weight can be found in your very personal gym.

Here are just a few great resistance exercises that need no other weight than that of your own body.

Push-Up. A classic upper-body muscle builder. Keep your hands just slightly further than shoulder width apart and your body in a rigid line. Slowly lower your upper body, by bending at the elbows, until your chest is about to come into contact with the floor. From there, explode upward by pressing against the floor. Plus, there are dozens of ways to modify this exercise, making it far more difficult and effective than it already is. My personal favorite is the spider-man push-up.

Pull-Up. This one requires that you at least have a safe and sturdy bar, pole, or whatever to hang from. It can be a jungle gym, pull-up bar, or anything else that you can maintain a firm grasp on. Start with your hands wider than shoulder width apart. Next, slowly lift your head toward the bar until your chin is higher. Once there, slowly lower your body until your arms are almost completely extend, repeating the movement from there. Again, there are many variations of the pull-up, including the horizontal pull-up.

Double Leg Tuck Jump. Basically, all you are really doing with this exercise is jumping in the air as high as you can and then tucking your knees against your chin. You complete the movement by letting go of your knees and landing safely to the ground. Sounds easy, doesn't it? It is ... for the first eight or so. After that, your heart feels like it is going to burst out of your chest and your legs feel like their on fire. Good stuff.

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