Tag Archives: calisthenics

Strength Training Without Weights

Do you want to get stronger but do not have access to weights? Don’t worry, men have been getting big and strong for 200,000 years, long before there were gyms and weights. Of course, most of that strength training was from fighting off wild animals and the occasional other human. Still, we have evolved with the ability to get strong and reach our fitness peak even without the use of gyms and weight machines. While the bench press and the rowing machine might be marvels of human ingenuity that allow you to get strong faster, they aren’t the only way that you can improve your strength. Here are some ways that you can do all the strength training you need without ever setting foot inside a gym.

Push-ups: Push-ups are a staple in upper-body conditioning without weights. Push-ups pit your own weight against your strength and can be adjusted to work quite a few different body parts. Push-up variations like the diamond-shaped push-up and the one-arm push-up are the same basic exercise with completely different targets. Narrow, or diamond push-ups, work your triceps and forearms while one handed push-ups like T-push-ups work out almost all of your entire upper body. If you want to target your chest, you can do a very wide push-up instead.

weighted pushups

 

Pull-ups: Although whenever you see someone doing pull-ups, it’s usually at the gym, these exercises can be done anywhere and they offer some amazing benefits. Just find yourself a solid bar that you can grip and use it to pull yourself up. You can do variations like clapping, one arm, parallel bar, towel-assisted and wide grip pull-ups to work different parts of your upper torso including lats, back, shoulders and biceps and triceps.

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How to Get a Six Pack

Let me guess… you were wondering how to get a six pack without sit ups. Am I right? Trust me you’re not the only one who hates sit ups. I detest doing them as well and today I will be showing you not 1, not 2, but 11 alternatives.

First of all what’s your BMI? Generally people don’t have a six pack because they’re fat and/or have small abdominal muscles. If you fall in the former category then you should checkout this diet, but you don’t necessarily need to have a very low BMI for your abs to stand out. I’ve seen men with significant amounts of body fat who still had a six pack. This happens because their abdominal muscles are huge. If you follow a strict abdominal workout then you should be able to get a six pack even if you’re a little on the fatter side, so don’t obsess too much over weight loss. Building muscle is more important.

Now, performing different exercises will make the ab workout routine less boring for most people, so here’s a comprehensive list of abdominal exercises for you (in no particular order):

 

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Core Strengthening Exercises

The importance of core strength cannot be overstated. Speak to any fitness guru or professional sports coach and they will always refer to core strength as being a huge factor in strength building. First of all I should clear the misconception that core strength refers to the strength of the abdominal muscles. Abdominal strength is a part of it but core strength refers to the strength of your entire torso.

Now there are many different exercises that you can incorporate into a core training program. For some, these core exercises will be challenging enough on their own. For others, you may wish to consider incorporating weights into the exercise to make it harder. Let’s take a look at some of these core strengthening exercises in more detail.

 

Sit Ups

We might as well start with the most popular core strengthening exercise – the sit up. Sit ups are beneficial in working the abdominals and other stomach muscles, which are an important part of your core. With sit ups, try to focus on form rather than speed, and difficulty rather than quantity. If they are easy for you to perform then do them while holding some weight or while wearing a weighted vest. You can also do them upside down like this:

sit ups upside down

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How to Do a Muscle Up

The muscle up is probably the best calisthenics exercise in existence because it targets several parts of the upper body and works them intensely. Almost everyone can do a push up and a sit up but very few people can do a muscle up. In fact most untrained people have a hard time doing one pull up!

how to do a muscle up

Here’s a step by step guide on how to do a muscle up:

  • The muscle up is basically a pull up followed by a dip and the transition between those two is the most difficult part of the exercise. To make that transition easier some people hold the pull-up bar with their thumbs on the bar instead of around it. The grip will obviously be weaker like this but some say it helps them with the transition. Try that first and see how it goes.
  • People who can’t do the muscle up are usually either not strong enough or not using the correct technique (or both). Strength is the most important of the two though. In fact if your muscles are strong enough you will be able to do it regardless of how bad your technique is. The best way to train your body and get stronger for this exercise is to do the very same exercises involved in the muscle-up, namely the pull up and the dip. Ideally the dips should be performed on a pull up bar in front of you (as it’s done in a muscle up) instead of the usual dip bar with two bars on your sides. Some people use gymnastic rings but I prefer a bar. Train diligently and use a weighted vest or a weighted backpack to make your exercise more efficient.

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