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Body Weight Basics

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  • Written By: Jack Carter MS CSCS*D NSCA-CPT*D SPC FMS1, supervisor at The Health Club and certified personal trainer

man doing a pull-upNo matter where life takes you, your body will always be with you. The foundation to my training methodology is based on exercising with the essential weight you should be able to handle; your bodyweight!

Summer is just around the corner. Exercising indoors is just not as satisfying when the days are longer, the sun is shining, and the scenery is magnificent. These are great motivations to get outside. As a performance coach, I care about the body moving better to enhance the quality of life and the efficiency at which it performs every day activities.

Many people have jobs that are sedentary in nature. They may be driving or on a computer for 8 to 10 hours a day. If we think about that body position, it would be flexed hips, slouched forward with rounded shoulders, and neck protruding forward. When you go to the gym, the posture you see most people exercising in is the exact posture from which they just came! They are seated in a machine, working out the anterior side of the body and enhancing that poor posture.

Currently, you might not suffer from any ailments associated with poor posture or exercising patterns, but it will catch up with you, it always does! Now you are asking yourself, "What in the world does this have to do with exercise?" Using your body in a standing position and allowing it to move freely through space will not only help improve your fitness level and lose some weight, but also keep your body moving better for years to come!

I can write all day on how proper exercise can enhance movement, but let’s discuss what you can do with your body and minimal equipment to enhance your movement, build muscle, lose fat, and maybe have a little fun while you are at it!

Most people live within a few miles of a park. This is a great place to start your workout! Here are a few exercises that can be executed with your bodyweight and minimal equipment plus, cost you virtually nothing but a few calories!

Bodyweight squats are a great way to get your lower body ready for work. Knock out 15 of these followed by some step-ups on a park bench. Eight step-ups on each leg is a great way to start. Pushups are next. They are one of the most undervalued exercises on the planet. Done correctly, you will receive not only a great upper body workout, but this also is one of the greatest core exercises you can do for your mid-section! Pullups are next. I think these are one of the most empowering exercises out there. If you are a person who has not done, or attempted, a pullup since grade school, then here are a few progressions to help do pullups.

Try jumping up and holding your chin above the bar for up to 30 seconds. When that goal is reached, try lowering yourself in a controlled manner. Allow yourself about five seconds before your feet touch the ground. Try five repetitions of these eccentric pullups. The final step is attempting two to three pullups. These steps may take someone a few weeks up to a few months. Don’t give up!

Core training will involve some isometric exercises to help engage the core, strengthen the stability of the lower back, and get your glutes firing. Our first exercise is a simple bridge. Hit the dirt and hold the position for 30 seconds. Our last core exercise is a shoulder elevated single leg bridge. Put your shoulders on the park bench both feet on the ground and knees at 90 degrees. Keep back and hips parallel to the ground as you bring one foot off the ground. Hold that position for five seconds and switch legs. Repeat this three times.

The final piece of the puzzle is conditioning. I have had the most success with interval training. Therefore, throw in some intervals. Go as hard as you can for five seconds. Then just walk for 25 seconds. Do this pattern 10 times which is a total of five minutes of intervals.

Done in a circuit fashion, you can have this workout done in 30 minutes. The benefit of doing the circuit is that even after you have finished your workout, you are still burning calories!

At The Health Club, which is owned and operated by Norman Regional Health System, there is a dedicated team of personal trainers who have gone above and beyond. They are degreed or advanced degreed fitness professionals including nationally certified personal trainers, certified special population and certified strength and conditioning specialists. This is what sets The Health Club apart from other facilities. They will be glad to answer any of your questions about various exercises and proper technique. Personal training sessions can be scheduled to create a customize program specifically designed for you.

To find out more information about The Health Club, simply call 405.329.5050. You can also stop by for a quick visit or talk a tour at 3720 West Robinson. The main entrance is located at the back of Brookhaven Shopping Center. Walk under the green awning and meet the team that is ready to help you resolve to become a healthier and better you!