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Body Weight: We have it, let’s use it!

Squat (Kelly Thompson)

Your body is with you wherever you go so we never should have the excuse I don’t have a gym membership, I don’t have time to get to a class, no extra cash, and I don’t know what to do when I think of working out. We each have our own body weight so let’s use it!

Body weight exercises are when one uses his or her body weight as the only form of resistance. There are many benefits of doing body weight exercises as a form of fitness; increase of balance, less injury because there is no use of weights, bars, or machines. Body weight allows us to be able to modify and create different options for different fitness levels i.e. a push up, if we have to start down on our knees to begin and then work toward being in the full push up position from our toes. In addition working out will also improve sleep, metabolism, the strengthening of bones, and improve muscular strength to name a few.

There are so many different exercises whether strength based, cardio, or stretching that all involve just our body weight! The pictures below show 5 different examples of standard body weight exercises.

Lunge: Standing in a neutral position. Engage your core, take a large step forward with your left foot, and bend your back knee so it drops to about 2 inches off from the ground. Make sure that your left knee does not pass over the toes on that foot (you should be able to see your toes beyond your knee). Make sure your back is straight and that you look forward. Once in the lunge position, step your left foot back to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. These are called lunges.

Squat: Standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, start sitting down like you are going to sit in a chair, pushing your buttocks back and downward. Making sure you are focusing on pushing your weight back on the heels of your feet. Your back is straight, head is up and looking forward, you may reach your arms forward to help with balance. Once your legs begin to make a 90 degree angle at your knee joint or as close to that position as you can, pause and stand back to your neutral starting position. This is called a squat.

Push Up: Starting on the ground, you will begin in a high plank – body is straight as a board holding yourself up with your hands and toes in the prone position. Your feet will be together and hands a bit wider than shoulder width. Using your arms you will bend at your elbows lowing yourself until your elbow joint forms a 90 degree angle; then press yourself back up to the starting plank position. Making sure your body stays stiff like a board and your core is engaged. If this is too difficult drop to your knees and preform the same steps.

Sit Up: Begin laying flat on the ground on your backside in the supine position. Bend your knees so the bottom of your feet can be positioned flat on the ground. Arms crossed at your chest. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your torso to the sitting position. Once sitting up control your core slowly lowing your back to the ground. This is how you perform a sit up.

Plank Hold: In the prone position you will be holding up your body weight – laying straight on the ground you will rise to your forearms and toes, these will be the only part of your body touching the ground. Making sure your core is held in and your back does not sag. Your whole body is engaged, hold this position. This is called a plank hold.

#KellysCharlestonChallenge

Every week there will be some sort of exercise or fitness task! Grab your family, friends, or co-workers. Challenge yourself to the task – snap a quick picture and post it on your social media or shoot me an email and your picture may debut in an upcoming blog! Use the hashtag, #KellysCharlestonChallenge so I can see what you have done, and maybe even send you an additional workout!

THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE:

20 Lunges

20 Squats

10 Push Ups

10 Sit Ups

30 Second Plank Hold

Your challenge is to complete these 5 exercises 5 times! When you get done you’ll have completed 100 Lunges, 100 Squats, 50 Push Ups, 50 Sit Ups, and 2.5 minutes of a plank hold!!

See you all next week for your next #KellysCharlestonChallenge

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