• Andres Salazar

5 Functional Bodyweight Exercises That Burn Fat And Build Lean Muscle

I see too many people spend hours doing cardio, such as using the treadmill, and wonder why they see no change in their bodies. 2 things here: 1. If you don't have proper running mechanics you're actually damaging your body tremendously. 2. Cardio CAN be very beneficial if it's properly integrated into your exercise program. Resistance training is essential to build lean muscle and boost your resting metabolism rate.

1. Plank

Simple yet effective when done correctly. Lie down face-down on the floor. Set up your feet about hip-width apart and elbows directly under your shoulders. While in the plank, make sure that you flex your quads to straighten your legs, draw in your navel(suck in your gut) and squeeze and finally try not to push your shoulders too forward to the point that your upper back rounds but also don't let your body collapse between your shoulders. Hold all these muscle contractions and keep a strong and controlled breathing pattern while in this plank for to get the most bang for this exercise.

2. Push Up

You're essentially holding all the cues from the plank position while performing your push up. Most people just focus on the down and up without cueing up the rest of their body to get the most calorie burn out of this. Aside from the plank cues, start this exercise with your palms directly under your shoulders with your fingers pointing straight ahead or slightly pointed out. As you bend the elbows to go down don't let them flare out to the side as that will cause excess stress on the shoulders and the closer the elbows are to your sides, the more of a triceps workout it becomes, so try to angle the elbows about 45 degrees from your sides. It is very important to move slowly and pause at the bottom and top of the push up. If you are not yet strong enough to do full push ups, with legs extended, you can start doing push ups on your knees.

3. Superman

Set yourself face-down with arms reaching overhead with palms facing the floor. Raise your arms and legs off the floor while keeping them fully extended. Make sure not to hyperextend by raising your arms/legs too high. Squeeze your abs while holding this position. Slowly move your arms to your sides and back up to engage more muscles and burn more calories.

4. Squat

Great leg/core strengthening exercise! Position your feet hip-width apart and you can have your arms reaching forward as a counterbalance. Start the lowering phase by drawing in your navel, squeezing your abs for the entire movement, and hinging your hips. Think about bringing your butt down and away as you go down. Go down as low as you can where you know you can get back up. Keep your back straight and drive the hips forward as you squat up.

5. Running lunges

Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your navel drawn in. The following movement should happen simultaneously:

1. Reach back as far as you can with your right foot.

2. Bend both knees as you slowly go down in the lunge.

3. Rotate your upper body in the direction of the forward leg.

4. Bend your elbows while you reach forward with your right arm and reach back with your left arm. Pause hold the lowest point in the lunge.

Slowly pull yourself up with the forward leg as you move back into the starting position. Alternate.

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