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The Most Effective And Equipment Free Ways To Build Muscles

The Most Effective And Equipment Free Ways To Build Muscles

Do you want strong muscles and a sleeker physique? Are your days so packed that you can’t find the time to go to the gym? Do you need a faster, easier way of getting your workout in? The answer is right here — bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight exercises have been shown to help teens, men and women build muscle without having to go to the gym or even buy expensive fitness tools. All you need is your body, time, and determination.

Below are some of the most effective bodyweight exercises that don’t require any extra tools. These are so effective that even the military uses them. I’ve also added some videos so you can see just exactly how you’re supposed to do each move so you’re never left wondering what proper form looks like. Remember that you can do all of these together in HIIT style, or alone for more concentrated results. I also advise you to consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Squat

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Scott Hermann Fitness Squat 1

    Squats are one of the best ways for anyone to strengthen their glute and leg muscles. As you can see from the pictures above, you want to make sure that you keep your legs shoulder width apart and that you keep your posterior parallel to the floor when you squat. Controlling your movements like this will ensure that you keep your balance and proper form.

    Benefits:

    • They release the hormone testosterone, which is essential to promote the growth of muscle fibers.
    • Strengthens the bones in the legs as well as connective tissue, which means there’s a reduced risk of injuries.
    • Helps you maintain your balance by ensuring that you always know where your center of gravity is.

    Burpees

    Scott Herman Fitness Burpee 2

      Burpees are the ultimate all-over body workout in one exercise. It also burns a lot of calories per minute. If you’re new to this exercise, take it slow and make sure you’re keeping proper form like shown in the photos above. Once you’re comfortable with your form, try to do as many burpees as you can within a five-minute window for an exhausting, but rewarding, workout.

      Benefits:

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      • Great for conditioning for any endurance sport.
      • Works all the large groups of muscles in your core, arms, and legs.
      • Will make push ups and squats easier as isolated exercises.

      Push-ups

      Push ups are the number one way to strengthen your core and arm muscles. It’s important to remember when doing this exercise to keep your spine neutral and rigid. If you allow your back to sag while doing the push-up, you could seriously injure yourself. Try doing push-ups with the help of a mirror to ensure you have the correct form.

      Benefits:

      • Will strengthen your bones as you age, which will decrease your chance of osteoporosis.
      • Increases your metabolic rate both during and after your workout.
      • Strengthens, tightens, and tones your core.

      Wall Sit

      This exercise is perfect for people who want to build their back muscles. It’s also very simple. Just find a wall and pretend that you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Make sure you keep your legs together and your back straight while you’re doing this exercise. Try to hold the position for at least a minute.

      Benefits:

      • Strengthens your back, as it engages support muscles while you’re doing the exercise.
      • Acts as a meditative exercise and incorporates flexibility into your workout.
      • Will increase your endurance in all other areas of your workout.

      Plank

      This is probably one of the hardest exercises on this list, but it’s also one of the most beneficial. Try to keep your body in a straight line while doing the plank. Make sure to keep your forearms on the ground.

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      Benefits:

      • Will safely strengthen your core, which is actually made up of 29 groups of muscles.
      • Perfect for people with back issues because it doesn’t require any more steps than just holding the position.
      • Corrects your posture with noticeable effect.

      Lunge

      Lunges are very similar to squats except that they isolate the muscles in each leg, toning the muscle groups by concentrating your attention on one leg at a time. If you’re a beginner and need help balancing, put your hands on your hips. This will help you with the exercise. When you feel more comfortable, move on to lifting your hands over your head. This will improve your balance.

      Benefits:

      • Strengthens muscles from your legs to the small of your back in one continuous exercise.
      • Can be used as a stand-alone HIIT workout for maximum results.
      • Creates a strong core when hands are held over the head, leaving the core to work harder.

      Glute Bridge

      Scott Herman Glute Bridge 2

        This is an exercise that focuses your attention on your core muscles, but don’t be fooled — it’s possible to also strengthen your legs and arms with the glute bridge. When performing this exercise, focus on keeping your back as neutral and as rigid as possible when pushing your posterior to the sky. This will ensure proper form.

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        Benefits:

        • Reduces back and knee pain by strengthening the muscles in the back, taking the pressure off of your knees.
        • Improves your posture by engaging the erector spinae, a set of muscles that sits at the small of your back.
        • Conditions your body for better athletic performance.

        These, again, are very basic bodyweight exercises. With time, you’ll be able to move into more advanced versions of these same exercises, which means you can keep challenging yourself to do better!

        Featured photo credit: Scott Web for Unsplash via unsplash.com

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        Last Updated on January 21, 2020

        The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

        The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

        Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

        your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

          Why You Need a Vision

          Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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          How to Create Your Life Vision

          Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

          What Do You Want?

          The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

          It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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          Some tips to guide you:

          • Remember to ask why you want certain things
          • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
          • Give yourself permission to dream.
          • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
          • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

          Some questions to start your exploration:

          • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
          • What would you like to have more of in your life?
          • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
          • What are your secret passions and dreams?
          • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
          • What do you want your relationships to be like?
          • What qualities would you like to develop?
          • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
          • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
          • What would you most like to accomplish?
          • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

          It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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          What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

          Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

          A few prompts to get you started:

          • What will you have accomplished already?
          • How will you feel about yourself?
          • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
          • What does your ideal day look like?
          • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
          • What would you be doing?
          • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
          • How are you dressed?
          • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
          • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
          • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

          It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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          Plan Backwards

          It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

          • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
          • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
          • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
          • What important actions would you have had to take?
          • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
          • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
          • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
          • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
          • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

          Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

          It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

          Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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