Gym memberships can be expensive. They can also be overcrowded, germ filled, and frustrating when having to wait for machines or weights. I purposefully ended my long term gym membership to do an experiment with just body weight resistance exercises like push ups and pull ups. No weights, and no trendy video series by super star fitness trainers. Just me, a pull up bar, and a post workout protein shake every day. The results were astounding, and I got every bit as ripped and shredded as when I was fully committed to a weight lifting routine.
I love this exercise. It works the back, the biceps, and the core. Change the width of your grip and your hand position to target different muscles, and as you build strength and endurance, add on more reps to shred your muscles more with each workout. The farther apart your grip, the more you focus on the latissimus dorsi, which is the large muscle along the back that gives you the broad “V” shape. The closer your grip on the pull up bar the more the biceps are targeted. To engage the core, raise your knees to your chest when pulling up and slowly lower them when going back down. Try and do 5 to 10 sets, and do each set until muscle failure.
This is one of the more complete workouts you can do. It targets your chest, triceps, shoulders, and your core. Change the width of your hand position to target different muscles. The farther apart you hands, the more you will work the pectoral, or chest muscles. The closer your hands are together the more focus will be placed on your triceps and shoulders. Push ups engage the core by your body being in the plank position. To increase the core workout; in a controlled motion raise one arm straight out in front of you, then return the arm back to the floor. Do a push up, and then repeat with the other side. I try and do 5 to 10 sets, and do each set until muscle failure, changing hand width on each set.
The best way to reap the benefits of working out is to develop a regular routine. If I do my push up routine on Monday, I will do my pull up routine on Tuesday. Throw in some cardio (jogging, single track mountain biking, basketball) on Wednesday, and then back to the push ups again on Thursday, pull ups on Friday, cardio on Saturday, and then a big rest day on Sunday. Rest is a must for muscle building, which is why I take 2 to 3 days before working a muscle group again.
I hope you find the benefits in this inexpensive workout routine. Happy shredding!!