Strength training exercises, even if performed twice a week (on alternate days) can maximize your overall fitness, says the American Council on Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association. One can perform strength training exercises with the help of free weights, machines and other kinds of special equipment. But, today we are going to reveal the top 6 no-equipment strength training exercises, which you can perform using your own bodyweight.
1. Push ups
- Place yourself face down with the palms on the floor. Place the palms wider than the shoulder-width, arms extended, legs straight and feet together or slightly apart.
- Keep the neck, back & hips aligned and abdominals contracted. Do not arch the back downwards or upwards. Keep it flat like a table top.
- Bend the elbows outwards and bring the chest close to the floor. This is the initial position.
- Push back upwards till the arms extend completely and feel the contraction in the chest muscles.
- Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, arms firmly on your waist.
- Look straight ahead and keeping the abdominals contracted arch the back slightly outwards while bending the knees and lower the hips towards the floor.
- Stop when the thighs are horizontal to the floor, extend the knees and return to the standing position.
Note: Do not let the knees cross the toes in the sitting position. Keep looking straight & maintain a slight concave arch in the back. Never round the back.
3. Standing calf raises
- Stand on a platform with the feet slightly apart, holding on to a bar for support. Keep the torso upright and legs straight.
- Raise the heels by planting the toes into the platform.
- Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the heels down slightly below the edge of the platform.
4. Bent over lateral raises
- Stand with the feet slightly wider than the shoulder-width and knees bent. Bend over from the hip so that the torso becomes parallel to the floor.
- Make sure to keep the abdominal and back muscles contracted to stabilize the position and maintain a flat back.
- Keeping elbows soft, raise arms to the sides till they are horizontal & parallel to the floor.
5. The basic crunch
- Lie on the back on an exercise or yoga mat the hands behind the head, knees bent, feet flat and slightly apart on the floor.
- Using the abdominal muscles (by contracting them), raise the shoulders off the floor. While going up, round the back and roll the spine upwards.
- Slowly come down to the initial position.
Note: Do not push the head with the hands and do not try to go up with jerky movements. Keep the chin tucked in but do not let it dig into the chest.
6. Reverse crunch
- Lie on the back with the arms extended downwards towards the feet and palms on the floor.
- Place the hands under the lower back & hip. Legs bent at 90 degrees up in the air.
- Using the abdominal muscles .i.e. contracting them, roll the spine & the hips upwards so that the knees come towards the face.
- Slowly go down without changing the angle of the legs.
Note: Do not extend the legs while lifting the hips off the floor. Keep the knees together & the legs strictly bent at 90 degrees.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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