Friday, 1 April 2016

Get Fit or Die Trying. B is for Body weight exercises. #atozchallenge

The brutal thing about bodyweight exercises is that you can be fooled into believing they're easy. You don't need weights or any specially designed fitness equipment. You just move your body in ways that target and strengthen your muscles.  

Hold your arms straight out on either side of your body, shoulder height, palms up and doing little circles for a minute. Your deltoids, the three small muscles that connect your arm to your collar bone, shoulder and spine will start burning. Now reverse the circles and feel them burn even more. 

Favourite Bodyweight exercise: Basic plank because it is a low impact full body exercise that doesn't require any complicated movement. 

Lie face down. Shoulders in line with your elbows. Back straight. Heels together. Squeeze your butt and tummy muscles tight, try and hold for 30 seconds to start with (or 10). Keep breathing, think like a plank. You will feel that same burn in your whole body. Short pause and repeat.

It is harder than it looks, but improvements happen quickly. If you do them properly they're never easy and there are many variations to make them harder. Tom Hoel is a Danish man that holds the record for the longest plank (over 4 hours) but many people believe if you can do any more than 2/3 minutes, than it's not a proper plank.

Least Favourite: Without a doubt! Burpees. Full body and cardio workout. The guy in this video makes them look easy, which is another reason why I dread them.

Especially when instructors make me feel like I have to do a pushup in the middle, and the big jump at the end of each burpee. Push-ups alone are hard enough. 

But you know what?  When you get one right, or even a part of one right, they begin to feel good. 

Your muscles no longer protest in pain but let you know they're working and getting stronger...And that's exactly how planks went from my least favourite to most favourite bodyweight exercise in the space of a few months... I might do the burpee challenge next month, then again maybe I'll work up to it for next Winter. 

Try and do a google search of Bodyweight exercise full workouts, suited to your level of fitness or age group. Let me know how you go. I love and of course youtube for free and easy to follow home routines. No gym membership necessary. 

Is there an exercise or some other example of something you once dreaded but learned to love?   


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  1. Great Ida thanks! Was doing the arms while reading and felt the burn! I'll give the plank a try! (where are you on the A-Z list - came across you via other means)

    1. I'm somewhere towards the bottom... I'll check - 1488... Reflex Reactions - fitness moves and music (at least I was heading in the right direction - :D it's incredible how such a simple body move can burn like arm circles - thanks for popping in

  2. Burpees look horrible! I've literally only discovered that term about 2 days ago when it popped into a friend's feed. I used to try the plank when I did pilates, but I was pretty rubbish at it, favourite holiday though was doing pilates on a Turkish roof in the middle of nowhere... I find I don't mind exercise so much if it's somewhere beautiful!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I have just spent far too much time dreaming about doing pilates in Turkey and other beautiful places. Good music helps make a good workout session too.

  3. This is too much hard work lady. My body shudders just looking and reading about such self-inflicted horrors. But all the best to those serious about it ;)
    @KalaRavi16 from

    1. There is definitely a need to find balance between working too hard and not working hard enough. Thanks for commenting Kala

  4. I struggle with shoulder/neck pain, so the "arms in circles" things are not for me (not right now at least). I need to up the strength in them, and have moves from a physiotherapist I do daily.
    I love walking, though. Amazingly, my shoulders like Noridic walking almost better than just walking (when they're not at their worst) so I do a lot of that. Even on a treadmill, which I've always found really boring before. Now I'm thinking about starting to jog, or even run. I know I must be crazy because I hate running....

    1. ... it's quite funny how things we hate can become things we love... what we resist persists. I hope your shoulder gets better soon. Stick to what you love (no matter how much that changes) and the results will follow.

  5. Wow, I love that quote so much!!! You can really apply it to any aspect of life. It's not "life", it's you. And when you change, so does your experience. Love it.

    1. Hi Ashley, I love it too. I first saw it when a friend posted it about her struggles to read through legal books for her studies in law... yes it can apply to almost anything :)


Feedback and your own stories are welcome.