Designing a workout is easy. Designing a workout that’s challenging and actually gives you results is tough. And what I’ve found is that it just keeps getting harder. Well, this article will focus on getting your regular, intense bodyweight workouts into the level of “insanity.”
It Starts with Brand new Exercises
You should always keep learning and inventing your own bodyweight exercises to keep pushing your body. Here are 9 more intense exercises you can include in your workouts:
- Lay down on the floor with your legs straight and hands by your side. Roll your shoulders forward, contract your abs and sit up. Reverse the movement and roll backwards, letting your legs come off the ground. Keep the movement slow and steady.
- This is a very basic movement, but the main idea here is to maintain a steady rhythm from one repetition to the next. Once you get good at the basic version, start moving fasting, and increasing momentum so that your lower body comes up off the ground.
- Now start to bring your knees into your chest. As your abs get stronger, keep your legs straight and press your legs towards the sky, leading with your toes. Use your abdominals to press your legs up towards the sky as far as they will go.
- The final goal of the spinal rock is to transition into a shoulder stand. Start off slow, and increase the range of motion as you get better at the movement.
Here’s what a basic spinal rock should look like:
- Squat down and place your hands in front of your knees. Lift your left leg off the floor and press it to the right side, through the space between your arm and knees. At first, you will need to lift your right hand off the floor to execute this movement.
- However, as your flexibility improves, try to keep both hands on the floor. The next step of this movement is to hop on your right leg so that you can swoop your left leg underneath and bring it being you. Bring this leg back to starting position and repeat with the other leg.
- The final version of the leg swoop is something you see a lot of break dancers performing. The idea is to swoop your left leg underneath your right foot, behind you, then to the side, and bring it in front of you. Keep the swooping motion continuous, as your form a circular path with your foot around your body.
- This movement will work your hips, and lower abs, and will certainly get your heart rate up.
Here’s a great tutorial on the leg swoop:
Ellipse Quad Squat
- Earlier today, I showed you how to perform a quad squat and an ellipse. Well, we’re going to combine the two movements and perform a ellipse quad squat. Start off in squat position, and place your hands on the floor in front of your knees.
- Make sure your back is parallel to the floor. As you lower your body towards the ground, you want to move down and to the back. Keep pressing towards the ground, and backwards at the same time until you can not go down any further.
- You should feel a stretch in your spine. Now reverse the movement, and press up and forward. Keep pressing up and forward the same time. Move forward until your chest passes you arms. Keep moving forwards as far as you can, then recoil and move down and backwards.
- Try to maintain this continuous motion as smoothly as possible. The ellipse quad squat is slightly more explosive than the quad squat or ellipse done separately.
Half Spinal Rocks
- Start off in the same way you would a spinal rock. When you bring your legs up, bend your knees and bring them up to your chest in an explosive manner. Let your lower back come off the floor. When your feet are in a straight line from your face, press up towards the ground.
- Try to straighten your body and balance your body on your shoulders. Pause, and repeat. For a more difficult variation, keep your arms outstretched above your head. There are many additional ways you can make this movement more difficult.
- There is also a movement called the mahler body blaster. In this movement, you roll your body forward into a squat, then kick your legs out, perform a pushup, then bring your legs back in and roll back. You can use the same idea with this movement.
- Bring your body forward, kick your legs out, do a pushup, bring your legs back in, do a roll back, then stand up on your shoulders and repeat.
Quad Hop to Squat
- Here’s yet another variation to the quad squat. Get down into squat position, and place our hands on the floor in front of you. Make sure your back is parallel to the ground. Drop your body towards the floor by bending your elbows and knees at the same time.
- When you can not go any further, press back up to starting position and explosively lift your hands off the ground and transition into a squat. Perform a regular bodyweight squat and repeat. One way to make this more difficult is to perform a quad squat more explosively so that you catch air.
- While in the air, try to turn your body so that you land on your feet. Perform a regular bodyweight squat and repeat. Finally, the last version of this movement is to perform a squat jump instead of a regular squat.
- There are many different ways of making this movement consistently more difficult, such as tucking in your knees while performing a squat jump, or dropping down into a backward roll.
If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.