In Top 5 Unusual Bodyweight Exercises we’ll look at 5 exercises that you may not be familiar with that only require your own bodyweight and a few easily accessible props. You might get a few funny looks when you perform them but they’re well worth it!
1. Chin retractions with theraband
Nowadays it is not uncommon for most of us to spend hours sitting in front of the TV, a computer, laptop, smart phone (the list of devices goes on….) which can play havoc with the upper part of our spine and posture. This exercise only requires a resistance band and is designed to improve the alignment of the head and neck. Push the back of your head backwards into the band and don’t be alarmed if you give yourself a double chin, I promise it won’t last.
2. Prone scapular retractions
If you find yourself sitting for prolonged periods of time then this exercise is the one for you as it is great for improving your posture and lengthening your neck and upper spine. Simply lie on your tummy resting your forehead on a rolled up towel. Lift your shoulders off the bed whilst drawing your shoulder blades together and pointing your fingers towards your feet. Just remember to relax your head and neck!
3. Standing glute activation
This exercise is designed to target the gluteal muscles, which are really important for overall strength and stability. Standing sideways onto a wall push the bent knee into the wall and you should feel the opposite bottom muscle working. To make it even harder you can add in a single leg squat whilst simultaneously pushing the bent knee into the wall. This might generate a few unwelcome glances but it is great at targeting the gluteal muscles.
4. Crab walk
Another great but some may say unusual exercise for multiple muscle groups including your hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and core is the crab walk. Once again you only need some space and a sense of humour to reap the benefits from this exercise. Assume the position below and walk forwards and backwards.
5. Eccentric step down
It may come as a surprise but every time we go down the stairs approximately 3-6 times our bodyweight goes through the anterior part of the knee joint. That equates to a lot of weight being loaded through a relatively small joint! In order to keep the knee joints in good working order it is extremely important to keep the muscles that support the knee in tip top condition. This exercise only requires your body weight and a step and is great for improving the strength and stability of the knee, just remember to keep your knee remaining on the step in line with your second toe and to not fully step down.
By performing these unusual bodyweight exercises you will be training all of the major muscle groups that are responsible for keeping you strong and body balanced.