If you find yourself short on time with BIG fitness goals (like many of us do) then you already know how important it is to maximize your training time to get the results you want.

Clients and friends often ask what the best exercise is for transforming their bodies without a lot of equipment… at Early to Rise, this is our specialty!

There are four exercises I continually advocate because they have stood the test of time — through fitness trends of all kinds they remain the foundation of the best fitness programs that get the best results.

The 4 BEST Bodyweight Exercises for Melting Fat & Sculpting Muscles (videos below):

  1. Squats work the largest muscles in the body, the thighs, stimulating quick gains in muscle growth and strength. Plus, squats provide systemic metabolic stimulation that seems to encourage even upper-body muscle growth. Squat.Lunge.2
  1. Push-ups have been a staple in military fitness, martial arts, and just about every other type of exercise program that’s ever existed. They are one of the most effective ways to not only increase upper body strength but total body fitness since every muscle in the body, including muscles of the shoulders, back, legs, and core, must be engaged to perform a proper push-up. military-a-b
  2. Lunges offer skillful and powerful sport-specific movements in multiple directions to target a greater number of muscles. Lunges primarily target the quadriceps but more emphasis is easily placed on the glutes, adductors, and abductors by integrating directional or stride length changes. Plus, all lunge variations require greater stabilization and balance, which engages the small stabilizers of the pelvis, core, torso, and lower back. Dead.Lunge.4
  3. Pull-ups are the most challenging exercise but they build muscle and shred fat, sculpting the upper body fast. As a functional movement, they require the physical strength to move your own body rather than moving an object, like a dumbbell. This translates into a total body metabolic experience, with surprisingly intense core activation.

Many of my clients transform their bodies and fitness by incorporating these 4 exercises as the foundation of their programming.

Plus, they are astounded at how theses bodyweight moves help them achieve “6-pack abs” without doing thousands of crunches!

Ok, so you know what exercises are the best but do you know why?

Answering this question gives you the power to accelerate your fitness without wasting your time.

The 5 Components of the Best Bodyweight Exercises:

  1. They can be done anywhere. Accessibility is a key component to these movements – each of them requires only bodyweight with the exception of pull ups which is easily solved by working out at a gym, installing a pull up bar at home, or jogging to your local park to hop on the monkey bars. TRX is also a great way to begin building pull up strength.
  2. They offer a compound exercise. Each of these movements require engagement of multiple muscle groups, including the core, creating more effective training while triggering the release of growth hormone that stimulates muscle tissue growth and supports the fat burning process.
  3. Their intensity can be easily adapted. Numerous progressions and regressions make it easy to customize training intensity to align with your individual fitness level.  Proper form execution allows for effective training that builds strength and stamina while reducing risk of injuries.
  4. Variations of these exercises are plentiful. Variety equals results. The more you can switch things up the more your body is challenged to perform. You (and your body) avoid boredom and the dreaded training plateau by incorporating alternate versions of each exercise into your programming.
  5. Each exercise sculpts muscles and melts fat. All of these exercises require balance, coordination, power and control. Their intensity increases heart rate, boosts metabolism, and provides the perfect platform for burning fat while building muscle.

Ready to transform your body? Click below for my quick, Fat Melting, Muscle Building, “Best Bodyweight Exercise” Circuits (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). 

Best Bodyweight Workouts (Scroll past videos for form cues and exercise descriptions):

Beginner: 45:15, 1-3 times through

•Zombie squats

•Kneeling push-up

•Alternating reverse lunges

•Wide-grip pull-ups with Monster Band assist

Intermediate: 45:15, 1-3 times through

 

•Prisoner squat

•Push-up

•Alternating forward lunges

•Neutral-grip pull-up negatives 1 count up : 4 counts down

Advanced: 45:15, 1-3 times through

•Squat jumps

•Push-up with 3-way knee drives: middle, cross body, spiderman

•Alternating reverse lunge and pulse

•Reverse-grip pull-ups

Exercise Form Cues:

*Athletic Stance: Feet hip-width apart or closer. Ball of foot is connected to the ground but emphasis on weight in heels. Slight bend in knees with legs and glutes toned. Lift from the waist to become tall through the spine while contracting or bracing the core. Set shoulder blades together and down, with chest open. Remain lifted through the crown of the head with chin parallel to the floor.

Zombie squats

  • Begin standing with feet hip-width apart, weight evenly distributed, arms extended straight out from shoulders and fully engaged.
  • Push hips back first, then bend knees into a squat with weight shifted into heels.
  • Keep chest lifted, core tight, and arms extended throughout the squat.
  • Drive through the heels and engage glutes to return to standing.

Kneeling push-up

  • Begin in a ½ plank with knees on mat, hands set just outside shoulders, and chest lengthening forward.
  • Brace abs as you bend elbows (angled back ~45 degrees) lowering torso toward mat.
  • Only go as low as you can maintain spinal alignment: no dipping chin, arching back or hip wobbles.
  • Press back up to starting position.

Alternating reverse lunges

  • Being standing in an athletic stance.*
  • Step one leg back onto ball of foot and drop knee toward floor.
  • Keep weight shifted onto front leg, specifically driving up through the heel and glutes of that front leg as you return to standing. Switch sides.
  • Alternate legs lunging and repeat for the designated time.

Wide-grip pull-ups with Monster Band assist

  • Use a Monster band, bench or other device to assist you with proper form and weight.
  • Grab the bar with palms facing forward and hands set wider than shoulders.
  • Draw shoulder blades down and together to begin.
  • Pull body up until chin reaches above bar — elbows draw down toward waistline. Engage abs.
  • Lower with control and fully extend arms. Repeat for designated time.

Prisoner squat

  • Begin standing with feet hip width apart, weight evenly distributed. Prisoner arms have hands set behind head, elbows open, and back muscles engaged.
  • Push hips back first then bend knees into a squat with weight shifted into heels
  • Keep chest lifted, core tight, and arms in Prisoner throughout the squat
  • Drive through the heels and engage glutes to return to standing

Push-up

  • Begin in high plank with hands set outside shoulders, chest lengthening forward and legs engaged.
  • Brace abs as you bend elbows (angled back ~45 degrees) lowering torso toward mat.
  • Only go as low as you can maintain spinal alignment: no dipping chin, arching back or hip wobbles.
  • Press back up to starting position.

Alternating forward lunges

  • Being standing in an athletic stance.*
  • Step forward and drop back knee toward floor.
  • Keep weight shifted onto front leg, specifically driving up through the heel and glutes of that front leg as you return to standing. Switch sides.
  • Alternate legs lunging and Repeat for the designated time.

Neutral-grip pull-up negatives 1 count up : 4 counts down

  • Use a Monster band, bench or other device to assist you with proper form and weight.
  • Grab the bar with palms facing each other and hands set shoulder-width apart.
  • Draw shoulder blades down and together to begin.
  • Pull body up until chin reaches above bar — elbows draw down toward waistline. Engage abs.
  • Lower with for 4 counts until arms fully extend. Repeat for designated time.

Squat jumps

  • Begin in an athletic stance* with feet hip width apart.
  • Press hips back and sit into a squat then drive up through legs to jump off the ground. Land softly, dropping right back into the squat.
  • Repeat for the designated time.

Push-up with 3-way knee drives: middle, cross body, Spiderman

  • Begin in high plank with hands set wider than shoulders and torso in a straight line. Engage quads and core to stay buoyant.
  • Perform a push-up. At the top, drive one knee up toward chest.
  • Repeat the push-up and drive other knee to chest.
  • Repeat push-up this time driving the knee toward the opposite elbow. Repeat on the other side.
  • Finally, perform a push-up with a knee drive to the same elbow. Repeat on the other side then start again with knee drives toward the chest.

Alternating reverse lunge and pulse

  • Begin in an athletic stance.
  • Step one leg back onto ball of foot and drop knee toward floor.
  • Keep weight shifted onto front leg, specifically driving up through the heel and glutes of that front leg — repeat one split squat (or pulse) before returning to standing. Switch sides.
  • Alternate legs lunging and repeat for the designated time.

Reverse-grip pull-ups

  • Use a Monster band, bench or other device to assist you with proper form and weight.
  • Grab the bar with palms facing you and hands set shoulder-width apart.
  • Draw shoulder blades down and together to begin.
  • Pull body up until chin reaches above bar — elbows draw down toward waistline. Engage abs.
  • Lower with control and fully extend arms. Repeat for designated time.

The post 4 Exercises You Need NOW to Melt Fat & Sculpt Muscle appeared first on Early To Rise.

48 Shares:
You May Also Like
Great entrepreneurs
Read More

If You Want to be as Great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson, Read This

Success, real insane success is a marathon. Oh, and there are no shortcuts. You can’t spring your way to greatness. It takes times, a very long time.

Here is Richard Branson’s business timeline – his business ventures from the 1960s to today. It’s a very long list. It will give you an idea of what it took him to get to now.

These are two of the most upvoted responses on Quora to this question: “How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson?

1. Justine Musk, Canadian author, and the first wife of Elon Musk

Extreme success results from an extreme personality and comes at the cost of many other things. Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success’, so know that you don’t have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle.

Your odds of happiness are better that way. But if you’re extreme, you must be what you are, which means that happiness is more or less beside the point. These people tend to be freaks and misfits who were forced to experience the world in an unusually challenging way.

They developed strategies to survive, and as they grow older they find ways to apply these strategies to other things, and create for themselves a distinct and powerful advantage.

They don’t think the way other people think. They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights. Other people consider them to be somewhat insane.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

Be obsessed.

If you’re not obsessed, then stop what you’re doing and find whatever does obsess you. It helps to have an ego, but you must be in service to something bigger if you are to inspire the people you need to help you  (and make no mistake, you will need them).

That ‘something bigger’ prevents you from going off into the ether when people flock round you and tell you how fabulous you are when you aren’t and how great your stuff is when it isn’t. Don’t pursue something because you “want to be great”.

Pursue something because it fascinates you, because the pursuit itself engages and compels you. Extreme people combine brilliance and talent with an *insane* work ethic, so if the work itself doesn’t drive you, you will burn out or fall by the wayside or your extreme competitors will crush you and make you cry.

Follow your obsessions until a problem starts to emerge, a big meaty challenging problem that impacts as many people as possible, that you feel hellbent to solve or die trying.

It might take years to find that problem, because you have to explore different bodies of knowledge, collect the dots and then connect and complete them.

It helps to have superhuman energy and stamina. If you are not blessed with godlike genetics, then make it a point to get into the best shape possible.

There will be jet lag, mental fatigue, bouts of hard partying, loneliness, pointless meetings, major setbacks, family drama, issues with the Significant Other you rarely see, dark nights of the soul, people who bore and annoy you, little sleep, less sleep than that. Keep your body sharp to keep your mind sharp. It pays off.

Learn to handle a level of stress that would break most people.

Don’t follow a pre-existing path, and don’t look to imitate your role models. There is no “next step”. Extreme success is not like other kinds of success; what has worked for someone else, probably won’t work for you.

They are individuals with bold points of view who exploit their very particular set of unique and particular strengths. They are unconventional, and one reason they become the entrepreneurs they become is because they can’t or don’t or won’t fit into the structures and routines of corporate life.

They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork.

But they transform weaknesses in ways that create added advantage — the strategies I mentioned earlier — and seek partnerships with people who excel in the areas where they have no talent whatsoever.

They do not fear failure — or they do, but they move ahead anyway. They will experience heroic, spectacular, humiliating, very public failure but find a way to reframe until it isn’t failure at all.

When they fail in ways that other people won’t, they learn things that other people don’t and never will. They have incredible grit and resilience.

They are unlikely to be reading stuff like this. (This is *not* to slam or criticize people who do; I love to read this stuff myself.) They are more likely to go straight to a book: perhaps a biography of Alexander the Great or Catherine the Great* or someone else they consider Great.

Surfing the ‘Net is a deadly timesuck, and given what they know their time is worth — even back in the day when technically it was not worth that — they can’t afford it.

I could go on, it’s a fascinating subject, but you get the idea. I wish you luck and strength and perhaps a stiff drink should you need it.

2. Michael Simmons, Co-Founder, Empact & Award-Winning Entrepreneur

Most of these people have focused on individual traits such as hard work, deliberate practice, etc.. But when we look in the real world, we see that individual traits aren’t the whole story.

There are so many people who work extremely hard, have great ideas, plan out big things and so forth, yet they are not nearly as successful as these four legends.

I myself am an entrepreneur. I have been since the age of 16. Recently though, I had the same underlying question you had.

Because of that, I went out searching for the answer.

Through my interviews I do for Forbes, I recently came across the field of network science. This field has studied how people become successful from a completely different angle. They’ve found that how we build our network may be the best predictor of success.

Since then, I have interviewed many of the world’s top network scientists on a quest to understand how networks create competitive advantage in business and careers.

Out of the four legends that have been mentioned, I feel that the best person to showcase as a prime example of how networks impact success is  Steve Jobs.

Since then, books have been written and movies have been made.

Each has celebrated his legacy and aimed to share the secrets he used to build the largest company in the world; things like attention to detail, attracting world-class talent and holding them to high standards.

We think we understand what caused his success.

We don’t.

We dismiss usable principles of success by labeling them as personality quirks.

What’s often missed is the paradoxical interplay of two of his seemingly opposite qualities;

  1. Maniacal focus
  2. Insatiable curiosity

These weren’t just two random strengths. They may have been his most important as they helped lead to everything else.

Jobs’ curiosity fueled his passion and provided him with access to unique insights, skills, values, and world-class people who complemented his own skillset. Job’s focus brought those to bear in the world of personal electronics.

I don’t just say this as someone who has devoured practically every article, interview, and book featuring him.

I say this as someone who has been monomaniacal in the study and research of what the underlying key components are that create career success.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.