People tend to greatly underestimate the value (and difficulty) of performing body weight exercises correctly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been talking with someone who is telling me how much they bench but then I see them attempt a body weight push-up and they can’t perform it correctly, or at all. It never ceases to amaze me that people fail to see the huge gap in strength here. Or, I see people, who can’t squat to any kind of appreciable depth with their own weight, load up a barbell in the squat rack and do (maybe) 1/4 of the range of motion they should be.
This is a classic case of working backwards. I don’t have anyone that can’t perform 15-20 legitimate push-ups do any bench work. And I don’t have anyone throw a barbell on their back until they can squat with their own body weight.
To be honest, body weight exercises can be very challenging. I think there are two main reasons they aren’t done more often.
-1. People don’t understand the value of them.
-2. People just don’t know about them.
Here is a very challenging exercise that will be plenty of work for you with just your own weight.
Bulgarian Split Squats:
-Set one foot up in front of you, a good distance from your body and place the other one on a step/bench/couch behind you.
-Lower your body, under control. Try to drop your back knee down to the ground. (If you can’t at first, that’s OK. Try to get a little deeper each time you do them.)
-Once in the bottom position, drive through your front heel. Avoid pushing through the back foot.
-Keep your chest up. Don’t lean over.
-Avoid pushing your front knee forward. It should stay above your ankle.
-Be conscious of the stretch you’re getting in your hips on the back leg. This should open them up pretty good.
You can incorporate these into your regular routine by doing 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps. Expect to have a pretty sore butt the next day.
Let me know what you think!