Building muscle does not necessarily mean handling heavy loads. Especially when you’re just starting out, body weight training is very effective. Cédric Jourdan proposes five exercises.
You don’t have time to go to a gym but you want to refine and/or strengthen your figure, body weight training is there for you! Cédric Jourdan explains the benefits of this practice and gives you five examples of exercises to work on both the upper and lower body.
What are the benefits?
Working on body weight at home, in the gym, or even outdoors, has many advantages. “Since there is no additional weight load, the risk of injury is reduced. It also makes it much easier to learn movements,” says the specialist. The practical advantage also seems to be getting better: “You can reproduce these exercises wherever you want! »
But one of the limitations of working with body weight is that the margin for progress will be more limited. When you reach a certain level, no matter how many repetitions you have, you will not progress any further. You will have reached the maximum of your physical capacities and the use of weight loads will be useful to continue to gain weight.
Exercises to be reproduced at home
To strengthen your pectoral muscles, pumps are ideal. Cédric Jourdan advises four levels of difficulty:
-Easy: knee pumps: placed facing the ground, resting on the knees and palms of the hands with a distance between the arms slightly greater than the width of the shoulders, go down until the face touches the ground. Attention is mainly paid to the trunk, which must be sheathed to avoid bending the back at the lumbar level.
-Medium: pumps laid down: when descending, the individual lays his chest on the ground and raises his hands slightly.
-Difficult: conventional pumps: rather than resting on your knees, you will be resting on your foot points (legs slightly apart).
-Extreme: pumps slammed: between each pump, the individual slams both hands, either on his chest or behind his back.
Always to work on the upper body, you can opt for dips. They will make you gain muscle mass in the pectoral and triceps. This exercise requires a chair, bench or any other object that will allow you to be elevated.
Here are three levels of difficulty:
-Easy: back to a bench or chair, put your hands on it and place your legs at 90°. With your back straight, lower your body with your arms and repeat the movement. Take care of your shoulders, which are still very busy.
-Medium: in the same way, simply add a chair under your feet. Being elevated will complicate the exercise a little because your whole body will have to be carried. The further back you go, the more your triceps and shoulders will work.
-Difficult: with the help of two high chairs, place yourself between them, with one hand on each one. Your body is straight, in a vacuum, and descend in the same way to 90°.
The back is one of the most stressed parts of the body in everyday life. Here are some traction variants that will strengthen and strengthen it. Be aware that in supination (palms facing the sky), the movement is often easier to achieve but makes the biceps work harder, in addition to the back. In pronation (palms facing down), you will work the triceps and back.
-Reverse pulls: space two chairs opposite each other. Place the ends of a very strong bar or broom on each of them. Position your body below this bar, on the ground, lying on your back. Make sure your back is straight, your feet on the ground and your legs stretched, and then place your hands on the bar. Climb up and bring the bust closer to the bar and then go down again. And so on and so forth.
-Classic pulls: suspended from a high bar, keep your body sheathed, straight, and always make sure to keep your arms slightly bent. The objective is to raise your body until your chin reaches the height of the bar.
If you want to strengthen the lower body in the quadriceps and hamstrings, squats are for you. At three different levels, it is always important to position yourself properly to avoid injury.
-Easy: classic squat: standing, feet shoulder-width apart (at 10:10 am), flat back, roll your buttocks back. Go down, with your head aligned with your spine, looking forward. You are free to put your arms in front or not. Once at 90°, you can go up again, making sure to keep your legs bent at all times. They should never be 100% tight.
-Medium: Bulgarian squat: this is the same exercise as the classic squat, only you will take care to position one leg stretched backwards on a bench or other raised object. The further forward the front leg is, the more you will work on your buttocks. The closer it is to the bench, the more your thighs will burn.
-Difficult: Squat jump or “jump squat”: on the same principle as the easy level, you will also make a vertical jump at the end of the movement. The idea is to land on tiptoe so as not to damage your joints. The impact should not be painful despite repetitive shocks. It is advisable to brake the descent to perform eccentric work and have a smooth movement between descent, ascent and jump.
Very fashionable, hip thrust will allow you to sculpt your buttocks to perfection. Here are the three levels of difficulty proposed by the specialist:
-Easy: Lying on your back, with your body straight, hands and feet on the ground, climb up the pool and then down. Without jolting the descent, avoid bouncing off your buttocks before raising your pelvis to the sky.
-Medium: As in the picture above, you can perform the movement on one leg, taking care to alternate both sides so as not to be unbalanced. “Having all the body weight on one leg makes you work harder. -Difficult: in the same position, place the top of your shoulders on a bench. Being elevated will increase the difficulty of the exercise.
However, be sure to keep your back straight. Control the descent perfectly and contract the buttocks as you go up. The idea is to lower your pool to 90°, without making it touch the ground. This level already requires a certain mastery of simple hip thrust. If you do not do this properly, you may be at risk of injury.