The latest strength training craze doesn’t use dumbbells, elastic bands, or any other special equipment. Instead, the exercises use your body weight. Your body weight becomes the tool for strengthening and weight training exercises. Many of these exercises will be familiar to you, but trainers have found ways to get you to use your own body weight as resistance. Here is a typical workout we suggest you try:


The plank

  • While in the elevated pump position, bring your right foot to the side of your left foot and straighten your body. This is the plank.
  • Spread your fingers so that the middle finger points forward. Your hands should be on the floor exactly at your shoulders.
  • Bring your tailbone inward so that your legs, hips and torso form a straight line.
  • Push the top of your head forward, bring your toes to the floor and your heels back, stretching the back of your body completely.
  • Hold this position, breathing deeply, for as long as you can without putting too much tension, up to 2 minutes.


Push-ups

  • Lie face down on the floor with your feet about 15-20 cm apart. Place your palms flat on the floor, slightly outside your shoulders.
  • Keeping your body extended and tense, and leaning on your toes, raise your body by pushing on your arms until they are fully extended.
  • Slowly bending your arms at the elbows, lower your torso to the floor. Stop 4 to 6 inches before your belly touches the floor.
  • Push up to return to the original position. This is a pump.
  • If the exercise is too difficult for you, do it with your knees on the floor. Or, even simpler, do the exercise standing, leaning on a wall with your feet about 50 cm from the wall.
  • Your goal: 3 sequences of 8 push-ups.


Pull-ups

  • Grip a pull-up bar with your fingers, palms facing you.
  • Before you lift, take a deep breath.
  • Begin to lift yourself up, chest forward and shoulders back while looking upward to where you are going.
  • Point your elbows toward the floor as you do the pull.
  • Bend your legs and cross your feet, firming your buttocks as your chin reaches the bar.
  • Do as many reps as you are able, maintaining a good position.


Lunges

  • Stand with your feet plumb with your hips.
  • Raise your chin slightly during this exercise.
  • Take a large step forward with your right leg, planting your foot firmly on the ground with your toes pointed forward or slightly inward. Align your right knee with your right foot.
  • Keeping your back straight, lower your left knee until it is between 3 and 5 cm off the ground.
  • To stand up, firmly press your right foot into the ground while extending your right knee. Return to the starting position and repeat by moving your left leg forward.
  • Your goal: 3 sets of 20 lunges with each leg.


Squats (leg curls)

  • Stand in front of a chair with your feet level with your hips. Keep your body straight and your chin slightly up throughout the exercise.
  • With your arms extended forward, slowly lower your buttocks toward the chair, as if you were about to sit down. Just before touching, slowly return to a standing position. Repeat, doing 3 sets of 12 squats.
  • Throughout the exercise, keep your back straight, knees behind your toes, body weight centered on the middle of your feet and heels (not on your toes), feet flat on the floor. If you have problems with balance and flexibility, use a chair that has arms, and use them if necessary.