Now that you've mastered bodyweight exercises such as squats and push-ups, what comes next? How do you keep progressing with them? By adding weight, of course! No, I'm not talking about putting on 20lbs so you can be heavier when you do your squats, I'm saying that you should be adding some sort of prop to your exercise. I'll explain everything in this article.
Why Progression Brings Great Results
If you've been doing the same routine for a while now, your body isn't going to respond the way it did in the beginning. That's because our bodies become accustomed pretty quickly to the exercises we do as we grow stronger. That's why it's important to keep progressing with your workouts.
Doing 3 X 20 squats is a great way to work the legs and booty, yes, but after a couple of months of doing this, you're going to hit a result plateau, and it will be time to kick it up a notch. You can increase the intensity of the workout by doing a few more sets/reps, or simply add some weight and save the time.
You probably noticed that your first real push-up was the hardest thing you've ever done, and somehow you can do them like they are nothing now. Why is that? Because your muscles are constantly adapting.
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How To Weigh Yourself Down
I'm going to take some of the most common bodyweight exercises and show you how to add weight to them to give you maximum results.
Adding a weighted vest to your push-ups is a great way to increase the resistance. I would suggest using a vest with the option of adding and removing weight plates from it so that you can keep advancing.
Squats are great on their own, but when they become easy enough to where you feel like you can do a million of them, it's time to up your game. You can either hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands or even a loaded barbell. Start out with a small amount of weight and work your way up.
This is where that weighted vest is going to come in handy again. Give yourself a great challenge by strapping it on and performing your regular amount of reps, if you can.
Lying Leg Lifts
Leg lifts are awesome for working the lower abs, and when they become not-so-challenging, it's time to bust out some ankle weights. This will add extra resistance and get those abs burning in a short amount of time.
I've seen people grab a partner to press down on their shoulders as they lift themselves up, but if you don't have a workout buddy, you can always lay a weight plate across your chest as you crunch up.
Of course, there are many other exercises you can add weight to such as lunges, side bends, reverse crunches, and even running. Just be sure you start small and work your way up slowly.
Go weigh yourself down!