19 June 2023

5 Exercises You Need to be Doing

Image by Greg Buford
drop the weights

One thing I like to tell my clients, because it’s true and it helps calm their impatience to add weight or try more complex movements is, “build comfort moving your own body before you try adding anything to it”. It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people think having a janky-looking heavy barbell squat is more important than having a comfortable and smooth-looking bodyweight squat.

At the end of the day, to each their own, but I know that mastering and understanding how your own body moves before adding external stimuli will help prevent future injuries and allow a good foundation for building strong and healthy habits. With that being said, here are FIVE BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES everybody should be able to execute properly, not only because of their versatility, but their effectiveness at providing numerous benefits for your body.

#1 Push-up


First off, we have pushups, which are great for strengthening the chest, shoulders, arms, and improving core stability, but also, challenging and enhancing cardiovascular health, which is great for boosting metabolism and burning calories. Yeah the health benefits are amazing, but God forbid you get trapped underneath something, having a good pushup can be a life saver.

#2 Pull-up


Like push-ups, pull-ups are a compound exercise that work multiple muscle groups at once, like the back, shoulders, and arms, as well as, core, but with the adding challenge of improving grip strength. Grip strength is not only great for picking up weights or carrying groceries, but it might be useful for pulling yourself to safety.

#3 Squat


Squats are on the list, because like, do you even squat bro? Nobody wants to answer ‘no’ to that question, but more importantly, having a great bodyweight squat will help develop leg strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while improving balance and stability. Squats require you to engage your core muscles to maintain proper form, which can help improve your overall balance and stability, and help increase flexibility, due to the hip and ankle demands required for this exercise. But like really, do you even squat?

#4 Dip


Dips are a great choice, because they are a challenging exercise that requires strength, stability, and control. Including dips in your workout routine can help you improve your overall fitness level and increase your ability to perform other exercises. For those of us that may have difficulty increasing muscle mass, this is a excellent choice to help combat that issue. Thank me later next time you exit the side of the pool with ease.

#5 Wood Chops


There’s no way I was going to let you off the hook without adding some twisting action, so of course, Wood Chops are definitely going to be in the mix. These are great for strengthening your rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back which make up the core and help to improve rotational mobility and flexibility. These core exercises are excellent at building stability in the shoulders and lower back, which can reduce the risk of injury for many daily activities and sports. I do preface, if you have any preexisting shoulder or lower back issues, make sure to sprinkle these exercises into your regimen before going hardcore.

Like I said before, these exercises are amazing to have in your arsenal because they are easily modifiable, require minimal equipment, they’re low-impact, which means they will be less stressful on your joints (not your ego) compared to high-impact exercises like running or jumping, and they can help improve your overall fitness and athletic performance. So yes, getting really good at these exercises can provide numerous fantastic benefits to your life and workout progress. So get to sprinkling these exercises into your routine and see all the positive effects you can reap for yourself.