If you’re wishing for that svelte summer figure, look no further than your body’s own built-in gym! Body-weight exercises are extremely effective at strengthening the body, while sculpting and defining muscle. Don’t be afraid of gaining a bit of muscle! Muscle takes up less space per pound than fat, and it requires more calories to sustain it, meaning it burns more calories at rest than the same amount of fat. Body-weight exercises are some of the most basic exercises that body-builders and athletes of all sports use to become stronger, while doing the moves the body is designed to do!

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What are body-weight exercises exactly? Simply put, they are any move which uses your body as the resistance, without any added weights. Examples include: Push-ups, Burpees, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Planks, Bridges, Bicycles and Yoga.

What’s so great about body-weight training?

Portable: To get a total body workout anywhere, anytime – at home, on vacation, at the playground, indoors or out, rain or shine – you don’t need anything other than yourself!

Efficient: Because there is no need to switch equipment or load/unload a bar, you can quickly transition from one move to the next, which will cut the length of your workout while increasing the cardiovascular benefits.

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Simple: The exercises are basic and easy to master because they are moves your body does naturally. If you can sit down in a chair, you can squat!

Customizable and Challenging: For those just starting out, you can adjust your body position to decrease difficulty while building strength. For more advanced exercisers, your routine can be intensified by shortening rest periods between sets, adding more reps and/or sets, and incorporating more cardio/circuit moves.

Work Smarter with Compound Movements: Your body is a machine, and your muscles are designed to work together rather than in isolation. Body-weight exercises engage multiple muscle groups resulting in a more balanced and effective workout in less time. In a squat, for example, your legs are pushing, your core is stabilizing, and your arms are helping you balance, meaning you’re getting a full-body workout with each rep!

Increase Flexibility and Balance: As you lower, raise, bend, stretch, and hold your body in new ways, you are challenging the muscles to stabilize and building your body’s natural ability to balance, while increasing overall flexibility through full range of motion.

Ready to give it a go? Try this heart-pumping body weight routine!