If you’re adding fitness to your life, you’ll want to start out slow. You can use your body weight to increase your heart rate and challenge your muscles. To make the most of a bodyweight routine, you should invest in a few key pieces of gear to work out your entire range of muscles. To begin, pick up some gymnastic rings, parallel bars and a yoga mat. Check it out.
Although you could buy a simple pull up bar, gymnastic rings add a bit more to your workout. You can do a wider range of exercises on the rings than the bar. To start slow, however, you can perform pull-ups and rows on the rings. Both of these exercises will strengthen your back, shoulders, arms and core.
As you gain strength, you can move the rings up to increase the difficulty for pull-ups and down to make rows more challenging. Once you feel strong enough to move onto other exercises, add some levers and dips to your routine.
However, you’ll want to start performing those two on the parallel bars to avoid injuring yourself. The movement of the rings while performing these two exercises can make it difficult to perfect your form. This is important because good form reduces the chance of injury.
Parallel bars reduce the difficulty of performing levers and dips by staying completely still while you work out. You can slowly work your way toward perfect horizontal alignment with the ground as your body gains strength. The workouts will build strength throughout your body with a focus on your core, hips and arms.
Pick a pair of parallel bars that have a wide base that will support your weight during complex movements. The bars should come up to just past your hipbones. As you build muscle, you can move onto using taller parallel bars that provide an increased challenge. Invest in a proper pair of workout gloves that take the pressure off your hands while you use the bars.
You can perform the rest of your bodyweight workout routine on a yoga mat. Perform pushups, sit-ups and planks with the yoga mat supporting your weight. These three workouts build strength in your core while working out your arms and legs.
Yoga mats come in a wide range of thicknesses, ranging from 1/16 of an inch to a full 1/4 inch. You’ll need to pick a mat that offers enough support without making you feel unstable. Yoga mats also have a variety of textures to choose from. Pick one that will provide your body with grip without aggravating your skin during long plank holds.
Planning Your Workouts
Experiment different workout types to see which combination makes you feel the best. As you perform the workouts, your body will start to feel stronger all over. You can adjust your workouts to pinpoint certain areas that do not feel like they’re gaining strength like the others. Staying flexible with your workouts will ensure you make the most of your time and gear