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The 30-minute bodyweight workout – Fitness – MAZSIGHT Healthy Living

The 30-minute bodyweight workout

Target more than 100 muscles with this simple, no-equipment-necessary routine.

The key to bodyweight exercise is mixing it up. Challenge yourself. If you’re not sore the next day, you didn’t work out hard enough. “When you push yourself, you’ll be building muscle, increasing bone density, strengthening ligaments and burning calories for up to 36 hours after your workout,” says Mark Lauren, author of You Are Your Own Gym.

When push-ups become too easy, switch to a different grip—wide, narrow or staggered hands—or pause during the motion. Try one set on an incline, the next on a decline and the next with one hand on a basketball.

For all of the exercises in the workout, aim for three sets of 10 reps unless noted otherwise. Time yourself and try to do them more quickly the next time around. If you can’t finish a set, complete it with the easier version.

–By Tyler Graham

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Push-ups

Push-ups ignite more than 100 muscles, but few guys do them with proper form. Be sure to keep your back and neck straight, and glutes and core engaged. Always lower yourself slowly, bringing your chest almost to the floor before pushing up.

Make it hard
Place one hand on a basketball and roll from hand to hand on each rep.

Master class
Try a one-handed push-up by putting one hand behind your back and spreading your legs wide.

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Dips

When doing dips, push up with your core and glutes, not just your arms. Lean forward to work more of your chest muscles; lean back to work your triceps.

Make it hard
With your hands on the backs of two chairs, slowly lower until your chest reaches your hands, then push up. Keep your back straight.

Master class
With your hands next to your butt on a bench and your feet out front, lift your body, supporting yourself only with your hands. Lower almost to the bench; push back up.

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Planks

 The 30-minute bodyweight workout - Fitness - MAZSIGHT Healthy Living
By MazSight

Squeeze your glutes and stomach. Press elbows to the floor to activate shoulder muscles.

Make it hard
From push-up position, walk your hands until your arms are nearly straight. Plank on fingertips and toes.

Master class
From push-up position, raise one arm and the opposite leg to parallel with your back. Hold for one minute.

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Lunges

When lunging, never let your knees track over your toes—it can lead to knee injuries.

Make it hard
Lunge forward, then return to standing by raising your lunging knee as high as you can, trying to touch your chest.

Master class
Jump out instead of stepping out, alternating legs on every jump.

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mountain climbers

From push-up position, bring one knee to your chest and back; repeat with the other knee. Try to do 25 on each side.

Make it hard
Lift your knee up and across your chest, toward your opposite shoulder. This works more of your oblique muscles.

Master class
From push-up position, with your feet flat against a wall, do mountain climbers.

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Pull-ups

Pull-ups (palms facing out) are among the most difficult, functional exercises you can do. Quality, not quantity, is key.

Make it hard
Use a wide grip. Before you get to the top, pause and move your head to the right as close to your fist as possible. Do the same to the left, then raise yourself over the bar.

Master class
Rather than pull up to your neck, pull up to your lower chest; in one motion lift your body above the bar. Do a dip.

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Squats

When squatting, keep your hands behind your head and squat as deeply as you comfortably can. Contract your abs before you descend, keep your back straight and squat deeply, as if sitting in a chair.

Make it hard
When you reach the bottom of the squat, jump as high as you can. This makes the move explosive, adding power and honing your nervous system to improve muscle response.

Master class
With your feet shoulder-width apart, kick your right foot off the ground behind you and hold it. Drop into a squat. To make it more difficult, do a one-leg squat with your leg out in front of you, keeping it raised while lowering your body until your butt is about two inches off the floor.

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The 15-minute bodyweight workout

Set a watch timer for 15 minutes and see how many push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups or dips you can do. No matter the number you accomplish, you’ll hit more than 100 muscles, building strength and endurance. Alternate this workout with the 30-minute full bodyweight circuit.

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Bodyweight glossary

Single-limb exercises
Standing, pushing or pulling with one limb builds balance and stabilizer muscles. Try one-handed push-ups or one-leg squats.

Slow reps
Slowing your movements forces tiny muscle adaptations. Do a push-up by lowering for five to 10 seconds, then raising for five to 10.

Isotonic
Contracting muscles as you move, as in a jumping jack, builds integrative strength between muscles and joints.

Plyometrics
Explosive exercises, like jump squats or mountain climbers, build fast-twitch muscle for speed and power.

Tabata
Developed for Olympic speed skaters, tabatas are short bursts of intense effort, followed by brief rest. Try doing 20 seconds of an exercise like a squat, and then rest for 10. Repeat for four minutes.

Isometric
Holding muscles static, as in a plank, hones balance and builds core strength.

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Neil Weinberg

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