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All you need is your body

From: Anthony M Blog,

All you need is your body

Hello all and welcome to the latest blog, inspired by a tweet from fellow personal trainer Nix Ticehurst, saying: 'there is so much money spent on such convoluted machinery to make us use our bodies, we have that machinery from birth, just use it.'

For those not understanding the message, it basically means that you have gyms and all this equipment used to make an improvement to our body when we do not need to use any of it - we have our own body to use as the equipment. This blog will go through ways that you can just use bodyweight for a fantastic workout and the equipment equivalent. This blog, then, is ideal for people that do not like gyms or have the money available to join a gym. Enjoy.

The human body is an amazing thing. It can adjust and adapt to almost anything - if it is weak it can get strong and if it is injured it can heal itself. For that reason, there is no need for external equipment to achieve the body you want, as through correct movements you can work harder than any machine available in a gym.

Chest/arms - press ups

An exercise that in general men love and women hate, usually down to strength in the upper body. Done in the correct way this can work all muscles in the upper body and is one of the best exercises around. Most people aim to do as many as they can, but this causes problems to the posture and needs to be performed slowly and controlled. If you cannot do any then you can do them on your knees or up against a wall, working your way lower down as you get stronger. Before starting, the shoulders should be retracted and the abdomen pulled in and that maintained throughout the exercise. The gym equivalent would be the chest press machine or dumbbell press, whereby you aim to lift a weight while the body is static (unlike a press up).

Arms – triceps dips

Great exercise to tone the backs of the arms and very simple to do. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your arms next to the body, holding onto the edge of the furniture. From here, bend the arms and lower the body towards the floor until the upper arm is parallel with the ground, then pause and lift back to the start. The gym equivalent would be to use a cable machine or dumbbells focussing on the area.

Legs – squats/lunges

So many exercises can be performed to help tone the legs, the main two being squats and lunges. With squats, it is basically like how you sit in a chair - but as soon as you touch it raise back to the start and repeat. Lunges are like taking huge steps and bending the knee to the ground then repeating with the other leg. The gym equivalents are using a leg press machine or a squat rack, adding extra weight to the exercise.

Abdomen – crunches etc

Millions of variations of exercises can be done to work the abdominal muscles. Crunches are the most obvious, although I do not entirely recommend using them, as there are other exercises more beneficial. A plank is one of those that works the deep core muscles of the stomach and you do not even have to move to do it. Lay on your front, then lift your body up into a straight line so only your forearms and toes are touching the ground and hold for a specific time. Gym equivalents are to use an abdominal machine and swiss balls to vary the workouts.

Cardiovascular – running

In a gym you have bikes, treadmills, cross-trainers and rowers, when all you need are your two feet. Go outside and just run - this may sound simple and it really is. If you are unfit, start by power-walking or interval running then build up into longer periods of running as you get fitter.

So as you can see, all you need is the great outdoors, a bottle of water and correct exercise clothing and you can exercise your body is more ways than one. We are in a time of recession - so save some money, get outside and feel better than you ever did before.

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Breathe Fitness is a personal training company working in and around London, England. They specialise in training clients in the comfort of their own home, local park, workplace and gyms.

Breathe has been running since 2006 and has quickly established itself as one of London's top personal trainer businesses.

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