I'm a PT – here are 15 bodyweight moves that will transform your figure | The Sun

YOU don’t have to venture to the gym to give your body a transformation. 

In fact, there are several exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, in your pyjamas, if you wish.

Plus, they all require zero equipment and instead make use of your own bodyweight as a means of resistance. 

Natasha Ram, Trainer at F45 Mill Hill has pulled together 15 bodyweight moves that when done together, will help to shape your figure while also burning calories.

Give the  below moves a try aiming for ten reps of each (or ten on each side if the move requires). Do the entire circuit twice.

1. Squat 

WORKS: Lower body and core

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly out, core braced and chest up. 

Push your hips back, bend the knees and drop down until thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the start.

“Squats are a great way to boost your exercise performance, decrease your risk of injury, and keep you moving more easily throughout the day. 

“They target your quads, glutes (bum muscles), hamstrings, and hip flexors and are a fantastic way to strengthen your core muscles and burn calories,” says Natasha.

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2. Lateral Lunge

WORKS: Glutes and thighs

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step to the side with your left leg, then bend your left knee, push your hips back and lower until your left knee is bent to 90 degrees. 

Hold for two seconds before pushing back to your starting position. Then swap to the other side.

“Lateral lunges are a great way to develop balance, stability and strength. 

“They work various parts of your lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings, quads and inner and outer thighs,” says Natasha.

3. Sumo Squat 

WORKS: Glutes, thighs and core

Start by standing with your feet out wide and your toes pointing outwards. 

Keeping weight in your back heels, start to lower your hips and bend your knees into a wide squat. 

Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand back up, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, before repeating.

“As with the standard squat, these can be challenging with no weight needed and these are effective for toning your lower body. 

“These are also effective at training the glutes, quads and inner thighs,” says Natasha.

4. Glute Bridge 

WORKS: Glutes and hamstrings and core

Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. 

Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.

Squeeze the glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise. Hold for two seconds before coming back down to the start.

“This will work your glutes and hamstrings. Consistently doing glute bridges is an effective way to increase stability in your core, build strength in your glutes and help you with form and function as you perform other exercises,” says Natasha.

5. Donkey Kick

WORKS: Glutes and core 

Start on all fours, knees hip-width apart, hands under your shoulders, neck and spine neutral. 

Brace your core and begin to lift your right leg, keeping your knee bent, foot flat and hinging at the hip. 

Use your glutes to press your foot directly toward the ceiling, straightening your legs, and squeezing your glute at the top. Return to the start and repeat both sides.

“The donkey kick is a highly effective isolation exercise for your glutes and it helps to stabilise your core as you have to balance in this single position,” says Natasha.

6. Jumping Jacks

WORKS: Full body and cardio 

Begin by standing with your legs straight and your arms to your sides. 

Jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width apart while bringing your arms above your head, nearly touching. 

Then, jump again, lowering your arms and bringing your legs together. Keep jumping your arms and legs in and out.

“Jumping jacks offer a full-body workout that you can do almost anywhere.

“As it’s a plyometric move, it offers a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance work. 

“This type of exercise works your heart, lungs, and muscles at the same time,” says Natasha.

7. High Knees

WORKS: Legs, core and cardio 

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides.
Begin by bringing your right knee toward your chest, slightly above waist level. Then swap legs. 

Keep quickly switching legs, much like sprinting on the spot, but bringing your knees up high.

“High knees activate your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and hip flexors, helping improve muscular endurance, balance, and coordination in these muscles. 

“They are also a great way to strengthen and tone your core and leg muscles, as you use your own body weight to build up each stride,” says Natasha.

8. T- Superman 

WORKS: Lower back and shoulders

Lie face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you and your arms extended out to your sides so your body forms a “T.” 

Engage your lower back and shoulders to raise your chest and arms off the floor, squeezing the backs of the hand towards each other.

Hold for three seconds, then slowly lower back down.

“The superman exercise strengthens the muscles around your spine, helping to support your spine, promote good posture, and reduce the risk of injury,” explains Natasha. 

9. Ice Skaters 

WORKS: Lower body and cardio 

Begin standing on one leg. Hop from side-to-side, switching legs as if you were hopping over a puddle or speed skating. 

Slightly bend the leg you land on while moving your arms in opposition to the leg you’ve landed on, with elbows bent, as if you are jogging. 

“Skaters are great at improving cardiovascular endurance as well as heart health. 

“This exercise can also help improve stability and balance, whilst strengthening your glutes, quads, outer thigh, and knees,” says Natasha. 

10. Push Ups 

WORKS: Arms, shoulders and core

Position yourself on all fours, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, making sure there is a slight bend in the elbows. 

Extend your legs back so you are on your hands and toes. Slowly bend your elbows outwards and lower yourself towards the floor, until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. 

Then, push back up through your hands, contracting your chest whilst returning to the start position. 

If you’re struggling, do this movement from your knees.

“Push ups are a fantastic exercise to help improve overall upper body strength.

"In particular, they work the chest, arms, shoulders and core,” explains Natasha.

11. Plank 

WORKS: Full body and core

Start in a press-up position. Bend your elbows until your forearms are on the floor beneath your shoulders and your body is in a straight line from your feet to your head. 

Keep your abs tight and look at the space between your hands to ensure your spine is a neutral position. Hold for 30 seconds.

“The static plank engages multiple muscle groups at the same time which makes it extremely effective at strengthening your core, whilst also working the shoulders, arms, and glutes,” says Natasha.

She adds that it’s also good at improving posture. 

12. Tricep Dips 

WORKS: Triceps and core

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and place your hands directly under your shoulders behind you, with your fingers pointing forwards. 

Extend your legs, raising yourself up until your arms are completely straight, while keeping your bottom off the ground. 

Inhale, bend your arms and lower yourself until just your bum hovers above the ground, then push yourself back to the start.

This can also be done on a chair or step, keeping the body close to the chair.

“The tricep dip is one of the most effective exercises for activating the triceps muscle in the back of your upper arm. 

“It also challenges your core strength, as keeping your hips off the ground requires you to engage your core throughout,” says Natasha.

13. Mountain Climbers 

WORKS: Core, upper body and cardio

Starting in a high plank position, with hands resting on the floor directly below your shoulders and legs extended out behind you, engage your abs, and make sure your whole body is straight. 

Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can, and then alternate legs, pulling one knee out and bringing the other knee in.

“Mountain climbers are an ideal exercise if you are looking for a movement that challenges and engages the entire body,” says Natasha. 

14. Sit Ups 

WORKS: Abs

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

Tuck your chin into your chest, cross your arms with your hands on opposite shoulders and lift your upper body up toward your thighs, crunching your abs and engaging your core. 

Keep your gaze forward throughout. Then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.

“Sit ups should be a go to exercise if you are looking to build core strength.

“They allow you to build muscle strength in the abdominal and hip muscles, and strengthen, tone, and tighten your core. 

“By strengthening your core, you’ll have a lower risk of experiencing back pain and injuries,” says Natasha.

15. Bicycle Crunch 

WORKS: Abs and thighs 

Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

Place your hands on either side of your head, and crunch upwards.

Keeping your hands where they are, pull your shoulder blades back and raise your knees to about a 90-degree angle, lifting your feet from the floor.

Move through a bicycle pedal motion, crossing one knee over to meet the opposite elbow, while rotating your torso. 

While doing so, straighten the other leg, keeping both elevated higher than your hips. 

Then, alternate to twist to the other side while drawing the opposite knee to the other elbow.

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“The bicycle crunch is another incredibly effective ab exercise, which activates your upper abdominals as well as your obliques (side abdominal muscles). 

“Besides working your abs, the bicycle crunch also tones your thighs as both your hamstrings and quads are engaged throughout the cycling movement,” says Natasha.

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