By MH Staff - Posted on 8th January 2014
Rapidly increase your muscle tone and strength with this weights-free workout that combines five MH staffers’ high-intensity upgrades to your classic bodyweight moves.
A.] Perform a dorsal raise: lie down, then lift your legs and chest up so you look like a skydiver in freefall. This stretches your abs and works your lower back. B.] Now roll over into a pike position, without letting your arms or legs touch the floor. This hits your obliques and forms an ab crunch to boot. Return to the skydive and repeat, keeping your limbs off the ground. “Power through if your lower back starts to burn during the dorsal raise – and be careful not to roll onto your manhood when returning to your stomach!” – Frank Hermus, MH Junior Designer
A.] Grab a pull-up bar with a wide, overhand grip. Pull up and touch your right shoulder to your right hand. Pause for a beat. Moving to one side works your biceps harder than normal. B.] Without dropping up and down, shift your body so that your left shoulder touches your left hand. Pause again, then lower your body to the centre. Repeat anti-clockwise. “I installed a bar above my kitchen door last year, thinking that I’d do some pull-ups every time that I opened the fridge. No surprise then that the bar was quite dusty when I tried this variation out. But once I got going it was actually quite fun. Now I have another pull-up variation to procrastinate with while eyeing out the contents of my fridge.” – Dylan Muhlenberg, MH Online Editor
A.] From a side plank with straight arms, lift your non-weight-bearing arm and leg into a star position. B.] Now move the leg behind your body and onto the floor, keeping your hips pushed up towards the ceiling. Your body now resembles the “T" position of a Turkish get-up. From here, reverse the moves back to the start, then roll onto the other side. Alternate back and forth. “Another great try-at-home move, this one is all about balance and form. Once I got those right (must admit, I fell over a couple of times at first), I could feel the difference in my arms and core.“ – Mark van Dijk, MH Deputy Editor
A.] Hold a press-up position with your hands on a bench. Then explosively push-up so that your hands leave the surface. Keep your body rigid so that your hips don’t cave in. B.] As soon as your hands return to the bench, bend at the elbows and explode back up again. This will generate maximum muscle recruitment in your upper body for improved strength. “This is a great move and one that I love incorporating a few sets at the start of my ‘chest day’. The explosive action requires a lot more work than a standard push-up and causes a lot more fatigue, but also results in great gains in strength.” – Clinton Jurgens, MH Senior Designer
A.] Perform a split squat, then jump up forcefully, switching legs in the air and landing with the other foot forwards. Make sure your front knee doesn’t roll inwards when you land. B.] Repeat, landing with the first foot in front again. Repeat for 30sec to fire more fast-twitch muscle fibres in your legs and glutes than Bryan Habana sprinting for the corner. “One of the most underrated exercises. Beware! It gets tougher the more you do, but it’s a killer exercise for your legs and core. To get the most out of it, keep up the intensity and stay balanced.” – Jason Brown, MH Editor