Bodyweight Exercises

Back:

Pull-Up          Chin-Up          Body Row         

Daily 30:

Paleo Squat          Push-Up          Prone Cobra

Arms:

Dips          Weighted Dips         

Legs:

Bulgarian Split Squat          Glute-Ham Raise (Hamstrings)          Glute-Ham Raise (Glutes)         


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Technique

You will learn the purpose for each and its place in the Mathias Method as well as how to perform them both safely and effective.

Format:

Purpose- Benefits of this exercise.

Prime Movers- Which muscles do the most work

Technique- How to set-up the exercise and preform it safe and effectively.

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Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are meant to build strength to move your own body through space more efficiently and teach your joints how to move properly. By becoming more efficient at moving your own body utilizing proper technique you will be safer while adding a load to similar movements. Bodyweight exercises allow for a constant load in which progression is tracked through repetition and explosiveness rather than loads. To further progress you simply are able to do more repetitions or move more efficiently. By gaining control over your body, you will not only become STRONGer but also move better throughout your everyday life. Always ensure proper form while performing bodyweight exercises, as quality is more important for these than quantity. As your technique improves, so too will your ability to do more. Do not go to failure on bodyweight exercises except for the last 1-2 sets, if at all. This will help to maintain proper form and teach proper movement patterns. When first building the strength to do a new bodyweight exercise, start with doing 1-5 good repetitions. Do as many sets as it takes to get to the prescribed number (10-25) resting as needed. Use assistance if needed but avoid using it for more than two weeks as a time. Move with quality form and always push to do more.

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Pull-Up:

Purpose- Build Pulling Strength, Increase Shoulder Integrity, Improve Posture

Prime Movers- Latimus Dorsi (Back), Biceps Brachii (Arms)

Technique- Grasp a pull-up bar shoulder width, with your palms facing away from you and thumbs wrapped. Brace your core and press your feet out in front of you slightly with straight legs. Initiate the pull by creating an external rotation torque on the bar (twisting your hands as if you were to point your thumbs towards your face) and pulling your elbows back and down. Finish with your head higher than your hands before reversing the motion under control, until your head is pushed through between your arms. Keep your feet out in front of you the entire time. As you pull, allow your elbows to come in front of you and then flair them as you lower. This is the same as for military press.

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Chin-Up:

Purpose- Build Pulling Strength, Increase Shoulder Integrity, Improve Posture

Prime Movers- Biceps Brachii (Arms), Latimus Dorsi (Back)

Technique- Grasp a pull-up bar inside shoulder width, with your palms facing inward and thumbs wrapped. Brace your core and press your feet out in front of you slightly with straight legs. Initiate the pull by creating a rotation torque on the bar (twisting your hands as if you were to point your thumbs towards your face) and pulling your elbows back and down. Finish with your head higher than your hands before reversing the motion under control, until your head is pushed through between your arms. Keep your feet out in front of you the entire time.

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Body Rows:

Purpose- Build Pulling Strength, Increase Shoulder Integrity

Prime Movers- Latimus Dorsi (Back), Biceps Brachii (Arms)

Technique- Grasp a barbell or two straps placed about hip height with a wider than shoulder width grip. It would be ideal to start with your bench press grip width. With your legs extended and core braced to create a straight line from head to heels, create an external rotation torque with your hands as you pull your elbows behind you. This is the reverse of the bench press motion. Try to get your elbows behind you to finish the motion. Lower yourself under control as you allow your elbows to relax back into their original position, facing out.

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Paleo Squat:

Purpose- Teach proper knee and hip squatting mechanics, Spinal decompression, Increased Blood Flow, Increase Gastrointestinal health, Improve mobility

Prime Movers- Quadriceps (Legs), Glutes (Hips), Hamstrings (Legs)

Technique- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes straight or turned out slightly. Brace your core and externally rotate (twist) your knees out during the entire movement while clenching your toes into the ground. Begin the motion by opening your hips and descending into a full depth squat while keeping your feet flat. Only go as deep as you can while keeping your heels down. Pause at the bottom position for two seconds before reversing the motion to stand erect.

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Push-Up:

Purpose- Teach proper arm and shoulder pressing mechanics, Build upper body muscular endurance

Prime Movers- Triceps (Arms), Anterior Deltoids (Shoulders), Pectoralis Major (Chest)

Technique- Place your hands shoulder width apart and feet together with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Your fingers should be spread as wide as possible, core braced and, while keeping your hands in place, create an external rotation torque during the entire motion. Descend until your body is barely hovering over the floor, pause and then press back to the top position. Do not do push-ups from your knees because this teaches a bracing fault and will decrease your strength potential.

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Prone Cobra:

Purpose- Teach proper posture and thoracic extension, Builds postural strength

Prime Movers- Erector Spinae muscles (Back), Rear Deltoids (Shoulders), Trapezius (Back), Rotary Cuff Complex (Shoulders)

Technique- Lie face down on the ground with your arms out to the sides making a T-shape with your body. During the entire motion keep your fingers spread wide, glutes activated and balls of your feet kicked into the ground, raising your knees. Press your navel into the ground throughout to brace your core. With a neutral head position, begin by raising your torso as high as possible while externally rotating your palms upward (thumbs pointing up). Think of pulling your shoulder blades back towards your glutes and thumbs together behind you. Hold the top position for two seconds and then slowly return to the start position. Do not fully relax to the floor and repeat.

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Dips:

Purpose- Increase Pressing Muscle Hypertrophy and Training Volume

Prime Movers- Triceps (Arms), Anterior Deltoids (Shoulders), Pectoralis Major (Chest)

Technique- Begin by standing on a raised surface about one foot behind where your hands will be placed on the bars, or so that your feet will not hit anything when dipping down. Grasp the dip bars with neutral wrists and squeeze hard into the bars to maintain tightness. Before raising yourself to the starting position, create and external rotation torque on the bars (attempt to twist thumbs out) to pull your shoulder blades back into place and make your elbows point behind you. Begin by raising your body so that your arms are locked while supporting your entire weight in a vertical position. Brace your core and push your feet out in front of you throughout the entire movement while leaning forward slightly creating a bow in your entire body. Your feet will stay directly under you as you do the movement. While keeping your shoulders pulled back and elbows close to your sides, bend your arms until they reach 90 degrees of flexion or you feel a stretch in your shoulder girdle. While keeping your body tight and feet pressed out in front, forcefully press yourself up to the starting position. Always maintain tightness and keep your elbows in line with the bars.

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Weighted Dips:

Purpose- Increase Pressing Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy

Prime Movers- Triceps (Arms), Anterior Deltoids (Shoulders), Pectoralis Major (Chest)

Technique- Add weight to your body by wearing a weight vest, placing chains over your shoulders or using a dip belt. Begin by standing on a raised surface about one foot behind where your hands will be placed on the bars, or so that your feet will not hit anything when dipping down. Grasp the dip bars with neutral wrists and squeeze hard into the bars to maintain tightness. Before raising yourself to the starting position, create and external rotation torque on the bars (attempt to twist thumbs out) to pull your shoulder blades back into place and make your elbows point behind you. Begin by raising your body so that your arms are locked while supporting your entire weight in a vertical position. Brace your core and push your feet out in front of you throughout the entire movement and lean forward slightly creating a slight bow in your entire body. While keeping your shoulders pulled back and elbows close to your sides, bend your arms until they reach 90 degrees of flexion or you feel a stretch in your shoulder girdle. While keeping your body tight and feet pressed out in front, forcefully press yourself up to the starting position. Always maintain tightness and keep your elbows in line with the bars.

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Bulgarian Split Squat

Purpose- Build Hip-Knee-Ankle Stability, Increase Leg Hypertrophy, Teach Single Leg Squatting Mechanics, Increase Hip Flexor Mobility

Prime Movers- Quadriceps (Legs), Hamstring Complex (Legs), Glutes (Hips)

Technique- Start by standing erect and placing the ball of one foot on a raised surface (6-12 inches) behind you. While maintaining a vertical torso, hips square and your glutes activated, dip your raised knee down until you feel a stretch in your anterior thigh, or reach 90 degrees of knee flexion in your front leg. Hold this position for two seconds before flexing back to the start position. To increase the stretch further, raise the surface higher or put your front foot out in front farther. Do not let your front knee go over your toes at any point.

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Glute-Ham Raise (Hamstring Focus):

Purpose- Build Leg (Hamstring) Strength, Build Hip Hinge Strength, Increase Hamstring Hypertrophy

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex (Legs), Glutes (Hips)

Technique- Get positioned in a Horizontal Back Raise Machine so that your knees rest at the back base of the main pad and your heels are hooked in place. Starting with a vertical torso, arms to your sides and hips extended, flex your glutes hard to prevent excessive hip flexion and brace your core. Begin the movement by slowly controlling your bodyweight down as you allow your knees to extend to lockout. At the bottom position, quickly flex your knees and press them downward to curl your entire body back to the starting position, while attempting to keep your hips extended. Be sure to control your bodyweight and do not bounce out of the bottom position.

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Glute-Ham Raise (Glute Focus):

Purpose- Build Leg (Hamstring) Strength, Build Hip Hinge Strength, Increase Hamstring Hypertrophy

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex (Legs), Glutes (Hips)

Technique- Get positioned in a Horizontal Back Raise Machine so that your knees rest at the back base of the main pad and your heels are hooked in place. Starting with a vertical torso, arms to your sides and hips extended, flex your glutes hard to prevent excessive hip flexion and brace your core. Begin the movement by slowly controlling your bodyweight down as you allow your knees to extend to lockout. Continue the motion downward by relaxing your glutes and flexing at the hip so that your body hangs down towards the ground. From the bottom position, quickly flex your glutes and press down into the pad as you extend your hips to raise your torso. To continue the movement upward, flex your knees and press them downward to curl your entire body back to the starting position, while attempting to keep your hips extended. This is a two part movement that needs to have quick transitions to move most efficiently.

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Disclaimer

When participating in any exercise or training program there is a possibility of physical injury. If you engage in any movements, exercises or training programs, you agree to do so at your own risk. By voluntarily participating in these activities, you assume all risk of injury to yourself and agree to release and discharge Mathias Method, Ryan Mathias and all other affiliates of any responsibility if injury occurs. In addition, by following any of the suggested guidelines, protocols, templates, activities or any other information or advice on this website (mathiasmethod.com) you do so at your own risk. Do not begin any nutrition or training program without consulting with a  Board Certified Medical Doctor and/or Registered Dietician first.

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