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4 Powerful Bodyweight Exercises to Defeat the Dad Bod

This one goes out to all the dads.

One day when we are grandfathers, we will either be well-muscled and down on the floor playing with the grandkids or sitting in a recliner talking about how athletic and fit we were "back in our day."

How we live in our 60s, 70s, and 80s will depend on the decisions we make today.

We are all busy. We are all short on time. We all have a lot of responsibility.

Two excuses that are invalid:

1: You don't have time to workout.

2: You can't make it to the gym, so just skip working out altogether

Let's solve both of these excuses in one fatal swoop.

Home/ bodyweight workouts are the absolute excuse killer. If you are lacking time, just skip one episode of the show you are bingeing on Netflix and exercise instead.

"But Ben, I don't have any exercise equipment!"

@fitfrhome has entered the chat.

I just recorded a podcast episode that will release on 7/4/23 with a bodyweight workout ninja named Art or better known as @fitfrhome on IG, TikTok, and YouTube.

This guy works out exclusively with bodyweight movements and he is shredded. I will tell you upfront that I believe the gym and barbell strength work are the best way to put on muscle mass but they are not the only way.

If you know you will never make it to the gym or you pay for a membership that you don't use, start crushing bodyweight workouts at home. You cut out the commute and literally every other excuse.

Secondly, even if you regularly train in the gym but occasionally miss a workout, you can make it up with a bodyweight workout with similar movements.

Supposed to bench at the gym? Do push-ups at home.

Missed your leg workout? Knock out some air squats, hip thrusts, and lunges in your living room.

Need to train back? Grab a bag of dog food and start crushing some bent rows.

My daily gym plan or bodyweight blaster program has you covered for workouts. Start training today with a free 7-day trial here. My daily gym plan is a 2-for-1 and gives you access to both programs.

Art dropped what he believes to be the top 4 bodyweight exercises. Don't sleep on these basics. If you look at anyone who is great at what they do, they do the common uncommonly well. Start adding these exercises to your program today.

Read to the end and we will tie all of this together for an epic at-home/ travel workout to keep in your back pocket.

The push-up builds the chest, shoulder, triceps, and the core. What's not to love?

The beauty of the push-up is that they can be modified to suit any ability level. Art and I agree that you must use a full range of motion. Rather than doing a regular push-up with poor form, drop to your knees and knock out some beautiful reps.

New to fitness? Use knee push-ups or elevate your hands to a higher surface.

Seasoned gym goer? Use decline, diamond, clap, or single-arm push-ups.

Whatever your fitness level, you must push yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself each and every set.

Everybody loves to work the muscles they can see in the mirror. But in order to be strong, well-balanced, and have great posture, you must train the back.

The pull-up is the king of back exercises and it will also build the biceps. If you don't have access to a pull-up bar, find a sturdy branch or some monkey bars at the local park.

If you don't have pull-ups down yet. You can start by hanging from the bar and doing scapular pull-ups. Basically, you hang with straight arms and shrug your shoulder and squeeze your scapulae together. Try 10-20 reps.

You can also try negatives. Where you start with your chin above the bar by jumping or using a step and then lowering yourself as slowly as possible.

3: Squats

Ahhh yes, the king of all exercises. You can't build a strong set of arms and leave the wheels out. At home without access to weights, play around with squat variations to make them more challenging.

Try squat jumps, staggered squats, and Bulgarian split squats to spice things up. Leg day at home hurts. You almost have to push yourself harder in order to get the same effect you can get at the gym.

Be tough and make it happen.

Any of the exercises listed would be great as a Tabata. 8 sets in a row of the same exercise doing 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The key with Tabata is not to pace. Each "work" set... just go for it!

If you are going to be mainly training in the gym, check out my article from last week on the Many Benefits of Front Squats.

Art said to choose the core exercise of your choice but I am going to choose for you. The hollow rock is a behemoth of an exercise. The move teaches you to properly brace the core while simultaneously destroying your abs.

Start small with 30-second holds and bend the knees to modify. See if you can build to rocking for 90 seconds straight. At this point, the student will have become the master.

Here is how to format these exercises into an epic, full-body Tabata workout that will only take 19 minutes:

Do all of one exercise before moving to the next.

8 sets in a row of one exercise, alternating 20-sec work, then 10 sec of rest.

After you finish all 8 sets of one exercise, rest 60 seconds, then move to the next exercise.

Ideally, download a free Tabata timer on your phone.

1: Push-Ups

2: Pull-Ups

3: Squats (jump, staggered, or Bulgarian)

4: Hollow Rock

Dads, let's get stacked, jacked, and succulent. It can be in the gym or at home with bodyweight exercises. No excuses. Just find a way... or whey, if you will.


Find out more about my story on my "about me" page.

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