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Fitness Tips - The Basics To Body Weight Training

By Expert Author: Lisa Kowen

At some point, certain things are going to start getting easier - which is good - and there are certain methods that we can use to increase the workload of that movement. So let's have a look at some of them.

1. Remove one of the structural supports
For example, letís look at the push up. Remove an arm and now all hell breaks loose. Pistol Squats, Single Leg lunge/Romanian Split Squats etc .

2. Loading
Kettle bells, vests, chains - whichever you fancy. This should be rather self-explanatory

3. Incomplete/Partial Repetitions
I come from a hypertrophy based background and one thing that I learned over the years when size is the goal: you NEVER REST DURING A SET. By rest, I mean, you never let your muscles rest - and by following that rule, you never "lock-out" a movement. Muscle fibers should be recruited and firing for every second of every rep of every set that you performs.

Let's look at a basic squat. If I perform a full squat and am now standing with my hips locked out. What is there left for my muscles to do? Well, not much. Standing isn't such a strenuous exercise (for most). However, if I incomplete the movement to say 3/4 Squats and I don't lock out, then my muscles have to continue to work.

If you don't agree with this. Go load up a bar. Squat. Slow down the movement and incomplete it.
I'm not saying you should do this for every rep of every set, but should rather incorporate it into a set here and there. Make it the last 2 or so sets.

4. Slowing Down
By slowing the movement down, your muscles spend a greater time under tension - When it comes to muscle growth, nothing beats straight up Time under Tension training, commonly referred to as TUT.
This works well with loaded weights or after a few rounds to just kill off whatever you have left in the tank.
When it comes to core work, slowing down works extremely well. Semi-Isometric Abs Bike is a favorite of mine and I use it on a regular basis for training sessions.

If you're a beginner, don't even bother with weights, body weight will do it for you - Same goes for removing support, leave that to when you've actually built a nice foundation of body weight strength.
So the first two that you should be looking at is Slowing Down and Incomplete reps, from there you can work your way up.

So remember, stick to the basic movements if you're a beginner - Ensuring that you are performing the fundamental movements correctly. You won't be able to perform advanced movements if you can't do the basics. Focus on completing full range of motion for everything that you do, unless you're implementing the "partial rep" method to one of your last sets. But if you're a beginner, then you probably won't be there just yet.And that's it for now. If I left anything out, which I probably have or you would like to know anything, feel free to ask.

Lisa Kowen has 20 years experience in the fitness industry in South Africa She is director at The F.I.T. Principles Academy, American Council on Exercise (ACE) representative in South Africa, co-owner and developer of fitnessconnect.

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