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Variants on Classic Weight Lifting

Chin Ups, Dips, Bicep Curls, Push Ups and Squats are five commonly used classic exercises that you can do at home and you won't need much in terms of equipment to do them. However if you are looking for more of a challenge you can also ramp up your workout a bit by trying new things.

Chin Ups

What do you need? A chin up bar.

Try lifting your legs up and pulling your knees in closer to your chest while in the middle of a chin up. Alternatively, try doing your chin ups really slowly - up slowly and down slowly. Or try doing chin ups with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Experiment with it and see what you can do! You can also do reverse grip chin ups, pulling behind your head chin ups, moving your legs backwards at the knees, holding your hands closer together or further apart...

Or even one handed chin ups!!!

Dips

What do you need? A chair or bench or table.

Dips are very easy to do, but if you want an extra challenge try raising one of your legs up and pulling your knee in towards your chest using your ab muscles.

Other variations include putting your feet on a stability ball or basketball, so you need to concentrate on your balance at the same time. (To make it easier in the beginning try wedging the stability ball into a corner so it doesn't shift around so easily.)

Bicep Curls

What do you need? Dumbbells.

Try the classic bicep curl with one foot raised or down on the floor balancing on both knees. By weight training and balancing simultaneously the entire core is worked, in addition to improving balance.



Push Ups

What do you need? Nothing really, just some empty space.

There are literally hundreds of ways to modify the classic push up. From speeding up or slowing down your usual pace, holding the "down" position for five seconds on every rep, touching your nose to the ground each time, to fingertip pushups, or simply elevating your feet. Changing up your push up is easy, and important. Other variations include: Using a stability ball under your hands or feet (or both), doing one push up and then alternating with one stability ball leg tuck. Also, push ups with alternating dumbbell rows for the back, or alternated with mountain climbers for an intense cardio and upper body workout. 



Squats

What do you need? Standing room.

Squats are safe, easy and work your core muscles plus most of your lower body. Squats can be combined with other exercises such as: overhead extension, bicep curls, and front raises. Squats can be made into cardio and co-ordination training by moving with your squats. To do this simply take a side-step, the squat, and repeat taking a step and squatting all in one direction, and then coming back again. You could also try plyometric squats. This power training exercise should only be attempted by intermediate exercisers with no lower body injuries. Go into a squat and when in a seated position, spring up by focusing the force in your quads and glutes. Your feet should come off the floor in a small but powerful jump.


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