The Bodyweight Exercises Every Woman Should Master for Superior Strength

In her time as a top trainer—which includes whipping contestants (and couch sitters) into shape for NBC’s The Biggest Loser for the past two years—Jen Widerstrom has identified a short list of mega-exercises that pave the way to a super-fit body. They are no-equipment classics but also the ones she witnessed many women struggle to nail with textbook form. Aim to conquer this mix of strengtheners, Widerstrom says, “and you’ll feel empowered like never before.” That’s because challenging moves like these sculpt a head-to-toe chain of muscles and build your athleticism and physical skills for a big shot of body confidence. (Seriously—getting strong will make you look and feel sexy AF.)

To make sure you ace all six, Widerstrom breaks down the basics of each exercise. Pump up your muscle capacity before each set with this game-changing bit of mental prep: Visualize yourself doing the exercise that you’re about to attempt, and you’ll feel a boost in your strength by up to 24 percent—without working a single muscle, according to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology. It’s possible that such imagery lights up your brain in a way that activates areas involved with motor skills. “Trust the reality that your body is incredibly powerful,” Widerstrom says. “And really go for it.” You’ve got this. And you’re about to get the body to prove it.


Sit on the floor with your legs long and palms flat by thighs, then elevate your body by pressing into your palms.”It’s deceptively tough for such a small movement, but it’s the best static hold you can do for your core because you have to pull your abs in so deeply and wrap your core up so tightly to lift your body,” Widerstorm says. “There’s no way around it.” Your shoulders and glutes also get a solid dose of sculpting, since they hoist you up and keep you there. Here are three steps that will help you nail it.

1. Make it halfway easier by starting with a single-leg L sit. Sit on the floor with legs together and extended, feet-flexed, and hands on floor outside of your thighs, fingertips 2 to 3 inches behind your knees, thumbs under thighs, and wrists touching the outside of your legs. With your fingers spread, press your palms into the floor, hollow your core, and straighten arms to lift your butt and right leg. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times. Switch legs and repeat.

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Original Article : The Bodyweight Exercises Every Woman Should Master for Superior Strength
By: Jaclyn Emerick
From: shape.com

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