Just like most arts in life, bodyweight training has a range of difficulty too. There are exercises that can be considered as beginner level and others that are extremely advanced bodyweight exercises and excruciatingly difficult to do.
As a middle-aged man, it will depend on what your fitness level is. If you’re struggling to do 10 proper push-ups, you’ll need to focus on the simpler exercises first. You can’t run if you can barely crawl.
The 6 exercises mentioned below are quite tough. For example, the human flag requires immense upper body and core strength. In fact, the action movie star, Jason Statham, has been photographed doing this move and it was displayed in fitness magazines. The good news is that Jason, is well above 40.
So, make sure you’ve been training for a while before you undertake the 6 exercises below. If you can do them, you’ll be targeting your chest, arms, shoulders and back very effectively. Your body will develop the muscular form and silhouette that will turn heads. Let’s look at the exercises.
This move is one of the foundations of all gymnastic training. It’s extremely difficult for men because it requires a certain degree of flexibility, balance, coordination and lots of static strength.
To do a V-sit, you need to master an L-sit first. Basically, you’ll be sitting on the floor with both your legs outstretched in front you. Keep your feet close together. Place both palms on the floor and push your body up.
Now both your legs and buttocks will be off the ground and your entire bodyweight will be supported by your arms. Since your body forms an L shape, it’s called an L-sit.
Now slowly raise your legs up till your torso forms a V shape. Hold the position and you have a V-sit. Once you try it, you’ll know just how impossibly difficult it is. This move will take you quite some time to master but it’s a very impressive move.
This exercise will really give your abs and upper body a good workout. You’ll basically be doing a one-arm push up with the opposite leg lifted off the ground. If you’re using your right arm, your left leg will be raised up. This will require you to tighten your core to maintain your balance as you descend and push yourself up. Phew! Just thinking about it can make you sweat.
A seriously difficult move that will require lots of practice. It’s called a human flag because your body will resemble a flag flying on a vertical pole.
You’ll need to grip a vertical pole with your arms apart giving the impression that you’re going to do a pull-up sideways. You’ll then push off the ground and bring both your legs up. Your body will be perpendicular to the vertical pole.
To give the impression of defying gravity, your grip will need to be very strong and your core must be tough enough to hold the position when your legs are extended. If you have shoulder issues or joint problems, it’s best that you avoid this exercise.
If all is good with you, this is definitely one of the benchmarks of upper body strength and you should strive to be able to do it.
This is just a squat done with one leg but when you come up, you explode upwards and jump. It sounds simple but it’s not easy. You’ll firstly need to be able to do single leg squats which are challenging on their own.
You’ll then need the strength in your quads to jump off the ground with one leg and maintain your balance when you land. It’ll take you time to master this exercise. If you have knee problems, avoid this exercise.
This exercise takes abdominal training to a whole new level. The move itself is simple in theory. You’ll hang off a pull-up bar with your arms shoulder width apart. Now do a half-pull up so that both your arms form a 90 degree angle at the elbows. Maintain this position and slowly bring up both your knees to touch your right elbow. Now lower your legs to starting position and bring the knees back up to touch your left elbow.
Maintain good form and keep your core tight. This exercise will work your chest, arms, back and core. You’ll feel the burn and know that this exercise will really work, if you work it. It’s great for men who are 40 and above because it is very low impact and pure tension. One of the best bodyweight exercises out there.
Of course, you need to be able to do a handstand with 2 hands first. Once you can do that well, slowly try balancing on one hand while you bring the other arm to your side.
If you can execute these 6 advanced bodyweight exercises fluidly and with ease, you’ll not only be extremely strong, but you’ll be way ahead of most of your peers who’ll probably gasp and struggle with these moves.
You now have bragging rights because you know that it never gets easier; you just get better.