Body weight exercises routine with Physical Therapist Michelle from This gentle home workout requires no equipment and is ideal daily exercise for general strengthening muscles in your upper and lower body and your core.
What are Body Weight Exercises?
Body weight exercises are muscle strengthening exercises that don’t require resistance training exercise equipment.
Who are Body Weight Exercises Best Suited to?
Body weight exercises can be tailored to suit beginners through to advanced levels of strength and fitness.
Body weight exercises are:
Basic body weight exercises can can help women to get the correct exercise technique before progressing to weighted exercises (e.g. mini squats).
Body Weight Exercises and Female Pelvic Floor
Women with or at increased risk of pelvic floor problems should ideally choose pelvic floor friendly strengthening exercises. This includes women with; weak pelvic floor muscles, previous pelvic surgery, prolapse problems, recent childbirth and/or pelvic pain.
This video includes exercises that promote pelvic floor friendly strengthening. Some women will find that the modified pelvic floor friendly version of ‘The Plank’ exercise in this video is too challenging in which case it should be left out of the routine.
The safety of strength exercises for your pelvic floor depends on your individual risk factors including; pelvic floor strength and function, body weight, pelvic floor problem such as prolapse, previous pelvic surgery including prolapse or hysterectomy surgery.
Safety Tips for these 5 Body Weight Exercises
This exercise video includes 5 body weight exercises.
These tips aim to help you towards pelvic floor friendly strengthening.
Body Weight Exercise 1- Mini Squats
Mini squats strengthen the thigh and buttock muscles
*Keep your squat shallow
*Keep your knees and feet about fist width apart
*Breathe out when returning to standing
Body Weight Exercise 2- Lunges
Lunging strengthens thighs, buttocks and calf muscles
*Avoid deep lunges
*Breath out with the return to standing
NB -This exercise is not suitable for women with or at risk of SIJ (sacroliliac joint) dysfunction
Body Weight Exercise 3- Wall Push Ups
Wall push ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, arms and core abdominal/trunk muscles
*Keep your feet sufficiently close to the wall to keep the resistance light to moderate
*Breathe out on the return when pushing your body back up to vertical
NB – If your wrists are sore this exercise can be modified by placing your hands upon and leaning on an exercise ball rather than the wall
Body Weight Exercise 4- Modified Plank
Plank exercise strengthens muscles surrounding the trunk including abdominal and spinal muscles, chest, shoulders and upper back muscles
*Keep your abdominal contraction gentle never strong
*Breathe normally throughout this exercise
NB – Avoid this exercise if you are at high risk of pelvic floor dysfunction or if your shoulders are sore
Alternative exercise to The Plank : Floor push ups for women
Body Weight Exercise 5- Floor Bridge
Floor Bridge exercise strengthens the buttocks, lower back and thigh muscles
*This is generally a very pelvic floor friendly exercise for most women.
*Breathe normally throughout this exercise and avoid holding your breath
*Keep your heels close to your buttocks to promote buttock strengthening and avoid hamstring or back of thigh muscle tightness