If you are stuck in the skinny fat zone, like I was once upon a time, a great way to bust out of this zone is to start doing some simple exercises at home. If you can join a gym and get a good, well qualified, personal trainer who understands your predicament then fair play to you. However, if you are short on time and don’t want to commit to an expensive gym membership then there is no reason why you can’t start your body transformation and put an end to being part of the ever increasing skinny but fat demographic.
It took one of my friends to point out to me how I was no longer just skinny but was starting to get fat too. Once this public observation (thanks dude) had been made I took myself off to the nearest gym and started working out like mad. Unfortunately I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing and didn’t really make much progress for the first year, until I started doing some research into nutrition and working out. Luckily you won’t have to make the same mistake as me. If you are ready to start working out at home in order to prevent yourself from getting (even more) skinny fat, half the battle has already been won!
You Don’t Need the Gym to Win
Now if you told me you wanted to become a professional bodybuilder or fitness magazine cover model, I’d tell you to turn off the computer and get down the gym. But if your goals are a little more modest and you want to look good with your top off and obtain that lean, athletic look then signing up at the gym isn’t necessary. You can perform a great workout at home with hardly any equipment and in some cases no equipment at all! One great exercise to burn calories and put some lean muscle on your chest, shoulders and triceps is the push up and the best news of all is that it requires no gym equipment. Diet and nutrition also play a big part in getting in great shape and something like the Lean Ape Living book can help you get this aspect of your life sorted without any pain.
But Doing Endless Push Ups isn’t Going to Help
Before I started going to the gym I was a proper weed! I doubt I could do more than five push ups in those days. If you are struggling to get into double digits don’t worry, you can quickly remedy this. But one big mistake people make when they start working out at home is to do as many reps of an exercise as they can. In a few months you will probably be able to do 20-30 push ups in one go, but just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.
If you want give your muscles enough of shock so that they grow, you need to make sure the exercise you are performing is difficult enough so you can only do around 8 to 12 reps. Once you get good at push ups you will have to start finding creative ways to make them difficult again. Once such way, that I am utilizing myself at the moment is the one armed push up, or at least working my way up to it! You can read about my current fitness challenges in my series of monthly goals.
How One Armed Push Ups Can Help you Avoid Skinny Fat Syndrome
In order to put on muscle and transform your body from soft and flabby to hard and toned, you need to keep your muscles working hard when exercising. Doing push ups at home is a great way to exercise without any fitness equipment but they can quickly become too easy to really challenge your muscles. In order to make this exercise useful again you need to make it harder. Once you can do three sets of 12 push ups you should start working your way towards one arm push ups. The extra tension the one armed version of this classic exercise puts on your chest and triceps will have them growing in no time. The extra muscle will help speed up your metabolism and you will be burning more calories than ever before, helping to keep your body fat levels down.
The First Step Towards One Armed Push Ups
Even though I can now do a good amount of regular push ups, when I first tried a one armed push up I couldn’t even manage one rep! How can you practice something you can’t even do once? Well the answer is you have to build up to them slowly. Try the exercise below for a few weeks until you can easily do three sets of 12 reps. If you already exercise your chest muscles, then perform these push ups on the same day. If you are not regularly working out then try these three times a week with a least a day’s rest in between.
- Get in the regular push up position with your arms just beyond shoulders width apart and your feet close together.
- Take one arm, and move it out to the side keeping the fingers of both hands pointing ahead of you.
- Start doing a push up. You will notice that the side of the body of the arm that you didn’t move out to the side is doing most of the work. Although you haven’t jumped straight into a one armed push up, one side of your body is definitely doing most of the work.
- Once you’ve done 12 reps, or if you can’t do this much yet, as many as you can, change your arms so that the other one is now out to the side and the other arm is back in place.
- Try and do 12 reps and then swap over arms again
Aim to do three sets with both arms. As they get easier, move your arm out further to the side until it is hardly helping your other arm at all. Keep trying this until you can comfortably do three sets of 12 reps. This is the first step of how to do one arm push ups.
The Second Step to Mastering Single Arm Push Ups
Now that you are doing three sets of 12 reps with one arm out to the side, and your working arm is taking most of the weight, it is now time to move to the next level of difficulty. For this you will need some kind of prop, something like a small step or study box will do perfectly. Whatever you choose it should be about six inches high off the ground and stable enough to hold some of your weight.
- Get in the regular push up position. Remember to keep your legs close together and avoid splaying them out to make the exercise easier and therefore less effective.
- Take one arm and move it out to the side but this time rest your palm on top of the step or box you are going to use.
- Do your first push up. This time you will find it even harder than before to complete the exercise. As one of your arms is raised off the ground your working arm will be taking even more of the weight.
- Try and do 12 reps or if not, as many as you can start with.
- Swap arms so that the other one is up on the step or box and complete another set.
Again, aim for three sets of 12 reps and then move onto the next step.
Moving on to Single Arm Push Ups
Now you have done the prep work you are ready to try a single armed push up with a good chance at success.
- Get into the regular starting push up position with your arms just outside shoulder width, fingers facing forward and your legs together.
- Take one arm and place it on your lower back. Keep it out of the way to avoid succumbing to temptation and using it when things get tough.
- Do your first one arm push up!
You might only be able to do one or two to begin with but keep at it and you will soon be doing three sets of 12 reps with ease. Once these become too easy try doing them with your legs elevated by resting them on a step of piece of furniture. Once this also, becomes too easy, you will have to invest in some weights or find a heavy object you can rest on your back to increase the amount of weight you are lifting.
A Simple Home Exercise to Zap the Fat and Build Muscle
As you can see, you can transform this relatively easy exercise into something much harder and useful by following a few simple steps. There are three reasons to work your way up to one armed push ups in order to change your body composition and say goodbye to skinny fat syndrome:
- They become a difficult exercise that really helps to build your chest, shoulder and tricep muscles.
- The extra muscle you grow will increase your body’s metabolism which means it burns more calories per day than it did before. With your new faster metabolism you will soon be on your way to getting rid of stubborn fat deposits around your waist and belly that give you the appearance of being skinny and fat at the same time.
- They also make a great party trick!
Although this is a great exercise to have at your disposal it is essential that you don’t neglect the other areas and muscles groups of your body. Doing so will ensure you end up with an unbalanced body which could be almost as bad as how you were before! The good news is you can give your entire body a workout at home with barely any equipment at all. You can even do squats at home for toned, athletic legs and by adding a few dumbbells or kettlebells to your collection you can do even more great exercises without ever setting foot in the gym.
Join up with me on Facebook and let me know when you can do 10 one armed push ups, I’d love to hear from you.