Lose the Dad bod without using weights

If there’s one thing a guy doesn’t want to hear, it’s someone referring to their physique as a “Dad bod”. Let’s face it, it typically means you’re not in the worst shape, but you’re lacking muscle tone and that extra body fat would leave you feeling hot in the coldest of weather. If you’ve had this term sent in your direction, you probably laughed it off. But beneath the surface, they’ve rattled your cage.

It’s time to shed those extra pounds, rid yourself of the Dad bod status and get a body you’re proud of.

How can I get rid of my Dad-bod belly?

For many men, around-the-middle is the toughest spot to shed weight from, especially when they’ve gained the dreaded Dad bod beer belly. As we get older, belly fat is a common problem and it’s pretty stubborn to get rid of. As life gets busier and we get older, our fitness and nutrition can slide a bit. But it’s not all doom and gloom!

Getting in shape and staying in shape isn’t about working out through the night, but the quality of your workout. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, and there are plenty of exercises you can do without using weights at all.

Try our 3-day split Dad-bod transformation program

For any man wanting to rid themselves of the Dad bod and get fast results, it’s not about working out all day, but working out smarter. This 3-day split workout regime will work your entire body, uses bodyweight only and can be completed in under 30 minutes.

Monday: Upper body workout

High plank: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Get on all fours and place your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep them directly under your shoulders and your elbows slightly bent.

How to do it:

Keep your legs extended and rest the balls of your feet against the floor. Make sure your body is diagonal to the floor. Keep your core engaged and form a straight line between your head and feet.

Bridge: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Lay on the floor, on your back with your head laying flat. Keep your knees bent and shuffle your heels to sit directly under your knees. Allow your arms to stay at your sides, with palms down.

How to do it:

Tuck your pelvis under to keep your lower back flat. Keep your shoulder blades in and down, while raising your hips towards the ceiling. When fully extended, hold this position for 10 seconds and squeeze those glutes! Then lower your hips, ideally without touching back down and repeat.

Superman: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Start by laying flat on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.

How to do it:

Keep your head and neck neutral as you raise your upper body and then your legs off the ground – this should form an arch. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Make sure your knees and chest are lifted off the floor. If it helps, bend your arms slightly in front of you at the elbow. To increase or decrease body tension, raise or lower your upper body and/or legs simultaneously.

Quadruped limb raises: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Start on all fours, with your hands shoulder-width apart under your shoulders. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and place your knees beneath your hips. Keep your body parallel to the floor, forming a straight line across your back.

How to do it:

Extend your right arm forward and left leg back while maintaining a straight back. Hold this move for 3 to 10 seconds, then lower to the starting position. Repeat on the other arm/leg!

Bodyweight push-up: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Much like the previous exercise, start on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep them directly under your shoulders with a slight bend in your elbows. Extend your legs so your weight is held up by the balls of your feet. Engage that core and keep a straight line from your head to your toes.

How to do it:

The perfect push-up is all about lowering your upper body and your hips simultaneously. Keep your core engaged, elbows tucked close to your body and remember to inhale as you lower and exhale as you powerfully push your body back up.

Tricep dip: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Sit on the edge of the secure surface (such as a step or the edge of your furniture) and grip the edge next to your hips. Keep your legs are extended with your heels touching the ground.

How to do it:

Press into your palms to lift your body and slide forward off the surface/step just far enough that your butt clears the edge. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Pause for a moment then press your body back to the starting position and repeat.

Wednesday: Lower body

Bodyweight squat: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Stand with your hands on the back of your head or out in front of you. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your feet turned out slightly to open the hip joint. Engage your core!

How to do it:

Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position. Press into the mid-foot to straighten your legs as you stand, and don’t forget to inhale as you initiate the movement!

Calf raises: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Stand up straight with your core tight and your back flat. You can keep your hands by your sides, or hold onto a wall for balance.

How to do it:

Stand tall with your core engaged onto the balls of your feet. You should be on your tiptoes and feel a stretch in your calves. Hold this stretch and return to the starting position. Repeat.

Bodyweight lunges: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.

How to do it:

Step forward with your right foot, until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle. At the same time, allow your left leg to bend until your knee touches the floor. Use your right foot at the driver as you extend your leg to stand up and return to the starting position. Fight the urge to lead with your shoulders, or bounce your way back to the beginning!

Lying L Sit: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Lay down on your back and bend your knees. Tuck your feet close to your butt. Keep your arms by your sides with your palms facing downward. Tuck your tailbone under slightly, so that your lower back is flat to the floor. Engage your core!

How to do it:

Stretch your legs out overhead and pull your toes downward towards your face. This will lead to a strong stretch in your hamstrings. Keep those toes pulling for at least 30 seconds. Make sure your lower back remains tight to the floor.

Day 3: Core

Plank: Repeat 3 times

Starting position:

Start by laying on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms facing forward. Keep your hands flat and engage your core.

How to do it:

Raise your body up until you’re resting your weight on your forearms and toes. Keep your abdominal muscles engage and your body in a straight line. Make sure you keep your shoulders down. Hold this position for 60 seconds if you can and repeat.

Bodyweight sit-up: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Lie down on your back, bending your legs and placing your feet firmly on the ground. You can tuck your feet under something secure, such as your couch.

How to do it:

Keep your hands either behind your head or cross your hands on your chest. Curl your upper body towards your knees, engaging your core to isolate your abs. Return to the starting position and repeat. If you want to make these a little harder, try slow and controlled reps – counting 5-10 seconds on the way up, holding and repeat back down.

Reverse crunch: Repeat 6-8 times for 3 sets

Starting position:

Lie flat on your back and extend your legs. Keep your arms by your sides and your palms flat on the floor. Move your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, keeping your feet together.

How to do it:

Breathe in and pull your knees towards your chest. Roll your pelvis backwards, raising your hips and upper back off the floor. Hold for a moment and exhale as you release to the starting position.

What’s the best rest time between sets?

I’d suggest no longer than 1 minute – although it is up to you.

Why do you need rest days?

You may not be lifting heavy weights at the gym, but your body still needs time to rest, repair and build muscle.

How long should I do this program for?

You can choose to use this program for as long as you like, until you find you have gotten the most out of it that you can. Try to keep it up for at least four weeks.

What about if my bodyweight isn’t enough to make it challenging?

If you feel as though your bodyweight alone isn’t enough, try adding a weighted vest. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can fill a backpack with some bottles of water or other household items to add weight.

Can bodyweight exercises alone get you shredded?

Bodyweight exercises can work brilliantly to build muscle if you use the following principles: decrease rest times between sets, increase reps, perform variations, train to failure and increase time under tension.


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