Monkey bars or parallel bars can be used for some of the most effective bodyweight workouts and they’re so versatile you won’t get bored! The simplicity of this equipment means it tends to get overlooked… but think again. Endless exercises, adaptability to any fitness level and widespread access to them mean you might want to revisit them. Below we’ve listed 3 killer moves to get you in your best shape ever.
There’s a reason they never go out of style and the fact is they get results. However, because they’re so well known most people assume they know how to do them but form really is everything. To make sure you’re targeting your muscles and not straining your back you need to make sure your core stays engaged throughout the whole move. A good way to make sure you do this is to keep your legs straight; this prevents the strain on your back and forces you to engage your glutes and core.
This is the classic move where you work your way along the bars swinging from one bar to the next. It may seem relatively simple but this is great at targeting multiple muscle groups, core, arms and laterals. Not only this but it’ll also give you the grip strength of a beast. Struggling to make your way along the bars? Grab a partner and get them to hold your legs to take some of the weight off until you can do it yourself.
Not only do these work your entire core and give you a strong grip, but you can also use them to specifically target your oblique’s by twisting to alternate sides each time. If doing regular hanging leg raises be sure to keep your legs locked straight for the whole move, but if you want to engage your oblique’s pull your knees up as you alternate between each side. Key tip: Don’t try to get through these as quickly as possible, they’ll have the most effect if you go through the movement slowly.
Speed lifts (e.g., box squats, speed deads & speed bench) are essential to increasing strength, acceleration and power.
One of the main reasons we go to the gym is to build muscle mass. The first year we start training we make insane progress, then all of a sudden we hit a brick wall and all progress begins to plateau.