Everything old… is new again! Over the last couple of years, bodyweight training, or the act of using your own body weight as resistance (no equipment needed), has become increasingly popular! That’s right! We’re going back to the basics and using classic exercises (like the push up) instead! No matter the weight or fitness level, bodyweight training can be a very effective method of exercise. There are many different exercises available to perform, and modification is easy to start at a beginner level and advance. This will allow for a gradually strengthened and improved fitness routine.
Here are 5 advantages to bodyweight training:
Bodyweight training is on the rise as in today’s busy culture, because this exercise is available whenever and wherever convenient for you! Whether at you’re at home, outside, or even at the gym…this routine can be taken anywhere! The best part? It’s FREE! As this training does not require weights or a specific on location regimen, this type of fitness does NOT need a gym membership.
2) Psychologically Beneficial
Heading to the gym can be intimidating for most people because of all the different equipment and the constant feeling that someone is watching you. Being able to stay at home or outside where your are more comfortable is a great way to start (and stay!) on a consistent exercise routine.
3) Ability To Start Your Own Fitness Program
Starting at home or going to the gym and finding an open workout space for doing body weight exercises alone is great especially for beginners. As you perform these exercises you are building up your core strength, working on your balance, and overall confidence.
4) Modification Of Exercises
Since you are only using your body weight as your resistance, it can be hard to progress. This is where modification of most exercises may be helpful. For example, a squat for beginners may start with squatting down onto a bench or chair. However, once you feel comfortable, move to holding onto the back of a chair for the extra support while squatting down. The last step to squat progression would be completing a full bodyweight squat. Proper form for a squat: legs are shoulder width apart, toes slightly pointed outward, buttocks pushed back, head forward, chest up, and back straight. Be sure knees do not go over toes; if they do, try widening your stance. A proper squat should look like you are sitting without a chair underneath you. To advance your squat try: jump squats, pistol squat, and figure four squat. Looking to increase the resistance of exercises to make them more challenging? Try adding in resistance bands. Resistance Bands are inexpensive to buy and can take your exercise to a further advanced level.
As bodyweight training uses only body weight, most bodyweight training is in the form of interval training. This is great for both adding lean muscle mass and cardiorespiratory advancement. You are also using increased compound exercises which means you are using more muscle at one time such as in a squat or push up giving you a total body workout in less time then if you were to isolate each muscle at the gym.
10-minute Beginner Bodyweight Circuit
• Jumping jacks
• Push ups
Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 1 minute after you complete all four exercises. Repeat circuit 5 times.
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