What Is Bodyweight Training?
Bodyweight training is exactly what the name suggests. It is a form of strength training that doesn’t require the use of any equipment. Instead, we simply use the weight of our own body as a resistance for all of our movements. Some examples of bodyweight exercises include sit ups, push ups, squats, lunges to name a few.
This type of training can be very successful for developing strength, progressing your flexibility and improving cardiovascular fitness.
So, without delay, here are 5 reasons why you could benefit from "bodyweight training".
Bodyweight training can be modified and scaled easily to suit a range of levels
It is very easy to modify bodyweight movements to find the level of intensity that is right for your needs and can be delivered in a very beginner friendly format. Conversely, if you are looking to add extra challenges to workouts, bodyweight training can easily be modified to deliver a bigger challenge! For example, a push up can be scaled down for beginners by either doing it on the knees, or up against a wall. On the other hand, if you are looking to be challenged beyond a regular push up, you can opt for a diamond push up, a decline push up, or even a pike push up. Another example is progressing a simple squat to a single leg squat.
Alternatively, you can add extra sets, reps, take shorter breaks or perform the exercises at different speeds to add extra challenge. Each added modification can further develop your strength and physical fitness. It is a brilliant way of training as you can modify and adapt virtually any exercise to make it easier or harder, making it the ideal way for anyone to exercise their way back to a healthy body.
Endless exercise options
There are boundless bodyweight exercises, and modifications of these exercises, to choose from! Check out this list of 50 bodyweight exercises! From squats and lunges for lower body, to pull ups and push ups for the upper body, to sit ups and planks for abs. The options are endless! As you start to develop more strength and stamina, you can combine some of these exercises to create a full body circuit workout.
Boredom is often a big hindrance to working out and can be a real motivation killer! The great thing about the endless variety, is that there is less opportunity to get bored.
It is an extremely efficient workout
The absence of any equipment means that you can move seamlessly from one exercise to another in a minimal amount of time. If desired, you can choose not to take any rest in between exercises, performing super-sets which ups the intensity, and burns calories faster!
One of the most effective ways to engage in bodyweight training is by doing High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. HIIT involves predominantly bodyweight exercises performed in short bursts. Exercises are performed at a very high intensity with very little rest. By repeating this pattern over and over again you create intervals which in turn spike your heart rate up.
It is also extremely easy to create a full body workout. Squats and lunges train your legs, sit ups, and planks work your core, push ups and pull ups work your arms, shoulders, chest and back. There are also a number of compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups.
It helps your body move like it was supposed to
There is a lot of talk about functional fitness these days. But what exactly is it?? It involves training in a way that requires all your muscles to work together, thus allowing you to move better in every day life and in your chosen sport. Rather than focusing on a specific muscle, or muscle groups, as you would with conventional weight training program, functional training involves more muscle groups by means of primal movements. These movements require your muscles to work in unison.
Bodyweight training in undoubtedly the ultimate form of functional fitness! It helps you to develop the necessary athletic abilities regardless of whether you are picking up a heavy shopping bag, playing with your children or hiking a mountainous trail!
Improves balance and flexibility
Bodyweight training develops strength, flexibility and balance. The combination of these three elements also means that it can serve to prevent or reduce the risk of athletic injuries. There are numerous bodyweight exercises that are completed through a full range of motion which warrants that all of your joints are moving freely. By avoiding weights or any machines, you are putting your body through its natural range of motion. Better flexibility can also lead to improved posture and can help to reduce the risk of injury.
There are also many exercises that can help to develop balance. These may include standing on one leg, or bracing yourself on one arm, or even twisting back and forth in a way that requires balance. This develops our proprioception and is another great way to reduce our risks of injury. Studies have shown that we start to lose our balance as we age, so protect yourself from any unwanted falls by constantly challenging your balance!
Start using your own bodyweight as your gym, it really is a great way to get fit! Bodyweight exercises can be modified to achieve your desired challenge based on your personal strength needs and goals. There is a never-ending list of options. It is also an extremely efficient and functional way to train that may even serve to prevent injuries!
Check out some of our favourite bodyweight workouts:
Beginner Friendly Bodyweight Workout
Complete 50 – 40 – 30 – 20 – 10 reps of the following exercises. (For a scaled alternative, start at 40 reps, do the plank for 30 seconds and take a 1 minute rest in between rounds)
Intermediate *Tabata HIIT Bodyweight Workout
Take 1 minute rest in between rounds.
*Tabata consists of eight rounds of high-intensity exercises in a specific 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off interval.
Advanced Superset Bodyweight Workout
3 rounds of:
60 seconds rest
3 rounds of:
60 seconds rest
3 rounds of: