You may not know much about bodyweight exercises. This is due to the fact that, unlike all the trendy fitness equipment out there, bodyweight exercises have no marketing department.
Since bodyweight training exercises require no equipment beyond the resistance provided by the weight of your body, they are often overlooked by those looking to get fit.
This is mainly due to the overwhelming amount of advertisers competing for your attention as they attempt to sell you their (potentially useless) piece of equipment.
Many people may also opt for machine-based exercises since most machines have instructions inscribed right there on the side, making it easy to just walk up, strap in, and perform the exercise.
It takes a little more time and commitment to learn how to do bodyweight exercises effectively and properly, but it is well worth it due to the unique benefits bodyweight training exercise offers over other forms of exercise.
Bodyweight training offers something for everyone. Bodyweight exercises run the gamut from simple exercises suited for beginners to extremely challenging moves utilized by elite athletes.
Don’t let “Big Fitness” tell you that you need any fancy products to get your best body ever. I am a big supporter of bodyweight training as one of the best approaches to getting in shape.
Bodyweight training is truly a versatile form of exercise!
Bodyweight training is a very versatile, effective, and convenient form of exercise. I recommend combining bodyweight exercises with free weight exercises, cardio, and nutrition as the best way to get fit.
There are simple activities in each of the four categories of exercises that is endurance, strength, balance, flexibility that can be done without having to spend any money on fancy equipment.
- Under endurance – you can perform exercises such as jogging, dancing, brisk walking, cycling, stair climbing, and swimming.
- Under strength – you can engage in exercises such as squats, push-ups, and lunges.
- Under flexibility – you can utilize exercises such as yoga, butt kicks, doorway chest stretch, single knee rotation, and shoulder and upper arm stretch.
- Under balance – you can perform balance movements like standing on one foot, walking heel to toe, and sitting down and then standing up without using your hands.
Each of the mentioned exercises does not require you to invest in equipment or pay for a gym membership. They are simple, and can, therefore, be done at home or in public places such as parks.
Bodyweight training also minimizes overall risk and your chance of getting major injuries!
Though the exercises afford you the means to attain physical fitness without spending money on expensive equipment, there are still some risks involved, albeit, they are generally minimal when compared to a traditional exercise routine that uses weights or other equipment.
Because no equipment is involved when performing most bodyweight exercises (unless you decide to utilize additional weight), the chance of tweaking your back or hurting your joints by lifting wrong or too much weight is no longer a major factor.
And because bodyweight exercises are easier on the joints, because you’re naturally only using your own body weight, they are great for those new to exercise or for older folks.
Minor risks you might encounter if performing your routine outside may be as simple as twisting an ankle if running or walking, or even something you may not think about, like sunburn. Excess sun exposure can damage your skin and even cause cancer. But, that should not discourage you from exercising outdoors since brands like lovemelanotan offer a tanning peptide that will give your skin added protection.
But despite the minimized risk involved with bodyweight training, if you’re new to to exercise, hire an instructor to guide you through some of the exercises. While you’re less likely to injure yourself, it’s still possible if you don’t know what you’re doing.
You might also find it challenging to begin and maintain your new routine so a trainer can come in handy there too. Either way, bodyweight training is great and I highly recommend it.
Now let’s take a look at some of the many benefits…
Benefits of Bodyweight Training Exercise
Many people fail to engage in regular physical exercise due to the lack of finances needed to purchase expensive equipment and to pay for facilities. As a result, they end up living an unhealthy life and exposing themselves to conditions such as heart attack, obesity, and diabetes.
What they fail to realize is that you don’t need money to become physically active. There are exercises that you can perform at home, in the streets, and public parks without having to spend a dollar. Therefore, lack of finances should not be the reason why you don’t exercise regularly.
Bodyweight training not only solves any financial roadblocks when beginning a regular exercise routine, this form of training offers many additional benefits.
Let’s take a look…
Bodyweight Training Exercises Combine Cardio and Strength Training
Many people’s fitness routines are not very efficient in terms of time or effective in terms of results. You may be one of those people who spends an hour at the gym several times per week hitting the cardio machines AND the weight machines and wondering why you’re not seeing faster results. I used to be one of those people until I began to learn about the benefits of bodyweight and free weights for exercise!
It should be pretty obvious that body weight exercises build strength, but many people don’t realize that bodyweight exercises get your heart rate up and keep it up throughout your workout, even becoming a form of interval training as you alternate between more and less cardio-heavy bodyweight exercises.
A bodyweight workout is more challenging to both the muscular system and cardiovascular system than relying on cardio machines and weight machines, meaning your workout takes less time while providing your system with enough of a challenge that you will see quick results.
The Burpee is a fantastic bodyweight exercise that gets your heart pounding while delivering the strength training benefits of a squat, a pushup, and a jump.
Bodyweight Training Exercises Burn a Ton of Calories
This benefit of bodyweight training exercise flows right from the last one, as strength training plus cardio equals fat loss. The best way to burn calories and lose weight is through an integrated fitness program combining cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and of course, a great nutrition plan. Bodyweight exercises are extremely useful to hit those key elements of cardio and strength training in one fell swoop.
Many bodyweight exercises activate multiple muscle groups at once, meaning that multiple muscles are hard at work burning calories at once instead of just one or two, in contrast to isolation exercises. Also, as mentioned above, bodyweight exercises often include a cardio component which leads to heightened caloric burn.
If you want to work out your lower body, think how many more calories you’ll burn in a glute-, hamstrings-, quads-, and calves-blasting sequence of lunges versus exercises isolating these different lower body parts.
Bodyweight is generally plenty of resistance as long as you perform enough reps to fatigue your muscles, but you can further increase resistance by adding simple and inexpensive dumbbells if you prefer.
Bodyweight Training Exercises Build Functional Strength
Functional strength is simply defined as strength which ties directly to activities of your daily life, whether those activities be performing household chores and hobbies or engaging in competitive athletics. What’s functional for one person may not be functional for another, but bodyweight exercises can easily be built into routines meant to achieve different functional results.
Many popular exercise modalities (especially those ubiquitous gym machine exercises most people resort to because they don’t know any better) build strength that isn’t especially useful to everyday living or to athletic performance. These types of isolation exercises often overemphasize a certain muscle or muscle groups solitary function in one plane of motion, when in reality, the body is mean to function as one integrated unit in multiple planes of motion. For example, the power of a martial artist’s punch does not come from the strength of the arm muscles punching straight ahead; a truly powerful fighter knows how use the whole kinetic chain, including the leg, hip, and core to generate maximum impact.
Functional training exercises encourage the development of overall functional strength in which multiple muscle groups throughout the body act in concert to achieve optimal movement. Functional training addresses everyday movements such as squatting, lunging, twisting, lifting, jumping, and balancing. Myriad functional training routines can be built with bodyweight exercises alone, or with a combination of bodyweight exercises and free weight exercises.
The squat is a classic functional training exercise. You may not realize it, but you perform half a squat anytime you sit down or rise up from sitting. Watch this video to learn how to do a Bodyweight Squat, an excellent exercise for working out your entire lower body, including all the stabilizer muscles.
Bodyweight Training Exercises Help Prevent Injury
Bodyweight exercises force you to use your core for stability as you work out instead of relying on outside support such as machines and benches. Don’t think of the core as just your abs; the core is actually defined as all the stabilization muscles in the trunk area, including your deep abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, and hip stabilizers. Even the stabilization muscles of the shoulders, all-too-common sites of injury, can be included in our definition of the core.
Bodyweight exercises encourage you to engage all of your core stability muscles in order to work out with proper form. As your core becomes stronger and more stable, your risk of injury while working out or just going about your daily life will decrease. Your posture will also improve, further reducing the chance of injury.
Check out this video of the Dynamic Side Plank, a great bodyweight exercise for strengthening the quadratus lumborum as well as other core muscles. You can do the Dynamic Side Plank with a dumbbell too or without a dumbbell to make it a pure bodyweight training exercise.
Bodyweight Training Exercises are Incredibly Convenient
Many barriers to working out based on money, time, or space vanish when you begin a training program utilizing bodyweight exercises.
If you don’t have the money to join a gym, if it’s tough for you to make time to go to the gym, or if there simply isn’t a decent gym in your area, you will want to rely on bodyweight exercises to get into great shape.
Since you need no equipment for many bodyweight exercises, or rather, your body becomes the equipment, you can easily do bodyweight exercises whether or not you have gym access or the money to invest in a home gym.
Bodyweight exercises are anytime, anywhere exercises. You can do bodyweight training exercises spontaneously at the park, at the beach, while camping, on vacation, while traveling for business, etc. This makes bodyweight exercises much more convenient than workouts relying on access to free weights, weight machines, or cardio exercise machines.
Ways to Build Your Lower Body Using Just Your Bodyweight
Conventionally when we think of body strength, big biceps and chest come to our mind. While the upper body does play its role in adding to one’s strength quotient, a greater role is played by the lower body.
This is because the lower body is responsible not only for your body strength but also for your posture, which in turn may even impact your personality and confidence.
For starters, you could just get a treadmill for rent and just start walking and jogging on it daily to get your legs moving, however, that is not going to be sufficient.
Hence, being one of the most neglected aspects of fitness and exercise, we will take a look at some easy ways to build your lower body strength with just your bodyweight alone.
Utilize the Squat
Squats are the most important of all exercises when it comes to enhancing your lower body strength. Built around human beings most essential body movements of standing up, squats are targeted more towards the glutes, however, each repetition of squat hits almost every leg muscle right from the foot up to the lower back muscles along the spine.
Lunges are probably the most efficient exercises when it comes to working out the lower body muscles. The basic movement of lunges is primarily an exaggerated style of walking. It can either be done freehand or can be coupled with weights.
While shoes are essential as they protect your feet and modern footwear also enhances your performance, some exercises like freehand squats and lunges can be performed barefoot. In time, you will notice an increase in the strength of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. As our ancient ancestors didn’t use shoes, you’ll be utilizing and challenging your body in new ways that you haven’t before.
Try High Knee Jumps
High knee jumps are not only the perfect aerobic exercises for your cardiovascular system, but more importantly, they also directly target the muscles of your legs. Regular practice of high knee jumps will improve the strength of your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
Bodyweight exercises are a fantastic way to get fit. A shortage of funds should not be the reason why you fail to exercise regularly and attain physical fitness.
There are many activities that you can do at home or in other suitable places without having to spend a single dollar. Bodyweight exercises are also very effective, so no expensive equipment is really even necessary.
To learn more about bodyweight training, consider hiring an instructor and make use of the free articles, videos, and apps found on this site or the Internet for guidance.