While there is no one-size fits all approach to exercise and fitness, bodyweight exercises have an universal benefit. Whether you’re new to resistance training or an experienced veteran, trying to build mass or increase endurance, rehabbing from an injury or improving athletic performance chances are you can see great results from incorporating body weight exercises. Below is a rundown of the top 5 reasons to use bodyweight training as part or all of your fitness routine.
Sometimes the hardest part about going to the gym is going to the gym. With bodyweight based programs you don’t have to worry about that. There’s no membership to pay for, no driving back and forth to the gym, no fighting the crowd for the squat rack and you can workout wherever whenever. Choosing bodyweight workouts are a great way to make working out fit into your daily routine and reduce some of the barriers associated with getting fit or losing weight. Plus you can take the workout anywhere: to the park, on vacation, traveling for business, or even in your own home.
#2 Results, Results, Results
Bodyweight workouts are super efficient and that can translate to serious improvements in fitness. With bodyweight there is no equipment so you save time transitioning from one exercise to another. This allows you to pack more volume into less time and we all know time is a precious resource when it comes to fitness. Bodyweight workouts are a great way to burn fat fast. You can combine cardio intervals in between strength sets; 60 seconds of burpees or jump squats in between sets of squats, lunges, or push-ups will keep your heart rate up while still building lean tissue.
#3 You Will Finally Build the Core Strength You Have Always Wanted
Ah, yes. The elusive strong core. It’s a fitness component that almost everyone desires. As a trainer it is probably the number one thing I hear clients say they want to focus on but it’s not just about getting a six-pack. Training your core/torso will make you stronger in everything you do and is essential for preventing injury and back pain. There are over 29 muscles in the human torso and bodyweight training will engage them all when done properly. This will translate to greater overall strength, balance, flexibility and posture.
#4 Variety is the Spice of Life
If treadmills and bicep curls bore you then you should give bodyweight a try. Bodyweight exercises make for fast paced and fun workouts. It provides countless variations of exercises that can traditionally be done in the gym as well as new ones. Adding variety to workouts not only relives boredom, but also can be a great way to shock your body and break through a plateau.
#5 There is No Excuse to Not Workout
Whatever the reason for not working out may be, bodyweight exercises will eliminate most of them. It doesn’t require a lot of time, it doesn’t cost anything, it can be done anywhere and it can be adapted for all fitness levels. You won’t get bored and you will see results. When you look at the convenience and benefit of bodyweight workouts it seems like a legit way to get in shape. The big takeaway here is that while there is no universal answer to fitness that works for everyone, bodyweight workouts can be beneficial across multiple populations in diverse settings.
If you want to try some bodyweight workouts but aren’t sure what moves to incorporate or how to get started, don’t worry. Help is here. I have created what I call the Bodyweight Workout Builder. Below are a list of cardio exercises and a list of strength exercises that can be used to form your own workout.
- Create a circuit by pairing two or more strength exercises with a cardio exercise. You can choose to do the exercises in 30 second or 60 second intervals. Create 20, 30, or even 40-minute workouts by mixing and matching. For example, if I choose Lunge and Squat for my strength exercises and High Knees for my cardio exercise and I want to do 60 second intervals my circuit will look like this: 60s of Squats – 60s of Lunges – 60s of High Knees. I would repeat the circuit three to four times with 30-60s of rest in between. I can then move on to the next circuit that I create. Keep in mind that there are tons of bodyweight exercises and this is just a small sample. Do some digging or get creative and come up with some of your own.
Spider Man Push Ups
Run in place