You have probably tried multiple types of training styles by now, and you may be wondering how you can get an effective session that does not require any membership or fancy equipment. You can do just that, switch up your workouts and get in an effective session with just your bodyweight by doing bodyweight training – an increasingly popular training style with many benefits.
What is bodyweight training?
Bodyweight training is a style of training that focuses on using your own body as resistance for each exercise.
Bodyweight training sessions can produce effective results for fat loss, eliminate imbalances, and general strengthening through a combination of cardio and strength training.
Here is an example of a bodyweight training session that takes 20 minutes.
Repeat the following as many times as you can in 20 minutes.
- Jumping Lunges 100X (50 per side)
- One Arm Push-Ups 24X (12 per arm)
- Plank 1’45”
- Star Jumps 50X
- Explosive Push-Ups 25X
- Plank 1’45”
- Vertical Calf Jumps 50X
- Plank Walkups 25X (12 per arm)
- Side Plank 2’30” (1’15” per side)
Form is crucial in bodyweight training to ensure that you are working each muscle group appropriately and also protecting your body to avoid injury.
Other popular bodyweight exercises are: burpees, mountain climbers, prone walkout, wall sit, lunge, lunge to row, squat, single-leg deadlift, step-up, calf-raise, standard push-up, superman, triceps dip, arm circles, etc.
Benefits of bodyweight exercises
Now that we have gone over what bodyweight training is, let’s go over 5 benefits of bodyweight training.
1. You can do bodyweight training anywhere, anytime
When you aren’t limited to workouts that require equipment or anything ‘extra’, it gives you a lot more freedom with your workouts. Bodyweight training is something you can do anywhere, anytime and still be 100% confident that, should you choose to, you can push yourself to your max and get a vigorous workout in.
You can complete bodyweight training from the comfort of your own home as you wait for dinner to cook, when you have 30 minutes free during your day or simply before the start to your day without tacking on time driving to and from the gym or exercise class.
Especially for those who are in a seated position during the working day, going to the gym, lifting weights and not getting much movement in is not always very appealing or motivating. This the main benefit of bodyweight training: it gets your body moving and you don’t have to commit to doing it any particular environment.
2. Bodyweight training improves greater flexibility
Bodyweight exercises, especially full body exercises such as burpees and mountain climbers, require you to keep each part of your body fully engaged and make them go through a full range of motion. This stability improves overall strength and greater flexibility as you are working each body part.
If you want to incorporate exercises that are specific to improving greater flexibility you can include aerial yoga poses in your routine. As you become more flexible, you not only reduce your chance of injury but you also open the door to the different types of exercises that you are comfortable and able to do.
3. More trust in your body from bodyweight exercises
When you complete a training session using only your bodyweight, you become more confident in your own body. You learn what moves you can do, what you like to do, how far you can push yourself, and how you can adjust certain positions to target different areas. Establishing (or reestablishing) good movement patterns gives you that chance to move your body and reinforce good habits that will make you more confident in your body. There’s a unique type of trust you build with your physical (and mental) body when you are working for your body and ‘versus’ your bodyweight.
4. Tone and lean it out and/or build muscle
You can certainly build muscle with bodyweight training, though bodyweight training results are more so focused on a lean and toned body. This training style generally consists of short bursts of exercises and consistent training, which helps to burn fat and tone your body. To build muscle, you can add in more difficult exercises and be sure to keep that muscle group engaged throughout every exercise.
5. Bodyweight training is cost effective
Besides health benefits of bodyweight training, there are also other kind of advantages. We all know that a training style that requires a paid membership can get costly, and bodyweight training (can be) free. You can start out at home or in your backyard no equipment required, and add in exercises that use a step in your home, or bench, swing, or pull-up bar (or monkey bars!) already installed at a public park. Remember that you can make bodyweight training whatever you want it to be! You could, for example, add it into your current movement habits, boost the days you play a sport with a quick bodyweight training session before or afterwards, or commit to bodyweight training as your primary form of exercise.