Whether you’re new to working out or looking to switch up your exercise routine, bodyweight training can be an excellent tool to help you achieve your fitness goals.
It’s a great way to challenge yourself and try something your body may not be used to.
Plus, there are numerous benefits from:
By the end of this guide, you’ll know:
Bodyweight exercises are a type of strength training where you use your own weight to provide resistance against gravity.
When you complete a bodyweight workout, you are essentially using your body alone without any other exercise equipment.
In fact, chances are you’ve almost certainly completed some common bodyweight exercises before as they’re often included in other workout programs.
A few well-known bodyweight exercises include:
Alternating the number of circuits and reps along with your workout duration can either make your bodyweight workout easier or more challenging.
One of the biggest benefits of bodyweight training is its convenience — meaning you can do a bodyweight workout from almost anywhere.
Because your only equipment is your body, you can complete an effective workout from places like:
Bodyweight workouts are a close comparison to interval training — meaning you’ll alternate bursts of intense activity with periods of no- or low-intensity activity.
One of the most important benefits of bodyweight exercise is its ability to improve your cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength all at once.
You get a cardio workout from changing positions and elevating your heart rate, while your bodyweight and gravity work together to help you build muscle.
It’s okay if you’re still wondering, “Why is bodyweight training good for me?”
Keep reading to get a deeper look into the benefits of bodyweight exercises.
Think of a few typical bodyweight exercises:
All of these are considered full-body exercises because you’re engaging your entire body (arms, core, glutes, lets) to complete them.
Whether you’re using your core or lower half to stabilize, like in a push-up, or are actively engaging your arms, legs, and core, such as in a mountain climber, multiple muscle groups work in conjunction to complete the exercise.
When you’re performing a bodyweight exercise, your body is working to stabilize itself.
This strengthens the muscles and stretches the ligaments and tendons that help you stay balanced while doing everyday activities like walking or picking things up around the house, but also when you’re running or performing other workout movements.
Training your body this way can especially help in preventing injury.
This particular benefit goes hand-in-hand with convenience.
Have some time to kill while you watch your kids play at the park? Bust out some squats or incline push-ups on the park bench. Or, give some tricep dips a go.
Tired after a long day of travel but know that just a 20-minute workout will help you sleep better? You can knock out a quick workout from the comfort of your hotel room.
Bodyweight training gives you the freedom to workout on your own time without sacrificing quality.
You can burn calories and build muscle without the hassle of equipment or a gym.
Doing the same type of workout day after day doesn’t just get boring — it can also plateau your workout results.
By switching up the types of workouts you do and the kind of exercises, you’ll challenge your body much more.
Think of new and exciting bodyweight workouts to try, like:
Another answer to the question, “Why is bodyweight training good for you?” would be its ability to be customized.
New to fitness? Try a bodyweight workout.
Do you already do a cardio workout a few times a week but want to focus on toning? Add in a bodyweight workout twice a week.
You can also adjust how many reps you do and modify many exercises based on your fitness level.
A few other benefits of bodyweight training are due to the fact that it is:
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Bodyweight exercises are just as effective a form of strength training as workouts that involve free weights or weight machines.”
But to differentiate between which one is better, the answer would be, that depends.
The important thing to note is that the correct answer for you will depend on your ultimate goal.
If you’re recovering from an injury or are new to fitness, chances are a beginner bodyweight workout is going to be the best outlet to meet you where you are in your fitness journey.
If you’re aiming for muscle gain, on the other hand, bodyweight training may not be the best fit because you can’t load any of your moves to make them more challenging.
Bodyweight training also has benefits like enhancing your:
But using equipment allows you to track your progress and increase the load to maximize your results.
Carving out your fitness milestones and your ultimate goal will help point you to which program is best.
Our trainers at In CDM Gym can tailor a fitness program to help you achieve your goals and will work to:
You don’t need equipment for any of these exercises, so give them a go wherever you have the space — at home, on the road, or outside.
Read on for three bodyweight exercises you can knock out almost anywhere.
Yoga is a great form of bodyweight training, although it’s typically not the first thing on people’s minds when they think of bodyweight workouts.
It is, however, a great way to:
Yoga can work as a great supplement to traditional strength training, too.
In your yoga practice, you use both large and small muscles and move in many directions, not just back and forth on a one-dimensional plane (think of the forward-back motion of a bicep curl).
Sun salutation is often used as a warm-up in yoga but it can also be a good warm-up or cool down for any type of workout.
The sun salutation strings several fundamental poses together in a smooth-flowing sequence designed to ease your body into your practice.
You’ll typically move through a series of basic poses in sun salutation, including:
According to an article written by Kelly Turner, an ACE certified personal trainer, for Gaiam, practicing yoga is a balanced way to do bodyweight strength training for a number of reasons:
Squats are a tried and true bodyweight exercise and can truly be modified to fit any fitness level.
There many variations of squats that you can try as you progress, including:
To perform a basic bodyweight squat:
Squats work to build strength in your…
…while quietly working your core.
Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups, so you’re getting a full body workout with this one move.
Plus, you may boost your performance in other exercises or cardio workouts with the extra lower-body strength from squats.
Push-ups are a classic bodyweight exercise — and for good reason. According to Muscle & Performance, push-ups are considered the ultimate bodyweight exercise.
Give it a go by following the steps below:
This movement gives you the chance to work your:
An added bonus? You’ll also work your…
…as you stabilize.
Now that is full body engagement.
You may see the phrase “bodyweight exercise” and make the mistake of thinking they’re easy.
Plus, you could be potentially putting yourself at risk for injury because you aren’t performing new exercises correctly.
Attempting a full bodyweight workout on your own could still feel daunting and overwhelming.
Having a personal trainer by your side to help build your program and make sure you’re completing those bodyweight exercises safely and effectively could help you achieve your goal that much quicker.
Here at In Motion O.C., our fitness coaches will meet you where you are in your fitness journey and work with you to build a complete bodyweight training plan specifically tailored to you and your fitness goals.
We will work to help you look and feel your best and help you produce the fitness results you’re after.
Let us help you reach your goals. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.