What Is Bodyweight Training?

by Admin on June 29, 2014

Bodyweight training is a type of exercise that requires no equipment and involves using your bodyweight to boost your fitness. It’s extremely versatile and can be used to build muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost your balance and more. In this article I’ll be looking at the pros and cons of bodyweight training and listing some of the best bodyweight moves.

The Benefits Of Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training is one of the most flexible forms of fitness training and because of this it has a range of unique benefits which are outlined in the list below:

  1. Versatility: Bodyweight training is extremely versatile and there are hundreds of different bodyweight exercises out there that can be used to achieve a wide range of health and fitness goals.
  1. No Equipment Required: Bodyweight training requires no equipment and this allows you to workout quickly and conveniently without having to spend any cash.
  1. Workout Anytime & Anywhere: Bodyweight training is not restricted by time or location and once you know some bodyweight exercises, you can perform them anytime and anywhere.
  1. Suits All Fitness Levels: Bodyweight training is simplistic in nature and most bodyweight moves can be performed with ease by people who have very little fitness experience. However, the intensity of bodyweight training can easily be scaled which makes it just as suitable for people with high levels of fitness.
  1. Low Impact: Bodyweight training places very little pressure on your joints, so is a perfect way to keep fit if you suffer from an inflammatory disorder or joint pain.

The Drawbacks Of Bodyweight Training

Although bodyweight training has plenty of benefits, there are some limitations to this form of exercise which are highlighted in the list below:

  1. Muscle Building: While bodyweight training can be used to build muscle, it’s not the most efficient option and if you want to pack on muscle mass, free weights are a much better choice.
  1. Muscle Power: If you want to develop explosive muscle power, you need to be lifting heavy free weights and bodyweight training won’t help you achieve this fitness goal.

Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises

Now you know about the pros and cons of bodyweight training and whether it’s right for you, it’s time to look at some specific bodyweight exercises. The list below highlights five of the best bodyweight moves:

  1. Bodyweight Squats: Bodyweight squats target all the muscles in your legs. To perform bodyweight squats, follow the instructions below:
    1. Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart.
    2. Bend your legs until your butt is parallel with your knees.
    3. Straighten your legs and return to the starting position.
    4. Repeat steps b-c for as many reps as you can manage.
  1. Burpees: Burpees are a classic cardio bodyweight exercise that strengthen and tone a range of muscles in your body. To perform burpees, follow the instructions below:
    1. Bend your knees and put your hands on the ground, making sure that they’re a shoulder width apart.
    2. Kick your legs out behind you and slowly bend your arms until your nose touches the ground.
    3. Slowly straighten your arms, kick your knees back in, then stand up and jump up in the air.
    4. When you land, repeat steps a-c for as many reps as you can manage.
  1. Planks: Planks are deceptively simple looking but one of the most effective core strengthening exercises out there. To perform planks, follow the instructions below:
    1. Kneel down and rest your forearms on the ground.
    2. Raise your knees off the ground, balance on your toes and forearms, keep your back straight and tighten your core muscles.
    3. Hold this position for as long as you can manage.
  1. Pull Ups: Pull ups are a brilliant upper body exercise that target your biceps, forearms, upper back and shoulders. To perform pull ups, follow the instructions below (you will need a pull up bar to perform this exercise):
    1. Stand under the pull up bar and grab it with both hands, making sure that your palms are facing forward and about a shoulder width apart.
    2. Slowly bend your knees, take your feet off the floor and hang with your arms and shoulders supporting your bodyweight.
    3. Slowly bend your arms and pull your body up towards the bar, stopping when your biceps are fully flexed and your chin is slightly above the bar.
    4. Slowly straighten your arms and lower your body back down to the starting position.
    5. Repeat steps c-d for as many reps as you can manage.
  1. Push Ups: Push ups are another old school bodyweight exercise that build up your chest, triceps and shoulders. To perform push ups, follow the instructions below:
    1. Kneel down and place your hands on the ground, making sure they are in line with your chest and about a shoulder width apart.
    2. Straighten your legs out behind you, balance on your toes and hands, keep your back straight and tighten your core muscles.
    3. Slowly bend your arms until your nose touches the floor.
    4. Slowly straighten your arms and return to the starting position.
    5. Repeat steps c-d for as many reps as you can manage.

Summary

Bodyweight training is an excellent addition to any fitness regime. Even if it’s not your preferred tool, the simplicity of bodyweight training makes it a perfect backup for the times when you don’t have access to any equipment but still want to workout. So learn some bodyweight moves, perfect the form and then use them whenever you please.

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