No more excuses why you didn't workout. Learn what great exercises can help you to build strength, gain muscle, boost cardio and burn calories using your own bodyweight while you're at home or traveling.
10 Reasons To Do Bodyweight Exercises - The at home exercise that really works
By Elizabeth Quinn (Updated July 02, 2014)
Getting fit doesn't have to be complicated. Simple bodyweight exercises are often the best choice for those without a lot of time, money and motivation to learn or employ the latest fitness fads. Bodyweight training can also be a great choice for building strength, gaining muscle, boosting cardiovascular fitness, and burning calories. Here are ten reasons to get on board with bodyweight training.
Fast Fitness Gains
Bodyweight exercises lead to fitness gains in a hurry. Most bodyweight exercises require you to perform multi-joint movements (compound exercises) that work against gravity. These types of movements (squats, lunges, push ups) all make up the cornerstone of any strength training routine and are extremely effective for building strength and boosting cardiovascular fitness. The fact that you can do the exercise anywhere makes it far less likely that you’ll skip a workout, and the This is a perfect formula for building fitness quickly. Add in the fact that many bodyweight exercises automatically engage core strength and stability moves, and you have a recipe for a well-rounded, effective exercise you can do for the long-term.
It’s not surprising that performing bodyweight training is ultimately performing functional fitness movements. Functional fitness is, by definition, exercising the muscles and the movement patterns that are using in real-life, daily activities. In essence, you aren’t doing exercise in a gym that is nothing like the way you move your body in real life.
High Intensity Intervals
Bodyweight exercises are ideal for creating a high intensity interval workout in a circuit format. To do this, you will perform 30-60 second intervals of one exercise (or a given number of reps), and then move to the next exercise. In this way you are able to work at a higher intensity because the duration of the exercise is shortened. It’s the opposite of going to the gym and sitting on an exercise bike for an hour or jogging for 30 minutes. With bodyweight training, you work hard for about a minute, and move to a new exercise for a minute. An example is 20 push ups followed by 5 pull ups followed by 15 jump lunges and so on.
No Equipment Needed
Although you could use some dumbbells, a pull up bar, or other small equipment during bodyweight training, you don’t need to. There are many combinations of movements you can perform without anything more than your own body. This makes it even easier to do your workout anywhere.
Not Much Space Needed
Even the most intense of all bodyweight exercises—burpees—can be done with no more than a little bit of floor space.
Easy To Customize
Bodyweight exercises are good for both novice and elite athletes because they can be easily modified. Varying body position can change the effort level of the movement. For example, you can perform incline or decline pushups depending upon your level of ability. You can perform wall sits or tuck jumps to match your conditioning. You can also add more reps or sets to make it more challenging.
Tons of Variety
The number of bodyweight exercise you can do (and think of) is endless so it’s unlikely you will find yourself bored by doing the same moves, or the same workout over and over. Performing a variety of exercises doesn’t just mean you will end boredom, but you will also help prevent overtraining and reduce your risk of injury by varying your movements. Bodyweight exercise is a great form of crosstraining. It can also help break through strength plateaus and help continue making fitness gains.
Cheap or Free Workouts
Gym memberships, classes, equipment, and gear can all add up to a significant annual expense. And if you don’t use it or show up at the gym because it’s not convenient, you are just wasting a lot of money on something that isn’t helping you get or stay fit. Bodyweight training is free or extremely low cost. Move your body and get fit. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Because you don’t need to go somewhere special, or get the right equipment, gear or space, you can do bodyweight exercise any time, any where. You can also easily break up your workout into smaller sessions—20 pushups when you wake, 50 Squat Jumps before dinner, one minutes of planks before bed—and reduce your excuses for skipping a “workout.” Use bodyweight exercises just one time, and you will see how it’s pretty hard to say you don’t have time, space, money, equipment or knowledge to stick with an exercise routine. Bodyweight training makes your excuses evaporate.
Build Balance and Proprioception
A wonderful added bonus of many bodyweight movements is that they require an automatic engagement of core muscles for stability and strength in order to correctly perform the movements. Without machines, bodyweight exercises require individuals to maintain their own movement patterns, and often build balance and improve proprioception in the process.