I’m going to ask you to picture a typical modern day workout.
How many of you immediately pictured a guy in the gym with weights stacked everywhere?
Weight training is a critical part of training, but today I am going to tell you how body weight workouts can also be a very important part of your workout.
What are Body Weight Exercises?
For those of you that don’t know, Bodyweight exercises are strength training exercises which don’t require free weights or weight machines. The resistance is provided by you, some of the most popular bodyweight exercises are push ups, press ups, sit ups and dips. The more reps you do will increase your muscular endurance while you make the strength gains through increasing the intensity that you exercise by decreasing leverage and working at the ends of range of motion.
One of the best things about bodyweight workouts are how practical they are.
In most circumstances that’s all you need to carry out a bodyweight workout is a bit of floor space to move around in. It is also great to improvise during a bodyweight workout by using your surroundings e.g. using a chair (as long as no one is sitting on it!) to do dips, or a step to place your feet on for a more difficult press up. Be creative!
Another benefit is financially, you won’t have to fork out on buying weights or driving to the gym, you can do it in the comfort of your own home, not so comfortable when you get going though! It’s time saving as well. So forget the classic ‘I don’t have time to get to the gym’ line!
When you use a weight machine most machines will only strengthen a certain muscle group in complete isolation, what we are trying to achieve is a well balanced body and a strong core, Remember? Body weight exercises incorporate many different muscle groups into one exercise which is one of the big benefits.
You need a good degree of flexibility and balance to perform repetitions, so this is a good way to improve those things. Body Balance, Yoga and Pilates are also a great weight free way to improve your core strength and balance. You should be able to perform these exercises no matter what your level of fitness is, the exercises can be progressed and regressed to meet your needs. If you struggle with a press up, just keep your knees on the floor to start off with until you are ready to move on.
Research has shown that as little as 15 minutes a day in an effective balanced workout can be immensely beneficial, I’m sure we can all dedicate 15 minutes to making us healthier and fitter people. I also read that bodyweight exercises help with your appetite control, so after around 20 minutes of a vigorous workout the brain secrets endorphins which increase hunger control.
So to sum up if you want a more balanced, flexible, stronger body then try and incorporate some body weight exercises into your workout routine, as a personal trainer I know!
Committed to Your Health and Vitality