Creating a bodyweight training program is not as difficult as most people think.
You just need to bear a few points in mind before you get started so you can get the most benefits from your workouts.
If you’ve been doing bodyweight workouts for a while you might consider adding some of the equipment I mention below.
What’s Your Goal
The most important point to remember when creating a plan is to know what your end goal is.
If you’re trying to lose weight, incorporating more explosive exercises like burpees, tuck jumps, etc. in your routine will help to get your heart pumping and boost your metabolic rate.
You’ll also want to choose exercises that you can do in rapid succession.
If you’re a woman hoping to tone her midsection, thighs, and buttocks, most of your training should be comprised of exercises such as lunges, squats, box jumps, planks, etc.
Core Training Is Important
Core exercises are a staple of bodyweight training.
Since you’ll be training 5 to 6 days a week, dedicating 6 to 8 minutes of your daily workout for your core will help to tone and strengthen it.
The midsection is of paramount importance and after training for a couple of weeks, you’ll realize that it recovers fast and can handle the daily load.
A strong core makes your ENTIRE body and movements stronger and easier.
Balance Out Your Workouts
Men often make the mistake of focusing too much on their upper body.
However, it’s important to train your legs too.
Include leg exercises such as squats, lunges, pistol squats, side lunges, etc. to tone and strengthen your legs.
Your leg muscles are big muscle groups so working them will help to boost your metabolic rate, increase muscle mass and also burn more calories and fat.
Include Plyometric Training
Plyometric training is a form of training where there’s a lot of jumping done in short intervals.
The goal is to increase speed and explosive strength.
This is a very powerful training method and especially important as we get older if we haven’t been using those jumping muscles.
The body has a tendency to slowly lose what it doesn’t use… including the ability to jump effectively.
Dedicating one day of the week to plyometric training and engaging in exercises such as lunge jumps, box jumps, straddle jumps, power skipping, etc. will help you regain the explosive power and mobility that you may have lost.
It’s also an excellent cardio workout.
Variety And Splits
It’s important to have a variety of exercises and splits in your training routine to target the different muscles.
Most bodyweight training workouts you do will be full-body workouts… but you need to know which muscles you are specifically targeting on that day and spend more time on them.
Variety comes about when you use different exercises to target the same muscles.
For instance, if you’re training your chest, on one day you may use wide arm push-ups and the next you may use dips.
This is an example of using a variety of exercises to target the same muscle group.
Not only will it keep your body guessing, but you’ll be recruiting different muscles with each exercise while still hitting the pecs.
For sample bodyweight workouts check out these posts:
30 Minute Home Workout with Video
11 Fat Burning Workouts
15 Workouts To Tone Your Arms
Add These Pieces Of Equipment To Maximize Your Results
If you’re just getting started then you won’t need any equipment but eventually, you’ll want to add some of these to accelerate your progress and maximize your workout results.
1. Medicine Ball
These balls add weight which will take your squats and lunges to a whole other level.
You can also try adding a twist with an outstretched medicine ball to make it much more challenging so you work both your legs and core.
2. Battle Ropes
This is a fantastic piece of equipment and quite the craze these days.
They’re heavy ropes that are used for high-intensity interval training and can be used to do a series of exercises such as alternate jump waves, jumping power slams, shoulder circles, snakes on the floor and so on.
While the moves may look simple, doing them rapidly is exhausting.
This is a great video by Redefining Strength describing the benefits of these ropes and how to use them.
3. TRX Cables
These cables can be suspended from the ceiling or a pull-up bar and are a fantastic way to work your core.
TRX suspension training is a brand and the cables can be slightly pricey.
However, there are many alternative brands sold on Amazon that are much cheaper and do the job just as well.
Suspension training has many different moves that work your body and it’s actually a training method in its own right… but it’s still a form of bodyweight training.
Search on YouTube and learn how to do different exercises correctly and with good form.
4. Agility Ladder
This piece of equipment is used to train athletes in competitive sports all the time because it’s been proven to improve one’s agility and speed.
Agility ladder training drills can be tiring, so they’re fantastic for increasing stamina, too.
There are lots of YouTube videos such as the one below to guide you on how to use them.
5. Swiss Ball
These huge inflated rubber balls can be found in most gyms.
Doing sit-ups on a Swiss ball will activate your abs far more efficiently than a normal floor sit-up because you can arch your back around the ball.
When you curl your torso to come back up, it recruits more muscles in your abs and you really feel the exercise.
Bonus: Sit on it while watching TV and it’ll still work your core. Since you’ll have to maintain good posture and there’s no backrest, your core will be constantly working to keep you from rolling off the ball.
6. Wrist Straps
While not a piece of training equipment per se, these straps are very useful for stabilizing your wrists when you’re doing pull-ups and other exercises.
They help to brace your wrists and give you support which can give you an edge in training when your wrists are your weakest link.
By stabilizing them, you may be able to do more reps and improve your performance.
7. Ab Roller
This little contraption is a must-have. It’s used in core training and helps to strengthen your abs in a whole different way.
Beginners may start off by having both knees on the ground as they roll the wheel backward and forwards. As you progress, you may wish to do standing ab wheel rollouts which are a whole new level of difficulty.
Since the ab roller is an inexpensive piece of equipment it can easily be added to your workout arsenal.
8. Push Up / Dip Stand
Another fantastic piece of equipment that’s highly versatile is the push up/dip stand.
With these dip stands, you’ll be able to practice many of the advanced full body weight resistance exercises such as dips, push and pull-ups, L-sits, and knee raises.
Furthermore, using these stands to do your push-ups helps to ease pressure on your wrists.
Take your time especially if you are just getting started and remember those pointers when structuring a bodyweight training plan.
When you’re ready add some equipment to enhance your results.