Bodyweight training has been around for centuries and is probably the oldest physical training protocol on the planet.
Yet, it’s still as effective today and more popular than ever before. In fact, it was one of the top fitness trends of 2020.
This trend was the same the year before and will maintain its position for a long time to come.
Bodyweight training is not going anywhere any time soon.
9 Reasons You Should Do Bodyweight Exercises
Let’s look at why bodyweight exercises are so popular and why you should be doing them.
1. Strengthens Your Muscles
For starters, bodyweight training is just as effective for developing muscular strength.
You do not need barbells and dumbbells.
Push-ups, squats, etc. and all their variations can be extremely challenging and strengthen your body immensely.
2. Builds Lean Muscle Mass
A common mistake many people make is engaging in too much slow cardio.
They jog endlessly on the treadmill and their bodies don’t really see much transformation because the cardio sessions do not build much muscle mass.
Bodyweight training, however, will not only sculpt and tone your body, but it will increase your muscle mass.
Just take a look at the bodies of Olympic gymnasts. There are flexible, fit, and sinewy… and it’s mostly from bodyweight training.
3. Increases Speed
With bodyweight training, you can aim for speed. Doing push-ups, burpees, squats, mountain climbers, etc. fast can help you build speed.
You can’t achieve speed by doing bench presses or leg presses fast.
You’ll just injure yourself.
You need bodyweight training.
In fact, guess what sprinting is?
It’s a form of bodyweight training too.
You’re carrying your body and running at high speeds.
4. Builds Muscular Endurance
Have you ever wondered why the military makes the soldiers do countless push-ups, crunches, and other bodyweight exercises?
They’re building muscular endurance in the troops.
It may be a boost to one’s ego being able to bench press or deadlift more weight than the other members at the gym.
But very often, these are just for a few reps before one is exhausted.
What happens when you need to do a ton of physical work over a long period of time?
Very often, the gym rats will be gassed out because their muscles are strong but lack endurance.
Bodyweight training that involves tons of reps over and over will develop muscular endurance like no other.
5. Recruits More Muscle Fibers
Unlike weight training which has isolation movements to target specific muscle groups, most weight training uses compound movements.
So, you’ll be targeting several different muscle groups and recruiting more muscle fibers while you constantly work your core.
This makes the exercises more efficient.
6. Aids In Weight Management
If you’re struggling to lose weight, bodyweight training is perfect for you.
When done fast with minimal rest, it becomes a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
When done slowly, it’s resistance training.
Either way, you’ll be burning calories and it’s more effective than conventional cardio because it boosts your metabolism, burns fat, and still helps to retain your precious lean muscle.
7. Builds A Symmetric Body
There’s no denying the fact that the bodybuilding scene these days is replete with people who are freakishly big and have bellies that jut out from using growth hormones and so on.
No longer is the goal of being aesthetically-pleasing, but it’s all about getting as big as you can.
Most people dislike this monstrous look.
Bodyweight training will never make you a caricature of fitness.
You’ll develop a muscular, lean body that is symmetric and pleasing to the eye. You’ll be strong and look great at the same time.
8. Lowers Your Chance Of injury
You’ll be less likely to injure yourself with bodyweight training than you would with conventional weight training.
With heavyweights, you might cause chronic injury if your form slips for a second.
Bodyweight training is a much safer protocol and a lot more forgiving.
9. Increases Confidence And Self-Esteem
Confidence comes from knowing that you’re making progress and doing what you need to do.
Since bodyweight training is convenient and can be done almost anywhere, you’ll be much more likely to do it and stick to the training program you’ve set for yourself.
It’s effective and will get you results within a couple of months. Once you’ve achieved the body you desire, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve achieved your goal.
Your sense of self-esteem will increase by leaps and bounds.
How To Get Started
Focus On Form
Form is everything when you’re engaged in bodyweight training.
If you’re new to this form of training, it’s better to go slow until you know how to execute the exercises correctly.
This is the learning curve and it’s best to take your time.
Once you’re familiar with the exercises, then you may do them at high speed while maintaining good form. Speed is crucial for building strength, muscular endurance, and skill, but it should NOT come at the expense of good form.
Range Of Motion
This is one of the strongest points of bodyweight training.
It allows your body to go through a full range of motion, unlike conventional weight training that tells you not to lock your joints because of the heavyweights involved or to maintain tension to increase hypertrophy.
Range of motion means that you’ll lock your elbows out when you do the push-ups or pull-ups.
It means going all the way down and up.
The same applies when doing a squat. You’ll go all the way down, past your knees and then stand back up.
This was how you used to move as a kid… and it’s best to make your body remember the range of motion it once was capable of.
You may not be able to do as many reps when you execute them through a full range of motion. But that’s perfectly fine.
Build your flexibility first and your strength will come with time and consistent training.
Track Your Progress
Keep a workout journal or use a fitness tracker to record what you do during each workout and how you performed. Do not rely on your memory.
Some to fitness trackers to check out:
Fitbit – This is the one my girls use the most.
Strava– This one tracks & analyzes while allowing you to share, connect, and compete with your friends.
Nike+Run Club – This App includes GPS, tracking, challenges, guided runs, and coaching plans.
Simple Pedometer – I actually prefer to use a cheap tracker so I don’t waste time with setup and helps me disconnect. Then I keep notes in a notebook.
Strive To Beat Your Personal Bests
The goal is to always push yourself out of the comfort zone.
That may mean doing an extra rep or an extra set. Or even trying out a new exercise that you’re not familiar with.
This is why you record your progress in a journal. So, you know exactly what you need to do to be better than the last time.
You may also wish to use equipment like medicine balls, TRX cables, ankle weights or weight belts, etc. to improve your training.
Technically these are equipment, but being a purist here will stunt your progress.
Using some equipment can take your bodyweight training to the next level.
Core Training Daily
Your core strength will determine how easily you execute almost all the other exercises.
You don’t need a lot of time to work the core. Spend 6 to 10 minutes training your core every day.
Don’t repeat the same exercises every single time you work out.
Not only will they become less effective because your body is highly adaptive, but you may also experience repetitive stress injury in your wrists, shoulders, or elbows.
Try out a wide variety of exercises in your bodyweight training regimen.
This will keep things interesting, challenge your body and prevent repetitive stress injury.
Consistency Is Key
As with all things, consistency is crucial to improving and achieving your goals.
Aim to train 4- to 5 days a week and rest for two days.
Unlike weight training, you don’t need to focus on one body part a day or train for hours at the gym.
30 to 60 minutes of bodyweight training is sufficient to make you strong, lean, and fit.
Free Video Training To Follow Along
One of our favorite video resources for workouts is FitnessBlender.com.
Kelli and Daniel have over 200 free videos on Youtube and the one below is one of my favorites.
If you haven’t worked out in a while you might want to find an easier one or you will be sore tomorrow!
Other video workouts to try:
Daily Burn – Their 30-day free trial offer gives you access to thousands of different workouts videos.
Amazon – Don’t forget Amazon as a source for new workouts and if you have Prime many of them are free.
If you didn’t learn enough reasons to make bodyweight training a part of your life then I need to work on my explanation.
Follow the basic principles and you’ll get the best out of your bodyweight workouts.
If you’ve never worked out it’s super easy to get started and if you’ve been wanting to change up your workouts from the gym then this should give you some motivation.
If you have kids you can get them working out with you.
Let Me Know
I want to know what kind of workouts you do. Leave me a comment.
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