What is bodyweight training? Bodyweight training is just what the name suggests – using your body weight to exercise and enhance your strength. Bodyweight training for resistance has proven to be an ideal form of strength training, and that is why many fitness instructors and trainers recommend adding it to your routine.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you should train for at least 75 minutes for vigorous exercises and 150 minutes for moderate aerobics, or a combination of both.
Regardless of your age or gender, bodyweight training can do wonders for your body. It will boost your overall performance, reduce injuries, and improve your mobility and flexibility. In this post, you will learn the basics of bodyweight training in the comfort of your home – no equipment needed.
So read on, grab a towel, and get ready to train!
Body Weight Exercises that can be Done Anywhere
The moves below are strength training routines you may have seen or tried before. Performing the exercises alone works on a group of muscles, but combining them gives you a full and intense workout.
You can do the sets of exercises thrice or four times per week to get the maximum fitness benefits.
Push-ups are the number one go-to for strength training. The move thoroughly works your chest and shoulders, making it effective for bodybuilding and burning fat.
For beginners, start with your knees on the floor. This reduces your body weight by nearly half. Since you will need to lift less body weight, performing the push-ups will be fairly easy. For advanced training, place your feet on a block to increase the intensity and build resistance.
- Bodyweight Squat
Squats are underrated because they are a simple up and down movement, but it works your body’s most powerful muscle – the glutes and legs. Doing an improper squat is bad for your knees.
Start with your feet pointing our (nearly 15 degrees) or shoulder-width apart. When you squat, push your buttocks out, like you do when you are sitting on a chair, and avoid bending your back. Ensure your heels do not leave the floor.
Your knees should only move when you go down, making sure they don’t press forward or pass your toes. Then, use your hips for the movement.
You can add plyometrics to make the squats more challenging.
Planks are very common exercises for people looking to strengthen their core, legs, and arms in one move. Start with your body on the floor, facedown, and clasp your hands. Straighten your legs and rise using your toes.
Maintain a neutral spine, hold the position for 30 – 60 seconds, ensuring your core is tight. You can hold the position for as long as you can manage before going back down and repeating the move.
Keep note that plans are hard on wrists, so if you’re a beginner, always perform the exercise on your forearms instead. You can also place your knees on the floor if your body weight is too much to lift.
- Mountain Climbers
From the name, this exercise mimics the movement mountain climbers have when they go up a steep slope. The bodyweight training routine works your entire body – from your heart to your legs, core, and arms.
Start with your palms on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lift your left knee directly under your chest, keeping your right leg straight. Keep your core tight and your hands firmly on the floor, jump, go back to the initial position, and switch legs.
Burpees are among the most effective full-body exercises. To do them perfectly, assume a low squat position and keep your hands on the floor. Put your legs back like you are going to do a standard push-up.
Then, do one push-up, leap as high as possible, and go back to the push-up position. Remember to pace yourself to avoid running out of breath. For a more challenging workout, perform leg variations for a 3’oclock – 9’oclock burpee.
- Curtsy Lunges
When most people think of lunges, they imagine a one step forward, one step backward movement, but there is more to it. To perform these modified lunges, place your left leg behind your right one, then bend your knees as if you are about to curtsy. Remember to avoid locking your knees!
Using your hips, push your body down until your right leg parallels the floor. Your hips should be square and your torso upright. Repeat this for the right leg, then switch to the left leg during the next interval.
Tips and Precautions
Bodyweight training is great! But doing these moves the wrong way will only hurt you. Here are some tips to keep you from injuries and bad form.
Body Weight Training Don’ts
· Do not train on cold muscles
· Do not rush the moves during intervals
· Do not train without your sporting gear
· Do not overdo strength training for faster results
Body Weight Training Do’s
· Always warm up before and stretch after training
· Use proper technique and form – you can record yourself while exercising or hire a trainer to check if your form is right
· Breathe out when lifting and breathe in when releasing the load
· Avoid locking your joints
· Always give yourself a break when you are sick or injured
· Feel free to use booster music
· Listen to your body
· Finally, remember that all good things take time
Bodyweight training is efficient as it includes cardio and resistance exercises. Therefore, you can burn calories while building muscle.
You do not need a gym to train when you have your living space. While some training sets are better done in a gym, having a calisthenics routine goes a long way in ensuring you never miss out on your fitness plans.
If you are still thinking twice about bodyweight training, remember that it is free and takes up little time. So, you have no excuse not to exercise! You can start whenever or wherever provided you have enough space and motivation.