It may seem intimidating to use gym machines, weight plates, barbells, and other fitness apparatus when beginning a workout, but there is plenty of incentive to build a routine around them. Some movements might need to be unusual and hard to be effective. Some might be too expensive to warrant a purchase. Using some might be extremely displeasing (particularly treadmills).
Even though there is a wide range of fitness equipment available, there are still other alternatives when it comes to working out.
Exercising without the use of equipment can be a great way to break a sweat without all the additional features. These basic workouts necessitate almost no gear and can be done at any place at any point. We consulted with Aaron Swenson, an originator of FightCamp who is a licensed trainer at NASM, to name some of the best bodyweight exercises to include in a great and effectual program. Beforehand it could be beneficial to learn the advantages that accompany this training style.
Ready to be converted? Here are five lesser-known perks you get when you add a bodyweight workout to your week:
1. Bodyweight Training Is Good for Your Blood Sugar
When it pertains to the greatest advantages of being active, avoiding long-term health issues is of utmost importance. Even though many people had assumed that cardiovascular exercise was the most advantageous, some specialists have advocated for resistance training as the most effective approach for good health. Turns out, new research says we need both.
Research conducted on diabetics showed that a combined training style including both aerobic and resistance exercises yielded the best outcome, compared to programs that only contained one or the other. The primary purpose of this research was to comprehend what resulted in the most considerable decreases in blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure. These three measurements are still considered some of the most reliable signs of general health.
Put the exercises together into a workout routine done circuit-style three to four times a week and you can forget about signing up at a gym. No longer will you be running in circles on a treadmill with a vigorous body-based routine as part of your regular plan.
2. Bodyweight Training Keeps You Strong
Using machines for weightlifting leads to excellent outcomes, just like free-weight training and powerlifting do. You can become stronger and have better physical fitness by utilizing all available resources. Yet, there is one especially attractive advantage of opting for bodyweight exercises over those that require equipment, which has to do with the concept of “functionality”.
Functional exercise has become commonplace in the realm of health and physical fitness. It essentially explains how working out can provide advantages that surpass the traditional gym environment. It has been suggested that the strength gained from using a chest press weight machine is only temporary, and not applicable beyond the time the machine is being utilized. The same is true for other forms of exercise that can assist in gaining strength and boosting muscle definition, but may not lead to considerable results.
Bodyweight training is different.
Researchers from the University of Missouri studied the hurdles that retired individuals living in retirement complexes confront. This group put a lot of emphasis on avoiding falls and keeping up with regular activities, and it was observed that the elderly who took part in the most workouts were able to retain their abilities significantly.
The researchers underscored the importance of finding the right exercise in order to achieve the desired results. It is crucial for older people in retirement communities to engage in muscle-strengthening activities to be able to remain living independently, so these should be pushed more forcefully than aerobic exercises.
3. Bodyweight Training Helps Prevent Injuries
The advantage of bodyweight training is that it helps to prevent injuries. It is highly important for everybody to do them, particularly for runners, football players, basketball players, and other athletes participating in sports with major exertion.
How does a bodyweight workout minimize injuries?
The strain on the joints is significantly less than when utilizing weights or machines. A machine for leg presses or a strength training activity may put extra strain on your joints and do so in an unfamiliar fashion. However, bodyweight exercises involve using standard body motions without an excessive amount of stress in unfamiliar postures.
Essentially, you will reap huge rewards just by working out with lesser intensity.
4. Bodyweight Training Is Always Available
It should be evident, however just in case you haven’t picked up on it, working out with your body weight can be done anytime and anywhere. We inhabit an atmosphere where we get things done right away and by ourselves, and that’s possibly why bodyweight exercises have been rewarded with popularity once more—to get the most out of them, you don’t need any special gear, a fitness center, or a pricey membership.
It is said that the most advantageous training regimen is one which you can sustain over a significant amount of time. There are no obstacles to impede you when it comes to bodyweight exercises. The key is to establish a routine and choose some favorite activities. Then you will be liberated to organize your everyday activity at the most suitable time and location so that it can become a feasible solution.
5. Bodyweight Training Can Be Enjoyed with an Endless Variety
The most significant thing to take away from bodyweight workouts is this last part. You can vary these exercises in a lot of ways in order to ensure that the difficulty and the payoff are both high.
If push-ups are too challenging, you have the option of doing them from your knees. Otherwise, if they are not difficult enough, you might want to experiment with inverted push-ups. You can perform a simple squat exercise quickly for cardiovascular benefits or go for a single-legged squat for a difficult muscle-building workout.
You will never run out of possibilities and through inventive thinking, you can stay entertained and never plateau. No other type of exercise gives you the same level of flexibility to change, modify, tweak, and refine.
How to Build a Bodyweight Exercise Routine
In regards to any exercise program, the initial step is to delineate what your goal is. In the case of a person who is not physically active and lacks experience in physical training, Swenson stated that he would approach them with a different plan than he would a sportsperson.
It is recommended that those who are just starting out in fitness attempt to work out 3 or 4 times each week, allowing the body to rest in between workouts. Swenson advises registering for a supporting app like FightCamp or using a personal coach. This additional aid for your preparation can assist in guaranteeing that you are executing each action with the proper technique. You may not be aware of what you are unaware of, so without someone else informing you, you will not try to investigate it. When you constantly follow the same routines, your muscles could be out of balance and could bring about an injury, as he explains.
If you have a great deal of assurance in your capacities and have a good comprehension of the moves expected, Swenson still proposes recording yourself during practice or exercise before a mirror to give criticism on your structure every once in a while. It’s a continual progress that you should constantly monitor, because as Swenson notes, our bodies are always looking to adapt movements for the most efficient pathways possible, “The body knows all the cheat codes.” Even after you’ve been training for weeks, months, and years, your form can falter at times, which will require some readjustment on occasion.
For new customers, Swenson typically uses the Optimum Performance Training Model when it comes to repetitions and a number of sets in the training routine. This program takes you through different levels of difficulty and a number of repetitions with the aim of focusing on aspects related to development and improvement.
I begin them on the stabilization stage where a considerable measure of boards is held – front boards, side planks, turn around boards, hip thrusts, examining where we are there, reinforcing all those supporting muscles. After that, we move on to muscular endurance where we do more repetitions like 10-15 repetitions while performing push-ups, squats, and lunges. All of those basic movements,” Swenson says.
“And then, once you’re kind of solid there, then we move into the more explosive power phase where you’re working jump switch lunges, burpees, box jumps. Stuff like that’s really explosive, working the fast-twitch muscles. And then once you’re there, then we kind of mix and match constantly, so the body reacts to novelty.”
The exercises you decide on can either be determined by you or your personal trainer, and there is no incorrect option. For instance, Swenson suggests combining a push exercise, such as a push-up or tricep dip, with a pull maneuver like a glute bridge. Some people may opt to focus solely on either upper-body or lower-body exercises in a session. Ultimately, it is important to decide on an achievable number of repetitions while performing a few specific exercises, similar to those provided.
Swenson suggests creating an exercise regimen that involves motion within each of the three spatial dimensions. From head-to-toe, from one side to the other, and rotating motions can stimulate the back muscles further and ensure the body is staying active, removing the chances of slackened movements and leading to further development and improved results.
The Best Bodyweight Exercises
The plank is an excellent core workout as well as a useful base for performing several other bodyweight activities. Lie on the floor face down with your arms bent at the elbow in order to do a plank. Lift yourself up, using your arms and feet, so that you are hovering above the ground while keeping your spine straight. Press your shoulder blades together as if there was a pencil between them, and work your stomach muscles to help you keep your body straight. Maintain for a specified duration, depending on your capability.
It is common knowledge that push-up is a go-to exercise, but it is important to remember the correct form and technique, as it can easily be done incorrectly.
Start this exercise with your hands and feet elevated, holding your body up with them. Place your hands beneath the shoulder blades, and maintain an upright position of the spine. Bend your head down and slowly lower your body to the ground until your nose, chest, and knees all touch the floor. Lift yourself back up to the higher level, exhaling as you go up. Take a break, then do the desired number of repetitions.
The sit-up is a familiar core-targeting exercise that involves lying on your back, with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be positioned comfortably on both sides of your head. For a sit-up, curve the lower part of your body by bending your hips and waist, so that the upper half of your body is lifted from the floor. Gaze forward and keep your torso wide as you move toward your legs. Drop your body down to the floor, pause, and do it again.
Doing burpees may look complex at first glance, but when viewed split into four parts, it is actually rather straightforward. Start by standing with your feet at the same distance as your shoulders. Do a squat by slightly bending at the hips and pushing you’re behind backward while keeping your back in a straight line. Begin in a low position, then extend your legs behind you, propping yourself up solely by your hands and feet, in a raised plank position. Jump back into the right posture, move the weight to your feet, get up, and do it again.
It could be said that bodyweight training is more vital than the usual “weight lifting”, given its many advantages. Practicing it offers the same proficiencies as resistance training, but is also highly accessible, flexible, and straightforward.