Bodyweight training is a type of strength training that uses mainly your body as a fitness tool. This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t use some fitness tools to help you along the way. Take, for instance, the pull-up bar. It’s a piece of gym equipment, while a pull-up is a bodyweight exercise because it uses your weight to provide resistance against gravity — and, ultimately, that’s what this type of training is all about.
These workouts come with a vast range of benefits. Here are a few that may just convince you to make bodyweight training a key component in your workout regime.
With zero to minimal equipment, bodyweight training makes it easy to move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest. Being able to switch to a new move within 15 seconds means it’s perfect for HIIT workouts – pushing your muscles to perform at maximum capacity in minimal time.
By keeping your heartbeat raised, as well as combining strength with cardio elements, bodyweight training can significantly improve your endurance level in a shorter space of time.
Growing muscle doesn’t begin and end at lifting weights. Bodyweight exercises such as planks, pushups, pull-ups and lunges also help you grow muscle – just look at the physiques of gymnastic athletes in the Olympic games.
Can’t make it to the gym? All is not lost! While working with a trainer in a class or personal session definitely helps you work to your maximum potential, it’s not fundamental to bodyweight training. You can be in a small hotel room, a local park, or in front of the TV and still fit in a bodyweight workout if you want to – making it a lot easier to fit a routine into busy schedules.
As mentioned above, time-short exercisers can reap the rewards of bodyweight training without having to dedicate hours to the gym every week. HIIT workouts involving movements such as running, squatting, burpees and jumping are proven to torch calories at an accelerated rate (and continue to torch them even after your workout!).
Building stable joints and muscles is key to preventing injuries when exercising. It helps improve your flexibility, strength and stability – three major components in functional training. Bodyweight and functional training have that in common: they make physical tasks and natural movement that occurs throughout our daily lives easier.
Another reason bodyweight training prevents injury comes down to its impact on the core. Exercises such as mountain climbers or planks strengthen your middle section (more about the benefits of this here). In turn, this improves your ability to perform in both sports and day-to-day activities.
From star jumps to sprinting and swimming to squatting – there’s enough variety to prevent you from ever getting bored of this type of training. Not only are the activities themselves varied, so are the movements. Our clubs’ design supports the range of playful & purposeful movements of this type of training.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or freshly new to fitness, you won’t have a problem finding bodyweight exercises you enjoy. It’s easy to progress with, too – simply add more reps to your sets, go faster, train for longer, or switch up your workout entirely. The possibilities are endless.