As a lifelong student of fitness I’ve tried out quite a few fitness fads. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over my many years of training is that fitness doesn't have to be complicated and you don't need expensive gym equipment.
Enter bodyweight training ...
Using our own bodyweight for exercise has been around for years so why are bodyweight workouts making a resurgence now? Bodyweight workouts ranked as one of the top fitness trends of 2014 for good reason. Simply put, bodyweight exercises can be a great choice for gaining strength, building muscle, boosting cardiovascular fitness and losing weight, it's so convenient, its our own overlooked mobile multi gym. Our no excuse to exercise take everywhere with us inexpensive piece of gym equipment our body.
A bit of space as well as a bit of motivation is all that's needed. You've no excuse about not having time, there's virtually no set up needed, you are ready to go whenever you're ready to go. Convenient or what; and isn't convenience a key word in modern day living. From press ups to burpees, planks to bird dogs, bodyweight exercises are endless and offer so many benefits and can be modified to any fitness level and any age.
Whether you are a beginner or an elite athlete, you will reap the benefits. Adding repetitions or performing the exercises faster or super-slow are a few ways to make even the simplest exercise more challenging. Increasing the number of repetitions adds to the total strength and endurance. Since bodyweight exercises use no weights, increasing resistance is accomplished in other ways. For example; a kneeling push-up can be ramped up by swapping it for a regular push-up or a push-up with a clap. Depending on what your fitness goals are you can easily adjust your bodyweight workouts accordingly. And progress is easy to measure since bodyweight exercises offer tons of ways to do a little more in each workout.
Here I list ten benefits of bodyweight training:
1) flexible do anywhere sp limits your excuses, convenient 'I don't have time' really becomes no excuse
2) cheap –non expensive way to workout
3) no limits; you control your tempo and intensity, it can be as easy or as hard as you want
4) your body provides all the resistance you need
5) highly efficient - little time in between sets so keeps heart rate boosted and keeps burning those calories, you don’t have to take as many breaks
6) both cardiovascular and strength training win/win! You burn calories after you finish your workout
7) overall stronger core, be more flexible and have better balance; can help with better posture and improve overall performance
8) anyone can do it, it's a perfect place for beginners to start their fitness journey
9) easy to vary your workouts to fit your level of strength and endurance progression and using advanced variations
10) sharpens your mind - use different techniques to provide a challenge and change of pace, keeps you motivated
Bodyweight training is a no brainer - a few squats holding the door handle, a few push ups against the kitchen work top while you are preparing tea, maybe a few get ups and downs in the living room; and believe me they are harder than what they sound.
We can use our bodies in so many other ways than sitting watching tv, our body is made for movement so let's start using it to it's full potential, I think you'll be amazed at the results which can be achieved through bodyweight training
Sample of a basic bodyweight beginners programme to be performed 3 times a week, 3 sets of each 1 min rest between sets.
Bodyweight squats 10 reps
Push-ups (or knee-push ups) 10 reps
Plank hold for 30 seconds
Jumping Jacks 15 reps
Bodyweight Reverse Lunges 10 reps per leg
Lying Hip Raise (double or single leg) 10 reps
Well don't just read it, do it ..... now!!