Today I would like to talk about how to properly incorporate bodyweight training into your workout routine. While weight training IS absolutely essential for your progress, it should NOT be the only way that you are training. You do not have to walk into the gym and put up as much weight as possible every time you work out. If you can move your own body via push-ups, pull-ups, body weight squats, ab wheel rollouts, etc., you are better off than people who lift heavy weights yet cannot do a pull-up.
One of the biggest benefits of bodyweight training is that the workouts are very efficient. You do not need to spend a whole afternoon at the gym to get a good workout in. High Intensity exercises, such a burpees, squat jumps, and plyometric exercises, yield high results in a very short amount of time. They can be used in a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method for quick, effective results.
Another one of my favorite benefits of bodyweight training is that it drastically improves your core strength. Most people think that the “core” is just your rectus abdominis (six pack muscles). It’s not. There are over 25 different muscles that make up your core. Bodyweight training can hit every single one of them. While planks and ab wheel rollouts are the best for targeting your abdominal muscles, other exercises, such as body weight squats, split squats, and back extensions, work your core muscles as well.
While bodyweight training really helps to develop overall strength and muscle definition, it also helps increase your flexibility. Bodyweight training hits both strength and flexibility at the same time. By completing exercises through their full range of motion (ROM), you are making sure that your joints are moving freely while stretching the antagonistic muscles of the motion. Doing any exercise through its full ROM can lead to better posture, which can, in turn, reduce chance of injury. Yoga is a great example of how you can train with your body for both strength and flexibility.
Here is a sample workout (of bodyweight training exercises) that you can try at home or at the gym:
- Pull-ups (or inverted rows if you can’t perform pull-ups)
- Ab wheel rollouts
Try to perform five sets of 12 reps, while making sure to rest for 30-120 seconds after the last exercise. Bodyweight workouts are convenient, fun, and cheap. You can do them in little time with very high efficiency, and you can see great results.
Try to supplement your usual workout routine with these exercises and see the difference after a couple of weeks. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)!