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7 Benefits to Bodyweight Training

What are the benefits of body weight exercises?

What are the benefits of body weight exercises?

There are many benefits to using body resistance besides the ones we are going to discuss. They range from convenience to improved core stability and better posture.

Tone, Firm and Strengthen While Creating Your Dream Body

Keep in mind if you are new to exercise that hiring a certified personal trainer to develop a balanced program is a must to reduce the risk of injury and improve your training results.

Body Weight Exercises – Create Your Dream Body

1) Transition Time – Body Resistance Exercise, of course, does not require equipment which makes transitioning from one exercise to the next quick. Shortened rest periods causes a boost in heart rate and of course some monumental killing of calories.

2) Your Core Strength is Improved – The “core” is not just the abs. The core is made up of as many as 35 different muscles which connect the pelvis from the spine and hip region. Many simple body movements can be used to engage them. Body weight exercises improve core strength which creates better posture and enhances athletic performance.

3) Time Efficiency for Busy People – Many people use the excuse “they don’t have the time to work out”. These workout plans include cardio and strength in one fast workout. Adding explosive body weight exercises in such as one minute of burpees or a set of jumping jacks between strength exercises keeps the heart rate pumping while still increasing muscle growth and strength.

4) Improve Your Balance – Generally bodyweight training will progress into variations that create more instability. Adding in body weight exercises such as Pistol Squats or Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts will improve your balance and strength. Better balance assists in the development of increased body control which decreases the risk of injury.

5) Modifications Are Easy – Bodyweight exercises are easily modified to challenge any fitness level. Take the exercise to the next step by: (a) just adding extra repetitions, (b) adding in isometric holds, (c) make the movement more explosive, (d) add in additional sets or (e) increase resistance by only adding a partner’s bodyweight to your own.  These are a few simple ways to make easy exercises more difficult. Progress is easily measured simply by your ability to achieve perfect form with precision and balance. Bodyweight training creates a million ways to do a similar plan while adding a little more difficulty to each workout.

6) Fitness Can Be Done Anywhere – Working out inside is not everyone’s idea of fun!  Body weight exercises don’t require equipment so they can be performed inside or outside, and they can be done alone or with a bunch of friends. Working out with friends can be more enjoyable with a little laughter.  Also, training outside allows you to add some extra exercise into everyday activity! It’s easy to throw a few lunges, pushups or pull-ups into an ordinary walk. Add your work out into the activities you love to do!

7)  It involves Compound exercises – Compound exercises (also known as Multi-jointed exercises) include many different joints and muscles all at once, which can save you lots of time and get the most out of each set.  Push-ups, lunges, chin-ups, squats, planks and bridges are examples of compound exercises and have all been proven to be enormously successful for gains in strength and performance.

Full Body Exercise Plan

Here is a simple, beginner exercise program to get you started! Remember, as with any exercise program, it is important to check with your doctor if you answer yes to any of these Par-Q questions. You also need to start with a warm up before you begin with any of these body weight exercises. A warm-up can be as simple as a brisk walk around the block for 5 to 10 minutes, walking up and down the stairs in your home or jogging on the spot.

Exercise 1: Push Up

Body Weight Exercises push upInstructions: Keep back straight, abs tight (engaged), so that ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and head are aligned. Use a shoulder-width hand placement. Slowly descend (2 seconds) towards the floor until you hit 90° bend in the elbow, stop in the bottom position for 1 second and then push-up back to the starting position.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of Repetitions: 15 to 20 reps

Tempo: 2-seconds down, 1 second pause, 1-second up (2-1-1)

body weight exercises - split squatExercise 2: Split Squat

Instructions: Start in a standing position with the right leg in front and the left leg behind. Bend the right knee to 90° and lower the left knee almost to the floor. Keep back straight, abs tight and head up (looking straight ahead).  Complete all reps on one side then change to the other.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of reps: 12/each side

Body Weight Exercises straight arm plankExercise 3: Straight arm side Plank

Instructions: Keep your abdominals and glutes engaged (tight), throughout the entire exercise. Start with your body in a straight line. Make sure you keep your legs straight, but don’t lock the knees. Keep your spine and neck neutral. Your head should be in line with your back. Stagger your feet and then push your hips into the air so you are in a straight line from your

armpit to your ankles. Keep your pelvis neutral so your butt doesn’t stick out and

over-arch your lower back. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds per rep.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of reps: 1 rep held for 30 to 60 seconds

Body weight exercises Single Leg Dead LiftExercise 4: Single Leg Dead Lift

Instructions: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep you back straight and a slight bend in your knees. Bend forward from your hips making sure to keep your back flat and shoulders pulled back. Keep the standing leg foot firmly planted and extend the other leg behind you until you reach 90°. Stand back up to the starting position.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of reps: 12 on each side

Tempo: (2-1-2)

Exercise 5: Plank

Instructions: Start by lying face down with both elbows on the floor directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your palms on the floor and your feet flexed with the balls of the feet on the floor. Keep your back straight, head neutral (eyes to the ground), and abs tight (engaged). Push your body off of the floor so that only your forearms and toes touch the floor. Your body should be in a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Keep your pelvis neutral so your butt doesn’t stick up and over-arch your lower back. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of reps: 1 rep held for 30 to 60 seconds

Bodyweight Exercises 6: Glute BridgeExercise 6: Glute Bridge

Instructions: Start on your back on the floor with a bent-knee position. Place your feet hip-width apart with the feet flat on the floor. Gently contract your abs and flatten your lower back into the floor. Keep the abs firm and press the hips up. Keep your heels flat on the floor for added stability. Stop once your hips line up with your knees forming a “ramp” like position. Do not overextend your lower back. Then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Number of sets: 2-3; Number of reps: 12 on each side Tempo: (2-1-2)

Ensure at the end of every training session you stretch all of the muscle groups that you have worked.  Hire a personal trainer if you are unsure how to perform these exercises with precision or if you require a personalized stretching program.

It’s imperative to understand proper form for body weight training for maximum results. Keep in mind that you increase your risk of injury with ballistic (fast, uncontrolled) movement.

Remember that you can exercise anywhere and have fun!

Cathie Glennon–  BCRPA-SFL