Training woman doing pushups

Published on April 26th, 2014 | by Joe Starks

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Athletic Science: Bodyweight Training

If you’re no fan of weights and exercise machines, but you still want to have awesome muscles, then bodyweight training might just be the perfect thing for you. When doing bodyweight training, you use minimal to no equipment and train your muscles only with your weight and strength alone. The simplicity of bodyweight training is what makes it so popular and the reason it is used as basic training in most sports. In this article we’ll look into some basic bodyweight exercises, the benefits of doing bodyweight training and why it is so popular all over the world.

What is Bodyweight Training?

Bodyweight training is a fancy title for probably the most natural and basic kind of exercise known to man. In modern society we think that the only way you can look like a Greek God is to push and lift weights all week in a gym. Thankfully, this is far from true. Our musculature is built in a way that makes it easy for it to grow even when we train without equipment. Just think, they didn’t have professional gym weights in ancient times, but we do have good indications that there existed very fit and muscular people even then.

Every person that walks and has a semi-active life uses their muscles constantly. Using our own weight and muscle strength to train ourselves is just a way to mimic movements we do every day in a more extreme manner.

Equipment and exercise machine aren’t always easy to control and can cause us more damage than simply using our body to train. Most people have better control of their own body than they have on the tools they use. This makes bodyweight training just as safe as it is efficient.

Great Bodyweight Exercises

Don’t be surprised if you already are familiar with most bodyweight exercises, since they are widely used in many sports to improve conditioning. For instance, here is a list of the top five bodyweight exercises:

  1. Push-Ups. This iconic exercise is often used in movies to show how strong and fit a person is. Lifting your whole bodyweight with only your arms can be extremely hard, especially for women. Nothing builds your arms and back like some decent repetitions of push-ups every day.
  2. Pull-Ups. Just find a stable horizontal pole that you can pull yourself up to. Like push-ups, pull-ups make you carry your own bodyweight with your arms only.
  3. Planks. This exercise is great from increasing endurance all over your body. By keeping your body straight, only standing on your toes and forearms, you train your whole core.
  4. Squats. This is THE exercise to form a perfectly perk and strong butt. You can do squats by keeping your back on the wall for more efficiency, or you can move side to side while squatting for more power building.
  5. Bulgarian Split Squats add that extra power to your bodyweight workout. They can be hard to do correctly, but they are certainly worth it.

Benefits of bodyweight training

There are plenty of benefits when it comes to doing bodyweight training and some of the most important are the following:

  • You can do them at any age. Since there is no heavy lifting involved and no rushed movements, bodyweight training is quite safe for healthy people of all ages. Just remember to take things slow and get advice from a professional on how these exercises are done correctly.
  • They make you stronger for any sport. Most sports demand of you to already be quite fit to perform correctly. This is where bodyweight training can help by preparing you for sport’s training.
  • They are very safe. Of course exercising on its own is always a bit risky, since you move and get tired a lot, but bodyweight training is certainly among the safest choices when it comes to exercising.

The secret to doing bodyweight training right is to get someone to show you how they are done correctly. Then, you only need to start out slow and increase intensity as you starting to feel stronger. If you are particularly fatigues after a session, then it might be a good sign that you are in need of a rest. Remember to warm up before doing body weight exercising and to stretch a bit afterwards.

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