Yes - Bodyweight Exercises Are Enough
Oct 28, 2022
I once asked a client if he wanted to add weight to an exercise—he responded, with humor and accidental wisdom: “My body weight is more than enough”. The thing is, he wasn’t wrong. No matter what your fitness level or your goals, everyone can benefit from using their body weight as a tool for exercise.
When we hear “bodyweight workout”, we often associate it with a feeling of settling. “Well, if I have nothing else I guess I can just work out without equipment.” But, body weight exercises are extremely beneficial in their own right, for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some advantages as well as some deceptively challenging examples, so you can decide if you’d like to add this type of training into your regimen.
What are the Advantages to Bodyweight Workouts?
Bodyweight workouts are very inexpensive and convenient. You don’t have to buy pricey weighted equipment, nor do you need a particular amount of space to move in. You have the freedom to work out anywhere you want, whether it be the beach, at home, your front yard, or even in your office at work. Having that freedom, time-efficiency, and low cost to entry, removes many common barriers to getting in your workout. Using just your body weight also eliminates the intimidation factor that comes along with being surrounded by giant dumbbells, barbells, and cable machines. You’re working with what you work with every day, just differently.
Will Bodyweight Workouts Work to Hit My Goals?
Yes! Bodyweight workouts are extremely beneficial for health and fitness. They incorporate great functional exercises to aid in everyday activities. You are still able to increase your strength, power, and overall performance even though you aren’t adding any extra weight. You’re also able to practice different planes of motion in your body, helping with balance and symmetry. The key to any program is consistency. If you can stick to a program because of this type of exercise, then it’s going to work. Ask anyone who’s ever done a push-up, wall-sit or pull-up - those exercises can hurt just as much as a barbell pressing.
How Can Bodyweight Exercises Be Progressed?
Increasing the number of sets and reps performed for each exercise is a great way to progress bodyweight exercises. If you have any, adding resistance bands can also make the exercises more of a challenge. You can always play around with the speed and range of motion of the move, too. For example, if you feel you can squat for days, try adding in a slow drop as low as you can go, holding for a couple of seconds, then springing back up. Add jumping or balance challenges or add timed challenges (5 minutes straight of lunges for instance) for extra fun.
5 Body Weight Exercises That Are Deceivingly Challenging:
1. SL Bosu Bridges
3. Walking Lunges
5. Banded Wall Slides/Wall Clocks