10 Reasons Why Bodyweight Training is the Best Form of Exercise!
People ask me all the time what I do to workout. Well, it’s no secret that I’m a lover of CrossFit and happily indulge in practicing muscle ups in our garage just for fun! But despite what you might think, I am not spending hours on end ‘pumping iron’ or subjecting myself to long duration low intensity cardio. Some of the best (and worst depending on how you look at it!) workouts I’ve done have required nothing more than my bodyweight and a small area of flooring.
Coach Glassman said, “Be impressed by intensity not volume.” If you’re looking for impressive results this epithet really does ring true. So what’s the best way to achieve that desired intensity? Well I believe it’s primarily with bodyweight training. If you have a solid foundation in bodyweight strength and fitness not only will you have the potential to do so much more with equipment, but you will develop long and lean, supple muscles. As a yogi and constant globetrotter, bodyweight workouts are something I regularly include in my training and here’s why.
1. Time Efficient
For the average person looking to improve their fitness and their body composition, there is simply no need to be exercising in excess of 2 hours a day with complex pieces of equipment. Bodyweight training is highly efficient because it includes high output exercises such as plyometrics and strength based training that requires minimal set-up and little rest time between each other.
It doesn’t get much more budget-friendly than bodyweight training. All you need for equipment is your body and a floor space the size of a yoga mat. You can start bodyweight training with $0 in the bank. The only pieces of equipment I tend to find myself using are a skipping rope, resistance band & sneakers.
3. Universally Scalable
Bodyweight movements are highly functional and entirely scalable movements, making them suitable for EVERYONE. Modifications can easily be made by using sturdy objects around your home for support, for example squatting to a chair until you can get below parallel or even doing a burpee to a chair. In our workout guide we make it easy for you by providing suggested modifications for each of our movements in our movement library. You’ll easily notice your progress over time as your range of motion and strength improves and you no longer need support from your object of choice.
4. Strength Training & Cardio in-one
Bodyweight movements like burpees, mountain climbers and push-ups combine strength based movements with cardiovascular endurance. Essentially they create the perfect environment for you to build muscle, burn calories & improve your aerobic capacity.
5. Torch Fat
High intensity bodyweight circuits are guaranteed to elevate the after-burn effect (EPOC), increasing your metabolism & causing the body to breakdown fat stores for use as energy. One study found that participants who had just exercised vigorously for 45 minutes, burned roughly 190 more calories in the 14 hours following the exercise period, than participants who hadn’t exercised. Considering the EPOC phenomenon, this study suggests a strong correlation between the level of intensity and the amount of oxygen consumed post exercise.
6. Find Flexibility
Not only are they fully functional, but bodyweight movements utilize a full range of motion thereby improving the health of your joints and the flexibility of your muscles. Yoga is a prime example of how bodyweight movements produce a strong and supple body.
7. Find Balance
Overall awareness and control of your body will greatly improve through bodyweight training. Movements like lunges and squats can be made more challenging over time by moving on to things like jumping lunges and pistols (single-leg squats). Balance is hugely important if you want to remain mobile and independent as you age.
Visions of being stuck in a gym full of machines sometimes haunt me in the middle of the night! Bodyweight workouts are very different to your monotonous gym routines. You can easily grab a group of friends & take your bodyweight circuit into the beautiful outdoors for a blast of fresh air and some laughs in the sunshine.
Like I mentioned before, bodyweight movements are universally scalable and as such they are very safe for everyone. Bodyweight exercises are even commonly used for rehabilitation. Regardless of your age, gender & current level of fitness, a bodyweight training program will keep your joints & bones healthy and maintain or boost your lean muscle mass which otherwise start to atrophy as you age.
10. Measurable Results
Compound exercises are the basis for bodyweight training, meaning that multiple muscle groups and joints are used for each exercise. Compound exercises are proven to be the most effective form of exercise for increased strength, size & athletic performance. Just take a look at gymnasts! The best thing about bodyweight training is that it’s very difficult to hold back from putting in effort. So you are pretty much guaranteed results whether you like it or not!
Whether you consider yourself an aspiring athlete, weekend warrior or fitness fledgling, start including a regular bodyweight training program as part of your regimen to sustain your total fitness and longevity in life.
For some at-home workout inspiration make sure you take a peek at our blog. Also check out our workout guide for a training plan and movement library complete with points of performance, modifications, photos and links to videos with demonstrations. If you’re a Lifestyle member make sure you use your promo code and claim your discount!