8 Reasons to Consider Bodyweight Exercises

by Brenda Wallace

When many consider exercising, they think about going to the gym, lifting weights, and running on the treadmill.  There’s an entirely different world out there for exercise, one which was around long before the expensive gyms and the contraptions that can be found there.  Before the gym, people were exercising with bodyweight exercises.

A body built through bodyweight exercises can be even more fit than one which relies on the machines that are found in a gym.  In most of these exercises, the core is invigorated, and every muscle group becomes involved in the process.

The movements themselves are more natural, and the possibilities for movement are nearly infinite.

Here are some reasons to consider bodyweight exercises for your personal regimen:

Martial arts and body weight exercise at Echo Mountain

 Reason 1: They’re Not boring

Exercise in the gym has the bad reputation of being boring.  Lifting weights and focusing on the same muscle group over and over again make people cry out for mercy.

There are literally thousands of bodyweight exercises that one can do, from wall presses to one-armed pull-ups.  These types of exercises are limited only by your imagination.

Reason 2: It’s Far Less Expensive

You’re not stuck with the machine or going to the gym to perform bodyweight exercises.  All you need is your body!

Now, if you want to have equipment like a pull up bar or something similar, that’s your choice, but you’re not stuck with it.  When you choose body weight exercises over the gym, you’re saving time, gym fees, and gas money.

Reason 3: You Can Do Them Anytime

Bodyweight exercises require no equipment, and they’re not done in a gym.  This means that they can be done anytime, anywhere.  If you’re up at three in the morning in an unfamiliar city, you can still do pushups in your hotel room.

You can also walk around the halls, jump up and down a few times, and get the blood flowing.   You don’t need to be stuck with gym hours.

Reason 4: It’s a total body workout

Machines focus on one part of the fitness equation. Treadmills do cardio. Resistance machines train strength. Bodyweight exercises done with proper form can do cardio, strength training, and even flexibility all in one package.

Have you ever seen a yoga practitioner go through their routine? Yoga postures are all bodyweight exercises.

Worried about cardio? Just do the exercises faster! Look up “burpees” and try a set of ten.

Reason 5: Fewer injuries

The risk of injury doing bodyweight exercises is far less than with machines and free weights. You are in control of your body and you can tell when something is wrong.

The reason weight lifters have spotters is because a weight isn’t going to stop being heavy just because you’re tired or can’t control it. You can even use bodyweight exercises to rehabilitate injuries.

Find a trainer who has experience in this if you want to know more.

Reason 6: It’s effective

Bodyweight exercises work the entire body. When you do a pushup with proper form, it’s not just your arms and your chest. Everything else works to keep the form good as you go up and down.

When you keep good form (see a trainer if you need to learn what that means) everything gets worked. When you improve the entire body like this, strength gains and fat burning get multiplied dramatically.

Reason 7: You become a fat burning machine

Because you’re combining strength and cardio with your workouts and doing movements that are designed to work out the entire body, you’re becoming a fat burning machine.

Your metabolism will kick in and help you to shed unwanted pounds.  As a side note, you’re also able to do real-world tasks more effectively – walking uphill and carrying groceries becomes a lot easier when you’ve been doing bodyweight exercises.

Reason 8: They can be scaled to any body type

Anyone from the super skinny to the morbidly obese can perform bodyweight exercises.  Pushups against a wall, lifting the arms, doing burpees, or crouching against a couch are all considered viable exercises.

You don’t have to start out being super fit to start with your exercise regimen, you can start right now from where you are.

Becoming fit doesn’t have to be hard.  You don’t have to run on the treadmill for hours, contort yourself to the machines, or have a spotter.

Performing bodyweight exercises frees you from all of those considerations and better prepare you for the real world and real adventures.  Think about the ways that you can develop your body without a machine, make a routine, and start working on your awesome body today.

(Brenda Wallace has been in love with physical fitness and her pull up bar for 5 years.  She currently lives with her husband Mike in San Diego, California.  When she’s not working out, she enjoys reading, playing the recorder, and being a foodie.)

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