8 Reasons Why Bodyweight Training is Perfect for Anyone On The Go
More and more it feels like exercise is as complicated as rocket science. There are so many classes and protein bars and new styles of activewear. But living well and staying healthy is as simple as two words: bodyweight training.
Bodyweight training is everything it says on the label: it’s using nothing but your own body to workout. It’s the cheapest, most convenient way to exercise wherever and whenever you want. And you’ll already be familiar with some of the movements: mountain climbers, burpees, planks, lunges, squats.
So, are you looking for a way to gain in strength, boost cardio fitness and burn fat? Let us introduce you to all the reasons why you’ll love bodyweight training.
You Can Workout Anytime, Anywhere
Are you, like most of us, stretched to fit more into your day at the best of times? Do you frequently need to travel for work? Is your local gym always too busy?
The handy thing about bodyweight training is that you can do it anywhere, whenever it’s convenient. Sure, you can do it at the gym if you’d rather, but you can also do it in your lounge room, or a spare conference room at work, or your hotel room.
It Will Strengthen Your Core
Your core is more than just your abs. In fact, there are 29 muscles in the human core, and bodyweight training can use them all. Improved core strength will help with posture as well as make any other exercise – such as running or playing football – easier.
It Doesn’t Take Much Time
At the end of the day, you might genuinely struggle to fit in 90 minutes of exercise. That’s pretty fair! But with bodyweight training, you can workout effectively for just 20-40 minutes. You could choose to do shorter exercises every day to target specific muscles – legs one day, glutes the next – or workout longer and harder three days a week. Whatever works for you.
You Can Use Equipment, But Only If You Want To
Sure, you can use dumb bells, kettlebells or resistance bands if you have them lying around, but you absolutely don’t need to. You’ll be exercising purely with your own bodyweight. Sounds like a good excuse to spend that money on new workout gear instead…
It Works So Many Different Muscles
Bodyweight training activates many different muscles groups at the same time, which strengthens your entire body. Think of a jump squat: you’ll use your legs, of course, but you’ll also use your core to stabilise and balance yourself when you land. Or a burpee, which will have you so sore all over the next day that you’ll (temporarily) regret reading this article.
It Combines Strength and Cardio Training
Another thing we do when we’re pressed for time is choose between a cardio session and a strength session. Performing quick bodyweight exercises, such as a minute of burpees or a set of star jumps keeps the heart pumping, while still encouraging strength development.
Tim Ferriss Does It
That man travels a lot, and looks like a tank. He’s into bodyweight training so much that even made the ‘blurpee’, a torture device, famous in his book The Four-Hour Body. (In case you’re wondering, the extra “l” in blurpee stands for “lats”. The wider foot placement used in the blurpee requires more work from the lats to pull the hips and legs forward as the body comes back from the push-up position.)
It Stays Challenging
You’ll be able to use bodyweight fitness your entire life – you won’t grow out of it, and you can modify anything to suit your current fitness level. Try to add or remove extra reps, perform the movements faster or slower, or work on form over number.
Your progress will be easy to measure, as these exercises offer endless ways to do a little more each time – more reps, added weight (such as ankle weights) or faster pacing, for example.
If you’re looking for some help to get started in bodyweight training, we can’t recommend enough PrimalThenics by Chris Miller. The program uses bodyweight training to deliver improvement in mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness.
His online packages give you everything you need to start (or continue) your bodyweight training – his memberships include over 100 exercise videos, a workout calendar and training sessions. Learn more about Chris’ workouts here. (This isn’t an ad; we just love his stuff!)