Bodyweight exercises are some of the most common and beneficial exercises that you can do. These exercises do not use free weights or any other type of machine or equipment. Rather, the person exercising uses his or her own bodyweight as the sole form of resistance for the workout. By including bodyweight exercises in your regular fitness routine, such as pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, and lunges, you can strengthen your body without needing a gym, outside tools or equipment of virtually any kind. Read on for a brief overview of these exercises and how they benefit you.
The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are beneficial for a number of reasons. First, they typically do not require the use of outside machines and equipment, meaning that they can be performed at home or in an area without a gym. There are some exceptions to this rule (for instance, pull-ups do require a hanging bar on which to lift yourself), but most bodyweight exercises can be done virtually anywhere and at any time.
Additionally, bodyweight exercises are helpful for both strengthening your various muscle groups and also for honing and sculpting your muscles as well. Depending upon the breakdown of repetitions and the type of exercises that you can do, you can work to build both your strength and your muscle shape, or one of the two.
Bodyweight exercises are in many cases much less likely to result in injury as compared with other types of exercises. For instance, the risk of dropping a heavy weight onto your body is completely eliminated. Additionally, it's more difficult to overexert your muscles due to a massive weight, as you will be working with your own bodyweight only.
How to Perform Bodyweight Exercises Effectively
Depending upon what you're trying to gain from exercising, you'll adjust your bodyweight workout accordingly. For instance, increasing the number of repetitions that you do tends to add to total strength and endurance. If you're interested in improving strength additionally, you might look toward performing the exercises in slightly different manners or by working out at the extreme ranges of motion. This typically means that you work out with your legs or arms either fully extended or mostly drawn into you so that you're forced to exercise different types of muscles than you would normally.
When performing bodyweight exercises, it's important to recognize that you can still cause yourself injury and other damage. Therefore, you should always remember to stretch out carefully both before and after your workout. As with any other form of exercise, it's also a good idea to drink plenty of water while you exercise.
Tools like a bosu, which is a portion of an exercise ball mounted on top of a flat base, can be helpful in changing the resistance levels of your bodyweight exercises or in adding an additional element of challenge, like balance. For more information about how to augment your bodyweight exercises, speak with a trainer at a gym.