Bodyweight training is making a comeback as an easy, effective way to build strength, and improve balance and flexibility.
Also known as calisthenics, this exercise relies only on your own weight for resistance. But is bodyweight-only training enough to get stronger? We unpack some examples of bodyweight training, along with some pros and cons of how this form of exercise can help you.
Examples of Bodyweight Training
Chances are that you’ve already done bodyweight training, even if you haven’t realised it. Bodyweight training can include:
- Abdominal crunches
- Jump lunges
- Mountain climbers.
Sound familiar? Bodyweight training is especially popular in HIIT workouts, which use lunges, squats and burpees galore. So, what are some of the benefits of bodyweight training as a standalone exercise or as an addition to your gym routine?
BENEFITS OF BODYWEIGHT TRAINING
There are plenty of ways your body can benefit from bodyweight training exercises. Here are some top reasons.
It’s a Full Body Workout
Using our own body weight for strength training is a great way to engage more muscles at once – particularly our core muscles. As the body engages more muscles to stabilise and balance, bodyweight exercises can give you great bang for your buck.
You Can Exercise Anytime
Another added bonus? Since you don’t need any machines or weights, bodyweight training can conveniently be done anywhere. This is perfect for those wanting to a workout outside, or at home.
It can Help Improve Balance and Flexibility
Bodyweight exercises can also allow for a more natural range of motion, potentially assisting joints to move more freely. As you engage in functional movements, you can increase balance and control through body awareness.
It Helps Add Variety to Your Workout
To keep your fitness regime fun and fresh, incorporating bodyweight training into your workouts can help you shake things up and keep it interesting. Check out our blog on the benefits of adding strength training to your workout routine.
DISADVANTAGES OF BODYWEIGHT-ONLY TRAINING
While bodyweight training can deliver great results for strength and endurance, there are some potential limitations.
It May Take Longer to See Results
Advanced bodyweight training can take much longer to see results without the use of exercise machines and weights. Exercise that only uses your bodyweight may require more patience to see changes.
Consider adding resistance or strength training tools (e.g. weight machines, heavy dumbbells) for faster results.
You May Experience End-Goal Confusion
Tracking advancement is an important part of the process. However, with bodyweight-only training, it can be harder to quantify progress.
Since you can’t modify your weight in the same way you can with weights, it’s harder to tweak your training and up the intensity of your strength workout.
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