Getting into shape doesn’t have to mean spending all of your spare hours at the gym dodging other people’s sweat and being a slave to the treadmill. Incorporating bodyweight exercises can increase your fitness, reduce the time you spend working out and help with total body muscle definition. Here are our top reasons to include bodyweight exercises in your workout regime.
1. No Gym fees! Now who doesn’t like to save a bit of money? With a bodyweight exercise regime you can get rid of those hefty gym fees and stop being a slave to their opening hours and do your workouts at a time that suits you.
2. Convenience. If you are like us and struggle to understand the concept of driving to the gym only to get on a stationary bike or treadmill then this is for you. Not only do you not need a lot of space, you can do bodyweight exercises anywhere anytime. Include some on your regular run in the park, your hotel room on holidays or in your living room – wherever you workout. If you are looking to increase the intensity of your regular 5km run why not add in some bodyweight exercises after every 1km.
3. Combine your cardio and Strength Training. Instead of separating your workouts into just cardio or weights, combine the two for a powerhouse workout with bodyweight exercises. Increasing the speed and number of repetitions for your bodyweight exercises will really get your heart pumping. Not only will you torch calories through the cardio aspect of your workout, but you will also continue to burn calories with the ‘afterburn’ effect that comes from muscle growth.
4. Faster results! Oh yeah! This is what we’re all about. Great results without having to spend all our spare time exercising. Bodyweight workouts tend to include a lot of compound movements. Compound movements are those that involve a number of muscles and joints in each move, ie push ups, pull ups, burpees and mountain climbers. Rather than just working one muscle at a time supercharge your workout by working a lot of muscles at once. These exercises tend to be very demanding on the body (when done right) so the idea is to work as hard as possible for short bursts and then a short rest before repeating the exercise. The results will speak for themselves!
5. Easily adaptable. Bodyweight exercises can easily be modified to suit different fitness levels, injuries or any other limitations. As a beginner it’s best to slow down and focus on form to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly, and when you are confident you can increase the speed or modify the exercise to make it more difficult. Bodyweight exercises can be done by people of all ages and abilities – just work within your own limitations and fitness levels.
6. Core strength. Abs are not only made in the kitchen, they are also made with bodyweight exercises. Most bodyweight exercises require core strength and as a result use most, if not all, of the 29 muscles in our core. Not only will this help our abs look fantastic on the beach in summer, but it will also improve our posture, support our back and help improve our athletic performance.
7. No longer stuck in an exercise rut. With bodyweight exercises you are only limited by your imagination. You will be able to keep workout boredom at bay and make sure you are pushing yourself each time with different bodyweight exercises and variations.