Thinking about trying bodyweight training? Want to know the benefits of bodyweight exercises? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll dive into the 7 benefits of bodyweight exercises. Knowing them will give you a better idea of whether bodyweight training is for you.
So, keep reading to learn the awesome benefits you can reap from bodyweight exercises.
Table of Contents
- They’re Convenient
- They’re Suitable for All Fitness Levels
- They Have a Lower Risk of Injury
- They’re Low-Cost
- They’re Functional Exercises
- They Can Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time
- They Can Build Muscle Without Adding Bulk
- Closing Remarks
One of the main benefits of bodyweight exercises is that you can do them anywhere and anytime.
The reason is simple: you barely need any equipment. All you have to bring is your own body to perform moves like push-ups, squats, and lunges.
With bodyweight exercises, you can get your sweat on right at home, in a nearby park, or even while you’re on the go.
And if you want to spice things up with equipment, like dip bars or monkey bars, just head to a playground or a park.
Bodyweight exercises are great if the whole gym scene gives you the jitters, as they don’t require a gym.
They’re Suitable for All Fitness Levels
Another benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they can be done by people with all fitness levels.
They involve movements that we’re already familiar with from our daily activities. So, they’re generally easy for beginners.
Squats, for example, involve bending your knees and lowering your body. This action resembles sitting in a chair or getting up from a seated position.
You can also adjust the exercises to match your fitness level. For instance, if you’re not strong enough to do push-ups against the floor, you can do push-ups against the wall.
You can also increase the resistance by adjusting the position of your body. For example, try pistol squats that use only one leg instead of conventional squats.
Remember, while bodyweight exercises are generally good, they may not be the best option for people with certain medical conditions.
For example, if you have lower back pain, doing sit-ups or Russian twists may worsen it because they put a lot of pressure on the lower back.
Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have any medical conditions.
They Have a Lower Risk of Injury
Bodyweight exercises have a lower risk of injury than weightlifting or many other exercise methods.
One of the reasons is that they involve movements that are more natural and functional for the body.
These exercises mimic movement patterns in our daily lives, such as squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, and jumping.
Another reason is that adding resistance to bodyweight training requires more advanced exercises.
You can only perform these advanced exercises well if you have been practicing for quite some time. A beginner will have a hard time trying them.
Compare that to weightlifting, where the resistance can be increased simply by using a heavier dumbbell or barbell.
Bodyweight exercises do not need a costly gym membership or equipment. So, they are a cost-effective way to improve your health and fitness.
Also, bodyweight training equipment, like a pull-up bar or push-up bar, is generally inexpensive.
This makes bodyweight exercises a great option for those who may not have the means to join a gym or buy expensive equipment.
You can also use the money you save on gym membership or expensive equipment to invest in healthy foods. This can further improve your health and fitness.
They’re Functional Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are functional exercises. They mimic movements that are common in everyday life.
Functional exercises often involve multi-joint movements. These movements need many muscle groups to work together in coordination.
So, they help improve balance, coordination, mobility, flexibility, and core strength. These, in turn, improve your performance at doing everyday stuff or playing sports.
For example, push-ups and pull-ups are functional exercises that work the chest, back, and arm muscles. These are essential for everyday activities such as pushing, pulling, and lifting.
They Can Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time
Bodyweight training can combine strength training and cardio in one exercise. This is another of the benefits of bodyweight exercises.
When you perform these exercises, you’re not only building your muscles and strength, but you’re also increasing your heart rate.
For example, squat jumps work your legs, glutes, and abs, while elevating your heart rate.
Another example is mountain climbers. They work a lot of muscles, such as abs, shoulders, chest, legs, etc., while also getting your heart rate up.
By combining strength training and cardio, you’re able to burn calories and build muscle at the same time.
They Can Build Muscle Without Adding Bulk
Bodyweight exercises are effective muscle toners. They can build muscle without adding bulk.
The main reason is that adding resistance to bodyweight training requires challenging advanced exercises. Whereas to increase the size of your muscles, you need to keep adding the weight you lift over time.
This doesn’t mean that bodyweight exercises can’t build muscle. It’s just that they have a limitation in increasing muscle size.
Some consider this a drawback of bodyweight exercises. But, they are great for people who want to build muscle without adding bulk.
There you go, the 7 benefits of bodyweight exercises. This is not to say that bodyweight exercises have no downsides.
One of the most talked-about downsides of bodyweight exercises is their limitation in building lower body muscles.
Lower body muscles like the quadriceps and glutes are the largest and strongest. So, it’s hard to provide enough resistance using only bodyweight exercises to stimulate them.
But, if you’re not into having really strong lower body muscles, you don’t need to worry about this too much.
Sasha Lizaveta is a fitness enthusiast and content manager at BadassBodyProject.com. She advocates a conservative yet effective approach to fitness. She believes in the power of gradual changes to achieve long-lasting results. When not working out or creating content, she can often be found engrossed in books, playing with her cats, or travelling.