Back to Basics: Bodyweight Training
Getting in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple yet effective movements and bodyweight exercises can be a great for gaining muscle, increasing flexibility, burning fat and getting your heart rate going. Best of all, they are perfect to do just about anywhere without any equipment.
Bodyweight exercises and functional fitness movements are made up of highly efficient workouts. They engage multiple muscles and challenge more than one area of the body at a time. When muscles are pushed to maximum exertion in shorter durations they are considered plyometric movements and high-output motions (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.) which are great for seeing and feeling results in muscle gain, weight-loss, flexibility and stability. Because there is no equipment involved, transitioning between exercises is easy and workouts are efficient with shorter rest times and higher heart rates.
By combining cardio and strength training, you are able to get more out of your workout anywhere you choose to do it. Completing quick bodyweight cardio sessions (like 30 seconds of high knees or burpees) between strength exercises will keep your heart rate up while working the muscles and testing your stability.
Another plus, resistance training doesn’t have to land you with tight muscles when you can practice free range of motion. Bodyweight training, functional fitness and strength training can all go hand in hand. Joints are moving freely through dynamic stretching, muscles are warmed and challenged but not over-stressed, and you can choose your movements according to warm up, plateau and cool down.
Bodyweight exercises are also adaptive to every fitness level and can be modified easily. Performing a move faster or very slowly, adding repetitions and really perfecting form are easy and effective ways to test yourself.
Many bodyweight exercises are fairly simple movements, and when done correctly can be a great addition to your fitness routine. On the days you don’t visit the trainer, practice bodyweight exercises and dynamic stretching in your home or at your gym to really elevate your fitness journey results.
Bodyweight exercises are the perfect addition to learning and working with a personal trainer or attending small group classes. Having personalized attention to your goals and specific needs will hold you accountable to achieving them. Visit Core Progression Elite Personal Training today for all your wellness, nutrition and training needs, online training also available.
Here are five full-body bodyweight exercises to try on your own:
- Burpees – One of the most effective full-body exercises around, burpees start in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Next, kick your feet back landing you in a push-up position. Complete the push-ups then immediately return your feet to the squat position. Next, leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back to the push-up portion in a fluid movement.
- Tuck Jump – Begin standing with knees slightly bent. Explode upwards, jumping as high as possible, bring knees in towards the chest while extending arms straight out. Land softly with knees slightly bent and quickly jump again.
- Mountain Climber – Start on hands and knees. Bring your left foot forward, directly underneath your chest, while straightening out your right leg. Keeping your core tight and hands fixed on the floor, jump to switch legs. Your left leg should now be extended behind you, with your right knee forward under the chest. Continue jumping to switch legs. Up next? Kilimanjaro.
- Jumping Jacks – Taking you back to PE class. Stand up right with your legs together, arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly, tighten your core, and jump into the air. Spread legs to shoulder width and stretch arms overhead. Jumping jacks are a great total-body workout that you can do almost anywhere. They work a combination of muscles and get your heart rate going at the same time.
- High Knees – Start upright with feet hip-width apart . Stretch your arms and hover your hands around belly button height. Engage your core and drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, bring that leg back down and immediately bring your left knee up to meet your left hand. As you alternate knees you want to get into a hopping motion, staying on the balls of the feet.