The Many Benefits of Bodyweight Workouts

Bodyweight workouts are taking the world by storm. Whether you practice at home or in the gym, in a group or solo - you can find a workout perfectly suited to your body and ability.

Key takeaways:
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    Bodyweight exercises only use your body weight without any additional equipment.
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    The workouts are perfect for practicing at home.
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    Muscle is built through holding your body weight and increasing the time spent working out.
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    Bodyweight workouts have been shown to help maintain a healthy weight.
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    They are free, and you don't have to go to a gym to do them.

What is a bodyweight workout?

Bodyweight workouts use your weight to provide resistance against gravity. A robust bodyweight exercise system can enhance a wide range of fitness factors, including strength, speed, flexibility, power, and endurance.

The training uses a range of simple movements like pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, balancing, and twisting. Push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups are the most commonly known bodyweight exercises.

Most of the workouts don't require the use of specialized equipment. While you can do these workouts at the gym, they are great if you are trying to save money, as they work perfectly for a home exercise regime. You can do a bodyweight workout anywhere; they are the perfect fitness companion for traveling or vacations.

Will bodyweight exercises help you lose weight?

When performed correctly and consistently, bodyweight workouts help to maintain a healthy weight. If you want to shed a few pounds and tone up, performing daily bodyweight workouts will do you a world of good.

If you want to gain the advantage of the fat-burning potential of bodyweight workouts, you will need to train harder for a bit longer. A quick ten-minute session isn't going to cut it.

Focus on big muscle movements like squats, pull-ups, and push-ups. Exercises that use multiple large muscles combined with little rest between sets will create maximum aerobic and metabolic benefits.

Can you build muscle with bodyweight workouts?

Yes, you absolutely can! But, if you want to get those gains, you'll need to keep the following principles in mind:

Increase your reps - you'll need more repetitions of each exercise to gradually build the muscle you want. This way of building muscle is called 'progressive overload.'

Decrease rest time - you'll have less time to recover between reps.

Perform variations - make sure you are doing various movements that target different muscles.

Increase time under tension - the best way to do this is to slow down your movements. You'll hold your body in high-tension states for longer, challenging yourself as you adapt and strengthen.

Bodyweight workouts might sound simple, but it's surprising how challenging they can be. Making the slightest adjustment to limb positioning or the number of sets and reps you do can bring on the burn, even in the most basic movements.

The body will build muscle as you increase the number and intensity of your sets. Progressive overload is one of the critical components of muscle building. For example, you might find that in your first week, doing five push-ups feels almost impossible. But, after your second week, you'll have built more muscle, and the movements might not feel quite so hard. That's your indicator that it's time to up your reps!

What types of bodyweight exercises are the best?

There are so many different bodyweight workouts you can try. Let's look at some of the best exercises you can experiment with today without setting foot in a gym.

Lower body exercise

Body weight squat

You'll build up more strength in your lower body with these squats:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart.
  • Hold your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor.
  • Let your hips begin dropping as if you are sitting down, and continue to squat as far as you can without collapsing into the knees.
  • Engage your leg muscles and stand back up again.
  • You have completed one rep.
woman doing Body weight squat

Upper body exercise

Knees bent push up

Like a regular push-up, but with bent knees which means you can do more reps and build more strength:

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Cross your ankles and lift your feet off the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight, lower your chest to the ground using your arms.
  • Keep your core solid and upper body straight, and push yourself back up.
  • Try to do at least three sets of ten push-ups and gradually build up from there.
woman doing Knees bent push up

Core exercise


Creating one straight strong line with the body:

  • To find the proper position, begin on all fours.
  • Lower your torso so you are resting on your forearms, with shoulders stacked over your elbows.
  • Straighten out the right leg, then the left, and lift yourself, so you are parallel to the floor.
  • Draw your core up to stabilize the posture and hold for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 5 seconds and return to your plank position. Try to do five sets and build up from there. You'll be holding the plank for a few minutes in no time!
woman doing plank on elbows

Full body exercise

Star jumping Jacks

These will get your heart rate going and have excellent metabolic and aerobic benefits:

  • Stand tall and straight with your feet hip distance.
  • Jump as high as you can, simultaneously spreading your arms and legs.
  • Draw your arms and legs in so that as you land, you do so with your feet back at hip distance.
  • Perform a half squat to prepare for the next jump.
  • Try to do three sets of ten reps and build up from there.
woman doing Star jumping Jacks

Are bodyweight exercises suitable for everyone?

Yes, they are! Because they are only using the weight of your body, and you can use props to assist you, bodyweight workouts are suitable for various ages and body types.

You'll build strength slowly and consistently without the danger of lifting heavy weights, which can increase the risk of injury. As you get stronger, you'll be able to progress in your workouts - performing more sets and reps over time.

As with any exercise, it's essential to go slowly. Get to know the new movements before diving into the most complicated version of the practice.

Final thoughts

Working with your body weight is a safe and convenient way to train. Bodyweight workouts build strength, muscle, flexibility, and tone as you consistently show up to your exercise regime.

You can start bodyweight training without being a gym buff. One of the best aspects of this workout is that you can do it at home. You can also mix and match your exercise, so no bodyweight workout is the same from one day to the next.


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