Although great fitness equipment,and equipment are great – you really don't need beautiful dumbbells, or anything else, to get a great workout. Using your own body weight is even one of the best ways to get in shape.
I mean, think about it – your body is pretty heavy. Being able to do a push-up or pull-up is quite impressive in itself. And you don't have to buy anything or rely on equipment to help you become strong, which is perfect if you don't have time to go to the gym or if you are far away from your home environment.
There is no doubt that
Movements such as push-ups and boards are great body weight exercises.
The benefits of only using your body for training
Using your own body for training is clearly more convenient than training that requires more equipment, but what else can it offer? To start with, you can work more muscles at the same time than if you only isolate one part of the body with weights. "When we use our body instead of machines, we increase the use of our core and we also use stabilizing muscles that help prevent injury," says Holly Roser, a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist in San Francisco.
And while you can't expect body-weight exercises to prepare yourself for, say, lifting a 100-pound item effortlessly, it can still help you to become stronger and build muscle.
Because using your own body weight helps you activate more muscles, you reduce your risk of injury. The more muscles you can activate at the same time, the greater the chance that you can stabilize your body, which is important for the daily movement and the safety of your exercises.
When you use your body weight versus weights
Although the use of your own body weight can certainly give you full body training, it cannot help you get everything you want from a fitness routine. For example, you may need specific movements to strengthen certain parts of your body that are difficult to reach without equipment.
"There are movements that cannot be replicated using your body weight, such as pull-downs, breast flies or rows. These movements are very important because they are areas that are usually very weak due to the sitting lifestyle and cravings about computers and telephones. "Roser said.
Another point to consider when deciding between weight training or your own body weight is how quickly you want to see results. "Using your own body weight will take longer to get the desired result. I would suggest adding body weight movements to a resistance training program," Roser said.
So this can alternate for days when you only use your body weight to train with other days when you add more resistance or strength training tools, such as weight machines or heavy dumbbells.
How to get the most out of your body weight training
If you have ever done movements such as sideways lunges, boards, push-ups and mountain climbers, you can string them together for a great full-body, no equipment needed training. These movements can certainly be a challenge, but according to Roser you may have to make some changes to the training to make sure you get the most out of your time.
"You would like to adjust your rep range to do higher reps and fewer sets. Aim for 2 sets of 25 reps of a move when using your own body weight," Roser said. Because you use less resistance than when you add heavy weights to the movements, doing higher repetitions causes youto create change.
And if you have theof your body weight training, try adding bursts of activity such as mountain climbers or jogging between exercises.
"This causes yourto increase and you get a greater calorie burn," Roser said.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.