Bodyweight training has been awarded the top spot for the most popular training method in 2015 and it’s no surprise. Also know as calisthenics, bodyweight training is popular for a reason! In this post I will explain the main benefits of training using only your bodyweight for resistance.
1. No equipment required!
This is one of the biggest reasons why many people opt for bodyweight training. As the exercises performed rely on using your own weight, there is no need for any external equipment apart from maybe a pull-up bar. Forget dumbbells, kettle bells and olympic bars, bodyweight training is exactly that – it uses your bodyweight! This makes working out very cheap, in most cases free! There is probably a pull-up bar in your local park, some even have dip bars too.
2. It’s extremely functional.
Have you ever been using a resistance machine in the gym that feels really uncomfortable? Perhaps it may be set-up wrong for your frame or maybe it’s just not a functional movement. Bodyweight exercises are functional because they help you develop strength for every-day activities. For example: a pull-up will help you get over a wall, a lunge will help improve your leg strength when walking up stairs and a plank will boost core strength for when you’re playing sports. You’re using your body the way it was supposed to be used.
3. It’s safer than other forms of exercise.
Leading on from number 2, as bodyweight exercises are very functional they are also quite safe. When you increase the use of external equipment like barbells, machines or weight plates, the risk of injury also increases. Of course there is still risk with any kind of exercise if not performed correctly but bodyweight training has a low amount of risk.
4. It builds great strength!
Some of you may be skeptical of this but just think, have you ever met a weak gymnast? I certainly haven’t, and it’s because bodyweight exercises can be adjusted to increase the difficulty level. Many bodyweight exercises also engage the core, which is 100% essential for body strength.
5. Something for everyone.
As mentioned above, exercises can be modified to suit your needs. They can be made easier or harder depending on your level, so there is always progression available. For example, if you check out my article on improving your pull-up performance, you can see how modifying the movement can increase or decrease difficulty.
As bodyweight workouts require little equipment, you don’t have to rely on anything. You can do workouts in your living room, back garden, hotel room, nearly anywhere! Ever had a time when your gym was closed for some reason? You will never have that problem with calisthenics.
Looking for some exercises to try? Check out a previous post: 5 bodyweight exercises to make you stronger or leave a comment below if you would like something more advanced.