Getting into exercise can be intimidating. So many of us feel like the hurdles are too much — that if you don’t have the right equipment, the right apparel, an extensive home gym setup, or the fancy gym membership, that there’s no way you can be successful.
I’m here to tell you that simply is not true. In fact there is so much you can do without all of that stuff! You can get fit and healthy without any of it. Strength gains “can occur independent of an external load,” according to research published in Physiology & Behavior.
Bodyweight training uses a person’s own body weight as resistance, rather than using tools like barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines. Common bodyweight exercises include push ups, squats, lunges, and crunches. Although these are the simple ones most everyone knows, hundreds more exist and can be creatively combined to create fun, dynamic workouts.
Here at Moms Into Fitness, we love a good bodyweight workout. Check out our no equipment workouts in the Studio — there are 70 of them and adding all the time. You can’t possibly get bored.
Below are five reasons why bodyweight exercises are the way to go for an approachable, effective workout.
When all you need is your body, you’re pretty much good to go no matter where you are. So whether that’s next to your bed when you wake up, in the kitchen waiting for water to boil, in a hotel room, at the playground with your kids … you can exercise!
The only thing you might need for bodyweight exercises is a pair of shoes. And even that is debatable, since many people enjoy and benefit from barefoot exercise. Beyond that, you need an investment of time. That’s it. No activewear or yoga mat are necessary (although you certainly can use both of those). No dumbbells, bands, balls, etc. You might want a chair, bench, or counter nearby to modify some moves, but this is really all you need!
You can do lots of different bodyweight exercises that work all your major muscle groups without a personal trainer or complicated weight machines. Most bodyweight exercises are fairly natural movements or even things you did in gym class as a kid.
Many bodyweight exercises naturally work more than one muscle group, unlike many exercise machines and dumbbell exercises. The repetition of major body movements also increases your heart rate and works that ever-important cardiovascular system (moves like squat jumps and burpees, for example). One place you’ll see bodyweight exercises is with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a highly effective method of improving strength and endurance in which you perform quick bursts of intense exercise.
You might wonder if you will “outgrow” bodyweight only exercises. The good news? There are hundreds of exercises you can do, so it’s hard to get bored. And as your fitness improves, there are ways you can increase intensity and keep your muscles challenged.
Let’s look at push ups, for example. This move is highly effective for building shoulder, chest, and core strength. It is also very challenging to do. In our push up progressions video in the Moms Into Fitness Studio, I show you 5 progressive moves that get you ready for push ups using correct form. You can also do wall push ups, push ups on a bench, or push ups from your knees.
Want to make a squat more challenging? Add holds or pulses at the bottom, do one-legged squats, add a jump between each squat, add a burpee after each set of five squats. See what I mean? There’s endless variety you can do!
If you’re looking for help building a workout program that you can do anytime, anywhere, we’ve got just the thing. Our Bodyweight25 program will work all your major muscle groups, improving your strength and endurance, using only your own body! Invest the time and your body will thank you. Join me in the Studio to try it — FREE.