In the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of home workouts. I moved to a new city and still haven’t found a gym I really like. So, I do my workouts in my living room using my dumbbells and my stability ball, for the most part. However, I find that I can do more effective workout if I also do other sorts of exercises, those using bodyweight as resistance.
Working out at home has opened my eyes to the world of bodyweight exercises. Naturally, I knew they existed, but I haven’t been fully aware of how much can be done with them. I never knew how effective bodyweight exercises can be. I’ve always been a gym guy and I was used to working with equipment. Now I love doing these exercises and incorporate them into each and every one of my workouts. I think everyone should be doing them. Here are some of the top reasons why bodyweight exercises rock:
#1 – You Can Do Them Everywhere
Once you become proficient at doing bodyweight exercises, you will always be able to do an excellent workout. I’ve worked out while on vacation in my hotel room. I’ve trained when visiting my folks over the weekend. I’ve worked out in the park near my home when the weather was good. You don’t need any equipment. You become totally independent.
Needless to say, this is also an affordable way to train. I am all for having some fitness equipment at hand as it is useful. I also favor going to a gym for similar reasons. However, you don’t need a gym or equipment to be fit. All you need is the time and the dedication and the knowledge to do bodyweight workouts. They are more than enough to burn lots of fat and get in great shape.
Note: these exercises aren’t limited to strength training. You can also do bodyweight cardio workouts.
#2 – You Can Easily Switch Between Bodyweight Exercises
One of the best ways to burn more fat during your workouts it to do a series of exercises with no rest in between. When you’re using equipment this can be a hassle as you need to prepare all the equipment in easy reach in advance. In the gym you may have trouble securing the weights you need as other people may want to use them. With bodyweight training, this poses no problem. You can easily switch from a push-up to squats to burpees, all in quick succession and without having to fiddle with any equipment.
#3 – Three Dimensional Training Made Easy
When most people think of bodyweight exercises what comes to their mind are exercises such as push-ups or lunges or squats. This is a limited perspective. Bodyweight training is one of the best ways to do 3-dimensional movements during your workout, using elements from yoga, martial arts, dance, etc. It’s hard to do intricate movements which involve multi-planar motions (backward, forward, sideways, and rotational) when you’re using dumbbells or a barbell. The only way to do so is with bodyweight workouts.
Adam Steer, the Bodyweigh Coach, and author of the Shapeshifter Body Redesign plan, told me in a recent interview that 3-Dimensional exercises are very effective for fat burning because they employ more muscles and take your body out of its “comfort zone”.
You can learn more about these complex movements in the Bodyweight Blueprint For Fat Loss program.
#4 – Jumping Exercises
One of the ways in which I make my workouts more effective is by doing exercises which combine strength and jumping together. For instance, jumping squats and lunge jumps and burpees, are 3 of my favorite exercises. You simply can’t do similar workouts while using weights. You’re likely to hurt yourself.
Jumping exercises are a great way to increase your heart rate and the intensity of your workouts. If you do any kind of home workouts, make sure to include these exercises in them.
#5 – Improve Your Personal Physical Efficiency
Lifting heavy dumbbells or pressing 300 lbs can be very impressive, but what does it really say about your physical efficiency? In the military, soldiers aren’t judged by how much weight they can lift. They’re tested on their own personal ability to use their body in rigorous conditions. They are measured by their ability to do pull-ups, push-ups, running, and other body resistance exercises and workouts. You can be very strong but you may also be very heavy. I’ve seen guys who can do bicep curls with very heavy weights but they can’t do 5 pull-ups. If you want to improve your fitness efficiency, bodyweight training is the way to go.
Bodyweight training needs to be part of your workout. You will find that you can get a harder workout by correctly using bodyweight exercises than you could have done with regular gym exercises alone. Check out You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren for some exercise options.
If you need some ideas on how to do such a powerful workout check out the Bodyweight 500 workout. It’s a special workout with 500 reps which was created by Craig Ballantyne. If you’re able to do that one, you’re in pretty good shape.