As the name suggests, it involves undertaking a series of strength training exercises using only your body weight as resistance against gravity. So there’s no need for weights or machines, just your body…and gravity of course!
What are the benefits of a bodyweight workout?
They’re incredibly simple. As there’s no kit involved you can do them anywhere and at any time. Plus, you won’t waste time between exercises setting up the next piece of equipment, as there isn’t any, which means you maximise your workout time. Bodyweight exercises involve compound movements involving many joints and muscles. As a result, the workout combines cardio and strength training, helping you builds muscle and burn fat. Research has shown that your raised metabolism from working out lasts for hours, even after you stop exercising.
Bodyweight exercises are easy to adapt to any fitness level. Too hard? Do fewer reps. Too easy? Do more reps or modify the training slightly to make it trickier. If it turns out a particular exercise isn’t for you there are plenty more to choose from that will give you similar results. The exercises will also strengthen your core which improves your posture and performance and helps protect against back problems.
As with any workout, your level of success goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. After all, the old saying ‘You can’t out-train a bad diet’ is an old favourite for a reason.
Try our bodyweight workout
Tempted to give a bodyweight workout a try? Then have a go at this simple exercise we’ve pulled together. Don’t forget to warm up with a gentle jog and stretches before you start so your body is ready to workout.
60 seconds of the following exercises.
Push ups: place your hands shoulder-width apart, with feet hip-width apart. Keep your body straight, with core engaged then bend your elbows until your chest brushes the floor, and then slowly return to start position. If you’re feeling adventurous, try an elevated push up with your hands or feet on a bench or chair
Wall sit: stand with your back against the wall then slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground and your knees are directly above your feet. And hold.
Plank: start in a press up position, then drop, so you’re supporting your body weight on your lower arms. Your body should be straight as you clasp your hands together, tuck in your tummy and hold that position for 60 seconds. Sound easy? Give it a go!
Bear crawl: you guessed it, this exercise involves walking like a bear, using your hands and feet simultaneously. Set off on the right foot and hand and crawl to the end of the room or a clear turning point before returning to the start point
Squats: Stand with your feet roughly hip-width apart then slowly bend down using your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel with the ground. As you turn down to bring your arms up in front of you and make sure your heels remain flat on the ground
Sprint: pick a turning point about 50 feet in the distance and sprint towards it. Jog back to the start, turn, and sprint off again
Burpees: There’s a reason these have a reputation for being tough! From a standing position drop into a press up pose and perform one press up. Then pull your legs up to the squat position, spring up, so both feet leave the ground, and clap your hands above your head. And that’s just one rep!
In the end, cool down and stretch to avoid injury, and allow your muscles to recover.