Body Weight Resistance Training Is Safe and Simple but Not for Sissies
A lot of people who have never really undertaken strength-training are intimidated by it. They don’t understand the machines or all of the other equipment, they don’t want to feel self-conscious in the gym and they’re not really sure how to create an effective strength-training program. All of these concerns can be eliminated by starting out with a body weight resistance program.
What is Body weight Resistance?
Body weight resistance is simply using your own body weight instead of a dumbbell, barbell or machine. Already, you’ve eliminated the equipment and any need to go to the gym. But bodyweight resistance training offers you a lot more than privacy and convenience. It is not a compromise – it is an extremely effective training program if you use it correctly.
Fortunately, it’s not at all hard to get used to the movements, you can create a very effective routine with just a few moves and you can get an incredible workout in less than thirty minutes.
One of the other benefits of bodyweight resistance are that it’s generally safer for beginners than using free weights, since injuries due to improper use of dumbbells and machines are eliminated. You can do a bodyweight routine virtually anywhere – at home, in a hotel room, in your office or on the beach. Also, it’s very easy to incorporate some cardio into a bodyweight resistance routine – you don’t have to put anything down or move away from a station to do it.
Some Tips on Incorporating Bodyweight Resistance
1. Use as many compound movements as possible.
This means using movements that use two or more major muscle groups. For instance, mountain climbers use the core, the back, the shoulders and the legs.
The more large muscles you use in one exercise, the more calories you burn and the more muscle you build.
2. The rules about alternating workouts still apply.
It’s virtually impossible to do a bodyweight workout that doesn’t engage the core, but you should alternate upper and lower body workouts or do a full-body workout every other day.
3. They’re old school because they work.
Moves like squats, toe raises, mountain climbers, push-ups, pull-ups and lunges have been around forever. There’s a reason for that – they work. You don’t need to get fancy. Getting fancy negates the simplicity that makes this type of workout so great.
It may sound like calisthenics, but if it works for the Navy Seals, it’s obviously not for sissies.
4. Easily incorporate cardio to get fat-burning benefits.
Adding muscle is going to help you burn more fat. But if you really want to rev it up, throw some cardio in there between sets to turn this into a HIIT workout. Go straight from squats into standing jumps or from push-ups to running in place. You can get a killer workout this way and still keep it under 30 minutes.
5. Change it up as soon as it starts to get easy.
Just as you have to keep increasing the weight to make progress in weight-bearing routines, you also have to keep moving forward with bodyweight resistance. You won’t do this by increasing weight, but by increasing reps, changing up to more difficult moves or even combining two moves to raise the difficulty level.
Bodyweight resistance is one of the best ways to introduce your body to strength-training. But it’s definitely not an “easy” workout. This is an effective, efficient way to build muscle mass and help burn fat.