Bodyweight training has been a key foundation in my own personal fitness for years. Since I like to practice what I preach, all of my fitness clients have experienced many progressions of bodyweight exercises. Although there are so many amazing forms and benefits in bodyweight training I decided to share with you my top 5 reasons for bodyweight training.
1. Help Build and Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
As you may have heard, building strength is the key for maintaining a strong metabolism especially as you age, since it increases lean muscle mass that naturally declines as the years go by. Muscle mass plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight and general metabolic functions — for example, helping with insulin sensitivity, thyroid function and hormonal balance. Basically, the more lean muscle you hold on your frame, the higher your basal metabolic rate is, which means you need more calories just to maintain your weight on any given day.
2. It’s always a challenge
Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easily modified to challenge anyone. You can add extra reps, change pace of the exercises, minimizing rest, or adding a ballistic movement (like a squat thrust or burpee in-between reps) are just a few ways to make the simplest workout tougher. Every time you add a modification, you can chart your progress.
When it comes to bodyweight training, sometimes increasing resistance means increasing balance, too. For example, a normal squat can be ramped up by swapping in a single-leg squat (a.k.a. a pistol squat). Functional movements like that one can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.
Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely. Plus, it can lead to improved posture and might reduce the chance of exercise-related injury. Yoga, the fave no-equipment workout for many, is another great way to to improve flexibility while also significantly improving strength.
5. Improve Your Mood and fights Depression
Some people consider to exercise as the body’s natural anti-depressant, since it biologically reduces stress and is tied to improvements in self-esteem, confidence, the ability to problem solve, better sleep and emotional health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, chemicals that give you a natural high and lift your mood, helping naturally remedy depression and improve low energy levels.
Additional benefits of bodyweight training
• More lean muscle mass
• Healthier blood cholesterol levels
• Healthier blood pressure levels
• Lower stress levels
• Better sleep
• More energy
• Increased oxygen use by muscles
• Reduced joint and bone pain
• Removal of metabolic waste from muscles during resting periods
• Increased insulin sensitivity
• Increased resting metabolic rate
Christopher Vlaun ©2016