When it comes to exercising, getting in shape and losing weight, there is a common misconception that one of two options alone is enough: pumping iron or cardio.
“How much do you bench press?” and “How fast can you run a 5k?”
The truth is, an ideal exercise plan includes both cardio and resistance training. Whether you mix bodyweight exercises into your existing cardio routines, or set aside an entire session exclusively for either type of exercise, it’s extremely important to incorporate both into a well-rounded fitness schedule.
What are bodyweight exercises?
More likely than not, you were doing these movements before you’d ever made a trip to the gym. Bodyweight exercises use your own weight as resistance when performing a controlled movement. The most common examples include:
- Tricep dips
They’re hard, but they’re worth it. Here are eight of the best reasons to give bodyweight exercises a try:
You don’t need any equipment
Aside from pull-ups, bodyweight exercises allow you to workout anywhere, any time. You don’t need a gym membership, you don’t need to pack a gym bag, and you don’t even need to buy special gear. All you need is some floor space and half an hour!
You won’t get bored as easily
When it comes to cardio, you’re most likely doing one sport at a time for the day’s workout, whether it be going for a run, doing some laps in the pool, or hitting up a spin class. Either way, it can get boring fast. Bodyweight exercises make it possible to combine a wide variety of movements into one workout, guaranteeing both a full-body workout and a fun workout session.
Movements can be adapted to suit your goals
The beauty of bodyweight exercises is how easy it is to customise your own regime, including what type of exercises you do, how many reps you perform, which muscles are targeted, and so on. When you master all the movements, just add some weights. When you’re feeling overworked, pick some easier movements and lower your repetitions.
They’re more efficient than cardio
Bodyweight exercises can also be a great alternative to cardio when you are tight on time. Rather than running for 40 minutes, you can do a few sets of squats, burpees, and push-ups to burn more calories in half the time. Check out our article on anaerobic exercises to learn why!
They build muscle
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build and tone your muscles. For example, pull-ups help you bulk up and help you lose weight. In fact, if you can combine bodyweight exercises and cardio, it’ll be much easier to lose weight than just focusing on lifting weights or running on the treadmill.
They improve balance
Weight lifting machines can target only very specific muscles, meaning when you let go of a pulldown cable the rest of your body is mostly unaffected. Bodyweight exercises, however, force you to rely on your body’s core stability to keep your balance. This enhances your core strength (something we believe is very important), stability and flexibility. Working on all three of these at the same time is one of the quickest routes to improved posture.
They prevent injuries
Better balance and a stronger core will help keep your body under control and prevent injuries while doing other forms of exercise or even just carrying out daily tasks. On top of that, body weight exercises are more joint-friendly than high-impact cardio workouts like running.
With all that in mind, why not start doing some bodyweight exercises today?
If you need help getting started, look no further than BodyScene. Sign up for our personal trainer programme now and get a workout routine designed to specifically meet your personal fitness goals!