The value of bodyweight training – using your own body as resistance instead of machines or equipment – is often underestimated.
“Bodyweight exercise has stood the test of time as an effective stand-alone workout or as an integral part of health club classes,” says Ceri Hannan, Virgin Active’s National Product Development Manager.
Ceri highlights the key benefits of working with your own bodyweight:
High output, low investment
The main benefit of bodyweight training is to build strength without investing hours of time.
A short, full body routine, that includes sets of exercises like lunges, squats, and crunches with short breaks in between, can build muscle very effectively.
Better balance and flexibility
Relying on only your body to work out also improves balance and flexibility. A full body routine engages your core muscles and improves strength in your limbs.
Classes like Virgin Active’s Barre 180 combine bodyweight training with yoga and dance-inspired moves to build alignment and posture.
Control and variety
Many strength training or cardio routines can get monotonous but with bodyweight training you’re completely in control of your routine.
You can include more challenging sets on some days, exclude them on recovery days, or simply switch the order to keep it fun.
Another plus is that bodyweight training requires no special equipment or training gear, which means that you can do it anywhere and it’s accessible for anyone.
If you can’t make it to your health club, you can do it at home or outdoors.
Keeping it lean
The short bursts of exercise that make up a bodyweight routine have been proven to help with weight loss more effectively than long cardio sessions. While the focus of many strength training routines with weights or equipment is to bulk up, effective bodyweight exercise results in a lean, strong body.
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