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The Benefits of Bodyweight Exercise

The same old gym routine day after day, week after week can get boring—not to mention ineffective. If you have a case of the workout doldrums, it might be time for a change. Where’s the best place to start? Get back to the basics!

Bodyweight exercises—long a foundation for old-school fitness—are back in vogue. These challenging movements use your own bodyweight as resistance—and they are anything but easy.

Benefits of Bodyweight
Simple bodyweight exercises can build strength, boost cardiovascular fitness, and burn fat—but they come with a variety of other benefits, too.

Compound Movements: Most bodyweight exercises involve compound movements, meaning they require you to engage numerous joints and muscles to move. This is real-world, functional exercise. These movements teach your muscles to work in harmony with each other. Plus—they give you the most bang for your buck because you’re working several different muscle groups at once.

Strength Plus Cardio: Bodyweight exercises can be like a two-for-one special. Perform a series of quick bodyweight exercises for a fat-blasting, heart-pumping cardio session—one that builds strength, too. Try a Tabata session full of bodyweight exercises for a strength-cardio one-two punch.

Build Balance: Bodyweight exercises can be a great way to build balance, precision, and control. A set of pistol squats will not only produce a muscular burn, but build better body awareness and balance—something we all need as we age.

Improve Core Strength: Many people think of the core as the abs—but there are actually 29 muscles that make up the core, including the glutes and the paraspinal muscles. Many bodyweight exercises engage all of these muscles—helping build core strength, which can translate to better health, better posture, improved fitness, and reduced risk of injury.

Bodyweight Exercises
There are countless bodyweight exercises you can include in your next workout. Here are some ideas:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Bear Crawl
  • Planks
  • Wall Sits
  • Pistol squats
  • Lunges
  • Triceps Dips
  • Squat Reach and Jump
  • Step-Ups

Try It
Ready to incorporate some bodyweight exercises into your gym routine? The main fitness floor is the perfect place to add some bodyweight moves into your workout. The mat area is a great place to throw in a set of burpees or push-ups in between weight sets. And of course, the Hoist machine is a great tool for practicing pull-ups. Need more ideas? Our trainers are all experts in this area. In fact, you’ll often glimpse them incorporating these moves into their own workouts!