5 Body-Weight Exercise Tips To Get Results

Let’s face the facts: commercial fitness equipment is bulky and gym memberships are expensive.  Like many in the Atlanta area, our lifestyles are just not compatible with these things.  Luckily, there is a way to get and stay fit in the comfort of your own home, using only your own body-weight.

What Is Body-Weight Training?

            Body-weight training is a training method using your own body-weight as resistance.  These are exercises that are meant to assist you in your day-to-day life, as they take into account the motion of an active body and do not only focus on the muscle specifically.  In other words, no need to buy exercise equipment.

How Does It Compare To Traditional Weight Training? 

This comes down to a difference of Open and Closed Chain Exercises.  Open Chain Exercises isolate a single muscle and joint.  This is ideal for muscle rehabilitation and a few other applications, but for full body fitness (and on a busy schedule) we want to focus on Closed Chain Exercises.  These involve several joints and muscle groups simultaneously and allow the body to grow muscle in a more organic way.

Exercises

The exercises that are most commonly associated with Body-Weight Training are probably ones that you have been familiar with for most of your life.  These would be the push-up, sit-up, squat, plank, leg-raise, and many others.  A description and explanation of these exercises are easy to find, so here will focus on how to do them for the best results.

Methods:

These 5 points are crucial to keep in mind when doing Body-Weight Training.  They will help yield better and faster results.

            –Leverage:

            Because we are not dealing in weights like we do at the gym, we must generate resistance in different, more organic ways.  When performing Body-Weight training, think in terms of levers.  When doing a push-up, your body is a lever and the fulcrum, or pivot are your toes.  A Push-up’s resistance is generated due to the the entire distance of your shoulders to your toes acting as lever.

            –Start Short If Need Be:

            Push-ups can be difficult for anyone, whether you are middle linebacker, or just middle-aged, so do yourself a favour and shorten up that lever until you can properly and comfortably do a full rep.  The most common solution here is instead of using your toes, use your knees as a fulcrum.  Do this until you feel like graduating to a full push-up.

            –Balance:

In life, motions do not happen in a vacuum, which is to say no one muscle works independently when performing a task.  For example, when lifting a heavy item, it’s not just your arms doing the work; it’s your legs, your core, and some of your back in there too.  This should be reflected in your training.  When doing a pushup, add an upward arm stretch after each rep to help strengthen your core and resistance muscles.       

            -Don’t Rush:

It’s tempting to rush a workout; to bring weights down fast and use some of that bounce for the next rep, or with body-weight training using natural elastic energy to assist yourself.  Don’t cut yourself short.  If you want real results, slow it down.  Even pause midway through your rep.  For example, when doing a sit-up, do not let your body flop down unrestricted so that some of that energy is used in bringing your torso back up.  Make your body work for every inch.

            –Direction:

This is especially important in ab workouts.  Abdominal muscles stretch across your entire stomach area, so it is important that we do not only exercise a small part of them.  For instance, when doing crunches, alternate pulling into your left knee, straight forward, and to your right.  This will exercise a much broader group of muscles than if you were to only crunch in to the center. Check out this site: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2019/08/31/12-common-workout-mistakes-youre-probably-making-and-how-to-fix-them/#1f13836564a6

 

The Final Rep

Using these tools and methods, you should be well equipped to turn your apartment, basement, or bedroom into your own private gym.  If it seems too easy, give it a shot and track your results.  If more people knew the secret of basic Body-Weight Training regimens, there would be a lot more gym equipment for sale!