Working Out Without Weights - PushupsCredit:

Look and Feel Great for Free!

When you think of working out, what springs to mind? A gym full of fitness buffs pumping iron is most common image that people conjure up.

What most of us don’t realize is that there are people quietly and efficiently getting into the best shape of their lives using nothing more than their bodyweight in their own homes.

Working out without weights is used to:

  • Build strength
  • Improve your cardio
  • Increase flexibility
  • Build and tone your muscles

Why would you ever lift a barbell again when you can get these eight powerful benefits?

1. It’s free

This is one of the best reasons to work out without weights regularly. Thumb your nose at your buddies paying top dollar to go to expensive gyms that are crowded, smelly and never have an opening on the machine you want to use.

2. It’s effective

This is one of the most quoted reasons not to use bodyweight only workouts. People simply can’t believe that weightless workouts can produce the same (or better) results that pumping iron can. Well – it can. It’s that simple. You simply have to utilize the principle of progressive bodyweight exercising (see further down in the article for examples)

3. It’s convenient

How much time can you save by not driving to the gym every time just to work out? Once you factor in parking and traffic, you’re looking at an hour or more of precious time saved per trip!By working out from the comfort of your own home, you not only save time that you can never get back, but you also don’t have to worry about what you look like – bonus!Shove on your favorite cheesy ‘80s motivational music, your neon Lycra shorts and grunt as loud as you like throughout – all totally acceptable (although you might scare the neighbors).

4. It’s easy

Not easy in the sense that you won’t be working hard and feeling the burn, but easy to learn the movements necessary to master your bodyweight exercises. There aren’t that many variations and they come to your body naturally, unlike some bodybuilding exercises. Which leads me nicely on to…

5. It’s safe

You’re much less likely to get injured from working out without weights than with weights. Some weighted exercises force your body into unnatural angles. Bodyweight exercises follow the guidelines that your body naturally sets. In fact, some exercises like the weighted squat have been shown to put unnecessary strain on the body’s joints (in this case, the shoulder joints – your elbows were never naturally meant to be that flared out from the body). 

6. It’s motivating

My self-discipline sucks. That’s why I love bodyweight exercises. It sets you up to see and feel results fast, and this succession of ‘quick wins’ is far more motivating than reading about what works in the latest health magazine.

7. It's whole-body exercise

Everything from developing strength with bodyweight reps, and improving your cardio with running and sprints, to keeping limber with stretching, working out without weights has it all.

8. There are no excuses

You’re at home, you have all the equipment you need (hey, you don’t even need to go outside if you don’t want to!), so all your excuses evaporate into thin air. If you give yourself any wriggle room, you’ll end up taking advantage of it. Why do you think that so many people give up going to the gym? They make excuses that ‘just this once’ they’re ‘too tired’ to travel to the gym, or ‘it’ll take too long to get there at this time of day’.

Having read all this, I hope I’ve convinced you that working out without weights is worth a try. If I have, then bodyweight progressions are the place to begin.

Bodyweight Progressions

Take the simple pushup. It’s a great exercise, nut people get bored with it, as hammering out successive pushups can get a little monotonous. 

But wait!What if there were variations of the pushup, both easier and harder, that people could progress to once they’d mastered the easiest initial step?

Can you guess where this is leading?

The Pushup Progression Ladder

The idea is simple – start with the easiest exercise (number 1 on the list) and practice twice a week until you can do 50 consecutive repetitions. Just increase the number of reps you do per workout session until you get there.Once you hit 50, move on to the next exercise.

Here’s that list:

  1. Wall pushup
  2. Incline pushup
  3. Kneeling pushup
  4. Pushup
  5. Uneven pushup
  6. One-armed pushup

Search on YouTube for video instructions on how to do these exercises.

Stay tuned for more bodyweight progression ladders to blast your fitness through the roof!