Your Body as Your Weight

Contrary to what many people belive, bodyweight training is a wherry old form of training to enhance or upkeep your bodies performance levels. Also known as calisthenics, this type of training is still popular today and has many great health and strength benefits compared to the more modern type of training with weights and machines. 

Bodyweight training uses your own body-weight (hence the name)  as resistance in exercises as, the pull up, the push up, the sit up and the squat, wich are all classical examples of bodyweight exercises.

These are natural movements which promote health, as the human body is made to move and can have more and better health benefits than exercising with free weights or machines. This is because the human body isnt made to lift and put such heavy loads on the joints, tendons or skeletal systems that conventional weight training in many cases exposes them to.

pull up(117151)Credit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

Economical and Health Benefits

Basic bodyweight training has many more practical benefits compared to modern weight training.

You can perform the exercises almost anywhere which means you can perform bodyweight training when or wherever you go. This means you save time and money as you don't need to spend them on gyms or the travel distance to them if you are a person with limited time and resources. Bodyweight training also require almost no equipment such as those you might find in a gym, as long as you find something to hang from with your both hands so that you can perform the classical Pull up exercise. This is all you need to start of with your bodyweight training, wich makes it ideal for almost all people in all ages and locations.

Bodyweight training is also easier on your joints, tendons and skeletal structure with these natural movements that rather promote strength, then wearing them down with unnaturally heavy loads that can give you life long pains and disabilities.

Leg raises(117200)Credit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

Advanced exercises

Many people overlook bodyweight training in favour of weight training because of the culture, the marketing and the fancy equipment involved with weight training or training at the gym. Training with your own weight, your body weight, doesn't seem as appealing as all the shiny machines and weights in the warm and comfortable gym, and this is exactly what the industry involved in creating these environments for the consumers want you to think.

The reality is that you can train all your muscles in your body to a wherry advanced degree with only your body as your weight, without paying the prices of worn and aching joints, expensive gyms and equipment.

In bodyweight training you advance by making the movements harder or more difficult, rather than increasing the weight of your exercise device.

Classical advanced bodyweight exercises that really few humans can master are, the iron cross, the manna and the one hand handstand push up. These are all great examples of that you indeed can use your body to a incredible extent, and that no modern equipment are needed to become incredibly strong.

Iron crossCredit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

Getting started

Getting started with bodyweight training is easy and fun and doesn't require a lot of resources. To make it more fun try it with your friends and family, share the experience. In other hand if you like to train alone, a quiet park or your own appartement is a great place to start with. Put your mind in to mastering the basics before even trying the harder exercises.

Take a bodyweight movement and make it simple but challenging in a matter that you can perform the particular exercise with proper form. As in a gym if the weight is too heavy, try a easier or lighter bodyweight exercise and stay with it untill you mastered it, feel great when you have learned to master it and move on to a tougher bodyweight exercise. This is the way to progress with bodyweight training.

Depending on your strength level start of with the classical bodyweight exercises so that your joints and tendons gets the time needed to strengthen so that they can support the force put upon them by your muscles. Begin with the basic exercises, the push up, the pull up, the squat and leg raises. This is a good foundation to begin your bodyweight training career, and if these prove to be to difficult for you, try making them easier by moving your body in to a position that puts less weight in the exercise while maintaining proper form.