Bodyweight training, by definition, is done using the weight of your body for resistance, and it can be a great way to achieve results without having to haul it to the gym or invest in equipment. Bodyweight exercises (sometimes called calisthenics) don’t require tools like kettlebells, free weights or machines, but can incorporate props like a pull-up bar, step or bench – mostly things you’d find at home.
If you’ve ever done an 8fit workout, you’re familiar with bodyweight training. Movements like squats, lunges, push-ups, jumps, planks, sit-ups and tricep dips are all examples of exercises that make up bodyweight workouts – these are great foundational exercises to get into great shape and improve overall health.
Benefits of bodyweight training
Aside from the most obvious benefits, like saving money on equipment and gym memberships, and saving time spent to and from the gym, using your bodyweight can help improve strength, power and endurance over time. As long as you practice proper form and stay consistent with a program like 8fit’s, you’ll notice improvements week over week.
These improvements are visible for novices and athletes alike. Exercises like push-ups are incredibly easy to modify and scale by leveraging body weight in different ways. For example, if you’re new to push-ups, you might start with hands on a coffee table to reduce the weight you’re lifting during the exercise. But if you’re more advanced, you can increase the weight by placing your feet on the coffee table or add a static hold at the bottom of your push-up, both of which increase difficulty.
Delving deeper, bodyweight training also helps improve your motor control, agility, coordination and body awareness, all of which are great skills to master before adding weight to your workouts. If you’re new to strength training and still need help with proper form, bodyweight workouts are a great place to start, because they allow you to practice the right technique without extra resistance and risk for injuries.
Bodyweight workout with plyometric exercises
Another way to increase the difficulty of bodyweight exercises and get strong is by incorporating plyometrics (also known as “jumping training”) into your bodyweight workouts. Squats become jump squats, lunges become jump lunges, push-ups become clap push-ups and so on. These movements are performed faster than their bodyweight versions and are only safe to perform after you’ve mastered that simpler version. Once you’ve nail the foundations, going “plyo” can help you get more powerful.
5 minute bodyweight workout to build endurance and strength
The 8fit app provides fully customized workout programs adapted to your fitness level. Here’s an example of what a typical bodyweight workout might look like. Try doing each exercise for 20 seconds without rest in between. Complete 3 sets total. Get as many reps in as possible during each 20-second interval.