Last week I had a day where I planned to go out for a run, but the conditions were too icy, so I was home after about 2.5 miles to avoid possible injury. I already had myself warmed up and wanted to get in a workout, so I did the next best thing – an indoor bodyweight workout! Within a half-hour I had done a great workout that had me dripping with sweat and exhausted – and no equipment required!
After years of everyone thinking you needed some expensive equipment to get a decent workout, folks are starting to realize that all you really need is yourself – and some guidance about what exercises to do and how to execute them. Over at the Greatist there is a detailed set of benefits, and on the Tee Major Fitness YouTube channel there is a list of 44 great workouts using nothing else but yourself!
Here are just some of the reasons bodyweight exercises make sense:
- They are very efficient – you get great results in a very short time period, meaning it is something you can fit into your schedule easily.
- You combine cardio and strength training – as I mentioned, I was dripping with sweat, but I was also sore the next day from the workout … in a good way!
- Effective fat-burning – these workouts do a great job jump-starting your metabolism, making them extremely effective if you are trying to shed a few pounds.
- Improved flexibility – the first time I did bodyweight I found that some exercises were very easy for me, while others made me laugh as I fell over finding my coordination and flexibility.
- Focus on the ‘core’ – your core is more than just abs, and by strengthening your core you get better posture, less chance of injury, and set yourself up to make gains in other areas as well.
There are tons of resources available to help you get going with bodyweight exercises; there is a list of 50 exercises at Greatist, for example. For myself, I have a high school friend who is a tennis pro and fitness expert and has started his own program called ‘BMax’ that focuses on maximum metabolic activation in a short time period. Here is his YouTube channel if you want to check it out (note – I have no affiliation, I just tried it out because I know the person and happen to like his exercises).
Here is the routine I did on my ‘ice day':
What have you done to explore bodyweight exercises, and what resources would you recommend?