The Logistics of Bodyweight Exercises: What, Where, Why and How
When US Air Force Lt. Colonel Geoffrey McClendon was in charge of whipping a team of Special Operations soldiers into shape to handle grueling training missions and be prepared for combat, he knew designing a training plan to develop brute force or hulking muscles wasn’t what his team needed.
And you probably think a lot more like a military badass than you realize. If you want to get in better shape, there’s a pretty good chance you know you need a plan. A cardio-based or weight lifting-based plan quickly comes to mind, but what if those just don’t seem like a good fit for you?
The same problem forced McClendon to look for an alternative. What he found made his team stronger, faster, and leaner than any other fitness training plan used in the past.
And it can work for you, too. Bodyweight exercises can be a game changer to help you burn fat, build muscle, strengthen your bones and joints, and get in great shape. To get started, check out the What, Where, Why and How of Bodyweight Exercises.
What are bodyweight exercises?
It’s really not that complicated. Skip the weights and exercise machines, and use your body to get in shape. You’re already familiar with bodyweight exercises like push-ups, and pull-ups. And there are many others like bodyweight squats, planks, and burpees. Bodyweight exercises include movements, muscle contractions, and positions that use your own bodyweight as resistance.
Where should I do them?
Here’s the beauty of bodyweight exercises. You can workout just about anywhere. At the gym, in your living room, on the road when you’re in a hotel, or at a park. For some bodyweight exercises, you might need a pull-up bar, but a portable door-frame pull-up bar is pretty easy to come by. If you need a reason to silence the excuses you’ve been making about working out, following a bodyweight exercise plan can help. You can pretty much workout anytime, anywhere, and you don’t need a lot of space or equipment.
Why are bodyweight exercises valuable?
Hustle your way through a bodyweight exercise circuit, and you’ll know you’re getting a good workout by how heavy you’re breathing and sweating. Following a training plan using bodyweight exercises strengthens your heart and lungs.
Resistance training using your own bodyweight also helps strengthen your bones, joints and muscles, without the added stress of lifting heavy weights in the gym.
And it’s a good way to elevate your metabolism, burn calories, and shed fat, according to recent study published in the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal.
Bodyweight exercises can also help improve flexibility, balance, and core strength. And it’s easy to adapt most bodyweight exercises to match your fitness level, and change things up as you get stronger.
How do I build a workout from bodyweight exercises?
Put on your favorite workout clothes and pick your playlist. Then grab a stopwatch or timer. That’s all you’ll need for this workout. (You may also want to use an exercise mat, or perform some of the exercises on padded carpeting.) You’ll perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then move on to the next bodyweight exercise in the circuit. Ready? Go...
00:30 Jumping Jacks
00:30 Wall Sit
00:30 High Knees
00:30 Side Plank
One round of this Bodyweight Exercise circuit will take about 7 minutes. Take a short break, then repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times. When you’re ready for your next workout, switch out some of the bodyweight exercises in this circuit for different movements to keep your workout interesting.