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September 30, 2011

The Benefits of Body Weight Exercises

Body Weight ExercisesDespite the marketing hoopla over the latest and greatest exercise machine that might be currently available remains a time-tested method of building muscle strength and endurance, and at little cost, and that’s body weight exercises (or bodyweight exercises).

Body weight training involves doing exercises that involve using one’s body weight as the resistance to perform work against that evil force called gravity. So they are exercises without weights. Remember those calisthenics you did in elementary, middle, and high school?  Well, most of those are body weight exercises.  Body weight exercises are a major component of the physical conditioning programs used by our military personnel.  So if body weight exercises are good enough for those who protect our country, they’re probably good enough for you and me. Body weight exercises are beneficial to men and women and worth incorporating into your weekly exercise routine.

Examples of Body Weight Exercises

  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats (body weight only)
  • Dips
  • Triceps dips
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges
  • Planks

As you can see from the above list of exercise you can get a complete total body workout with body weight exercises – targeting the upper body, lower body, and core as body weight exercise can target the chest, shoulders, upper and lower back, thighs, gluteals, forearms, and calves.

Watch the following video. Unfortunately, I cannot control the music.

One great benefit of body weight exercises are they involve moving multiple joints thereby working multiple muscles at once.  Another benefit is body weight exercises mimic or replicate many of the movements and activities we perform in our daily lives.  In other words, they are very functional exercises.  Body weight exercises can be done anywhere; the home, the office, or hotel room.  And, outside a pull-up bar, body weight exercises can be performed without depleting your wallet of the green stuff.

For a really good work out do each of the above exercises until muscle fatigue is reached.  With each work out try to perform additional reps.

So overall, body weight exercises are the most convenient and least expensive way to engage in resistance training.  So forget the gimmicks and get back to the basics and incorporate the time proven method of improving muscle strength and endurance – add body weight exercises to your exercise program.

See related articles.

“Kettlebells, Boot Camp, Kick Boxing, What’s Best, Part Two, Yoga, Jazzercize, and More”

“Osteopenia Exercises”

“Resistance Training in Older Adults”

“Exercise Plans to Fight Aging”

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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