Bodyweight Exercises Do Work!
Many guys do not think they can build any real muscle using only bodyweight exercises, they think that only weights will help them gain size. Some discount bodyweight exercises all together and would rather use machines and free weights then get down to the most basic form of exercises.
It is true that weights are the easiest way to gain size, they are what you need to gain the size needed to be one of those heavy weight bodybuilders but for the rest of us weights are not the only option. Bodyweight exercises are mostly compound exercises that involve using your whole body during training; this means that there is more potential for growth. Training your whole body means that you also train your larger muscle groups such as your back and your legs. Training your larger muscle groups stimulates your body to secrete more testosterone and growth hormone which in turn helps us to gain muscle faster.
The other advantage of training using bodyweight exercises is that it is much safer than using heavy weights, because you injure yourself when you lift heavy weights especially if your technique is faulty. Bodyweight exercises are more natural and enhance athleticism compared with weights which tend to slow people down and makes them rigid.
Bodyweight exercises are also a great way to increase strength so that if you choose to lift weights you will have the strength to handle heavier loads which would help you gain more muscle by providing more of a challenge.
Some bodyweight exercises are rated more than some workouts using weights or machines for example, the best upper back workout for most fitness guys is the pull-up or the chin-up which just so happens to work out your biceps as well. Most fitness guys say that the chin-up/pull-up is more effective than the lat pull-down.
There are many more benefits to using bodyweight exercises, another being that using your bodyweight to gain muscle is free of charge compared to buying weights or joining a gym where you have to pay a gym membership fee.
Bodyweight exercises require very little space and can be done almost anywhere from your bedroom, to the park. Bodyweight exercises are also a good way to stay in shape whenever you are away from a gym, whether you are busy with work or you are travelling.
Bodyweight exercises also do not take up a lot of your time, even doing as little as 12 minutes of bodyweight training every other day could give you many health benefits as opposed to just being inactive because you could not go to the gym.
If you are a hardcore guy that feels bodyweight exercises are too easy for you then you are mistaken, there are levels of difficulty even using bodyweight training. Most people know the common bodyweight exercises like the push-up, pull up and squat but there are other more difficult bodyweight exercises like the front levers, one arm pull-ups, one arm push ups, the one legged squats (also known as pistols), there are combos where you mix push ups with the Planck exercise and some crawling.
You could even use weighted vests to make your bodyweight exercises more challenging for example, doing weighted dips, push ups, sit ups and pull-ups/chin-ups.
The trick is to always challenging yourself while doing these bodyweight exercises, and doing these exercises with as much intensity as possible. The key is to know how to combine these exercises into effective circuits with minimal breaks in between them. At the end you should feel that it was a workout and not a waste of time. The aim of this post was not to discourage weight training but to show you the effectiveness and benefits of doing bodyweight training whether by itself or in combination with weight training.
About the Author
Eugene Madondo is a fitness junkie, who managed to gain over 22 lbs. (10 kg.) of lean muscle within the first 6 months of working out. He has gained over 33 lbs. (15 kg.) of lean muscle in less than a year. He blogs at http://zulumuscle.blogspot.com sharing how he achieved his gains, what worked, and what did not. He also shares other fitness information and workout inspiration.
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Date Published : 2012-05-16 11:36:58
Written By : Eugene Madondo
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