Why Bodyweight Is Heavy Enough

by TaylorR

Happy Monday friend! First off, I want to thank you for all the kind words offered to me this weekend after my not so fabulous race. I really appreciate it.

Spending time with this little one helped lift my spirits too:

lainey

My SIL and niece at our annual holiday lunch with my mom.

Watching her run around without a care in the world made me so excited to get back to moving again! Have you ever noticed how little kids can squat like it’s their job? Everyone should watch the squat form of a toddler to learn a thing or two! Watching her helps to strengthen my believe that deep squats (below parallel) are beneficial to our every day life! Don’t avoid them!

Which helps to lead into today’s topic… Bodyweight exercises!

I talk to hundreds of women every single week in regards to their fitness regiment and goals. Out of those hundreds, I see dozens as clients in my boot camp. And from these weekly experiences I’ve discovered something:

Bodyweight is more than enough to see results. 

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Okay, so I’ve known this for quite awhile, after all, my Charleston boot camp and Fit Womens Weekly is based off of my love/passion for bodyweight workouts. Even in my own workouts, a vast percentage of them are dedicated to bodyweight moves.

But why? And what sparked this?

Two weeks ago I was announcing plans for our new studio. More than one of our clients asked if we would offer weight lifting classes. While I LOVE weight lifting, more specifically kettlebells right now, I am not keen on the idea of offering such classes to just anyone.

It’s just not necessary.

And here’s what I mean…

Why Bodyweight Workouts Are All YOU Need!

why-bodyweight-is-best

In fact try it right now. Try to do 20 push-ups. Can you? With out stopping?

If so, awesome! Now try 20 tricep push-ups. Can you do that? If so, that’s awesome because I can’t without having to stop and do a shake out at least once.

The point is this, no matter how great you are in your fitness regiment. No matter how strong you are. No matter how many years you have logged into working out, you can still get a great workout with focusing on nothing more than your own body weight.

Bodyweight Helps 3 Key Areas Of Your Fitness: 

Form –> If you don’t have good form with your bodyweight, will you have good form when you introduce a weight? NOPE. Practice, now! Look in a mirror and watch yourself squat, lunge and push-up. Can you do it correctly? Heck, take a picture and post up on the Facebook page and I’ll be happy to give some pointers! Get form perfected before ever grabbing a weight.

Injuries –> Bodyweight workouts help decrease your odds of a gym injury. Doing too much too soon is the #1 reason things end painfully! It’s super duper important (yes, I just said ‘super duper’ to stress my point) to remember that exercise is suppose to make you feel healthy, invigorated and amazing. Not sore and feeling 10 years older than you are.

Strength –> You will get stronger! And just because you can do a perfect squat doesn’t mean your next progression has to be barbell squats… continue to challenge yourself with progressions like uneven squats, split squats, pistol squats, etc. There are moves that I can only dream of doing! And as I go through progressions, I am continually amazed at how strong my own body is capable of making me. The same goes for you and all my amazing clients.

Why Push-up Over Bench Press

Like I said above, bench press is a great move and it has it’s spot in the weight lifting world. But for 90% of women, doing push-ups to accomplish your goals will be extremely efficient, even more so than the bench.

Why? 

  • Recruits more muscle groups. Yup, when you’re laying down for an exercise and moving the weight as you do in a bench press you’re not going to be activating as many muscle groups as you would during a push-up. For a push-up, your upper body, core, and legs are involved, for a bench press… not as much. The more muscle groups that are involved translates into more calories burned!
  • No need for a spot. If you’re aiming to increase strength and tone, you have to push yourself, hard. That’s really difficult to do without a spot. It’s one of the reason women who weight train don’t see results, because they aren’t pushing out of their comfort zone… which is a smart thing if you don’t have a spot. Good thing with bodyweight you can go beyond your comfort zone and yet still don’t need a spot to help you. Pretty cool, right?
  • Anytime, any place. Workout in your bedroom, the garage, a park, or where ever else you fancy. You can do push-ups any place you like, bring the workout to you! Not you to the workout like with weighted moves. This is why we’re actually considering canceling our gym membership all together. What are we really paying for?

Progressions

Like I mentioned in the show, just when you think you have one move down, you can up the antics with a new variation!

I’ve done several posts to help, but I don’t think I’ve ever put them on one page before. So here, if you are one that thinks “Bodyweight is too easy.” Try these variations out. There is always room for improvement and new versions of exercises to keep the challenge coming.

 

 

 

As you can see the power of our own bodies is huge. We have plenty enough weight on our own figures to challenge our muscles in ways to transform our physiques. Sure saying how much you can bench press might sound cool, but how cool would it be to tell someone that you can do a 50 push-ups non stop? 75 squats without needing to rest? 25 burpees without feeling winded?

Test it out, and if you need some help, that’s what I’m here for!

–>What’s a bodyweight exercise that you can’t do but wish you could?<– 

I have two… a one armed push-up and and handstand push-ups. Goals for 2014 perhaps?

 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

steph December 16, 2013 at 5:52 am

I’m with ya on this one. I take a barre class and the instructor varies between resistance bands, weights and using our own resistance. I started referring to the latter as “arm torture.” The best thing — its free…and you can do it anywhere…even in a hotel room.

Thanks for sharing :)

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:40 am

Exactly, just like a lot of things in life, the best things are often free! :)

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Erica December 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

She is such a cute little peanut! I need to contact your SIL and get her and peanut together for a play date! Maybe you could come too? We could do coffee and the park? Body weight exercises totally rock. Its what Body Attack is built off of. No equipment, amazing workout!

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

That would be great! Or I could even kidnap her for the day and bring her for a play date!

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Katie December 16, 2013 at 9:09 am

I am so pumped to look at all the variations! I always need a little workout inspiration. I agree body weight moves are very important, although I also don’t want women to be afraid of weights!

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

I agree completely! I LOVE weights, but there is def a right and wrong way of going about using them. It is so important to learn how to use weights before just grabbing them up and pumping out some reps. Enjoy the variations!!

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MIZ December 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

welll IM WORKING on my turkish get ups :)

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

I am also working on them! Good luck!

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Kim December 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I have several – one arm push-ups, pistol squats and maybe hand-stand push-ups (first I have to master the handstand!).

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

A handstand pushup is one of mine too!

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Pamela Hernandez December 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm

My clients are often surprised how little equipment we use. Then they feel it the next day. Moving your own body can be extremely difficult!

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Mine are too. It’s amazing how much our own body can push us!

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables December 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I LOVE bodyweight workouts!

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Whoo hoo!

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Linz @ Itz Linz December 16, 2013 at 6:50 pm

TONS of exercises that include only bodyweight! perfect for those at home workouts and no equipment necessary!!

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TaylorR December 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Exactly! Perfect for cold wintery days when you don’t want to leave the house!

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Caitlin December 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

This post was well timed for my reading because this morning instead of doing chest presses during my arm routine, I tried a push up series. Let me just say I could do way less push ups than I can chest press with dumbbells!

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Tina@GottaRunNow December 23, 2013 at 10:02 am

So many great exercises mentioned in this post! I’ll have to come back and try some of the variations on old favorites. Thanks!

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TaylorR December 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

Yes! Definitely try them out!

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She Rocks Fitness December 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

There are 30 different BURPEE variations…I’m afraid to even click on that link, cause BURPEES are my absolute least favorite. HA! Great post and thanks for sharing!

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TaylorR December 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

HAHAHA, oh yes. 30!

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