Exercise is essential to the human body. Not only do we need it to keep our body fat down, but it also helps us participate in sport. Not all exercise is cardiovascular however, and many people participate in strength training to get their body firm and toned.
Body weight training involves strength exercises that do not require the use of dumbbells or other free weights, with the user’s own weight providing the resistance for movement. From push-ups to pull-ups and even sit-ups, body weight exercises are one of the best ways to keep your body toned and to burn excess fat.
Strength gains are achieved by increasing the intensity of the exercise while endurance is improved by increasing the amount of repetitions, and millions of people all over the world have benefited from the practices of body weight training.
Body Weight Training – The Advantages
As the process of body weight training does not require any free weights, the exercises remain the ideal choice for people looking to get fit, but aren’t looking to spend a lot of money. Furthermore, they’re great for people who don’t have access to a gym or fitness facility at all. Even when an individual has become accustomed to training with their own body weight, extra weights can be added to the legs, waist and arms to increase resistance and strength.
Additionally, some exercises like sit-ups don’t even need special apparatus such as gym balls, with the majority of workouts only needing a floor. Furthermore, for those exercises that do need special apparatus like pull-ups, there are a variety of alternatives that can be used, like tree branches for tricep dips. Body weight training has also been taken up by many of the elderly, meaning it’s not just a way of exercise for youngsters.
Compared to lifting, body weight exercises need a lot more balance and flexibility to perform such intense repetitions. From Planche push-ups to bridges and handstands, the majority of body weight exercises can be adapted to the need of the individual. This process can also be used to enhance the strength of the core muscles.
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Body Weight Training – The Disadvantages
Although there are a number of advantages to body weight training, experts have also raised some disadvantages too. Firstly, body weight exercises are based around the weight of the individual, meaning there is a limit to the resistance obtained. Additionally, with continued exercise, body weight will drop, meaning resistance will decrease too.
Experienced athletes require a ‘one rep max’ level of resistance in order to improve their strength training, however beginners will quickly find they will outdo their body weight resistance within the first few weeks of training. As we mentioned before, body weight training resistance can be improved by adding free weights to the ankles, waist and hands, however this can leave a user in an uncomfortable position when undertaking exercises. Unilateral movements and balance are highly sought after by professionals.