Bodyweight Training 101

Young asian woman in sportswear doing squat at health club.

Bodyweight training is popular with lots of people—especially beginners or people just getting back on the fitness wagon—because the exercises are simple but challenging and you can do them almost anywhere. More experienced people can still benefit from this type of exercise. Remember that you can add weights or make a movement more difficult, and you’ll still get the benefits of improving strength and balance.

The idea behind bodyweight training is that you do exercises that rely on the weight of your body to target certain muscles. It can be increased with resistance bands or weights, or you can combine the movements with vigorous cardio like high-intensity interval training (aka HIIT).

Tips to Get Started Bodyweight Training

Before starting any fitness regimen, you should seek help from a qualified professional to make sure you’re doing it safely. Personal Training is a great option for anyone either getting started or ready to get on the fast track to results. At Club Metro USA, we have many certified personal trainers to choose from at each location, so you’ll be able to pick a trainer who best fits with your unique personality and fitness style. Talk to us to learn more about our training services.

Look for Instructions and Resources:

Getting a personal trainer is the best way to set up a workout plan, but it can be fun to look for guides and videos that help you get creative and work out in new ways. There are reputable sources of info for how to get started with bodyweight training, but a lot of them you already know. Stick to the basics to start: lunges, squats, push-ups, and plank can help you get started working your whole body.

What You Need:

The best thing about bodyweight training is just that—there’s no equipment! All you need is a comfortable outfit that keeps you cool and wicks sweat, and some good shoes. That’s about it. Of course, once you get started trying some bodyweight exercises and perfect your form in front of a mirror, you can start adding resistance bands or weights.

Want some ideas for bodyweight exercises and variations? Try these:

Lunges
You can go forward, side to side, or even move from a standing position backward. Instead of planting your left foot and lunging forward on your right leg, for example, move your right leg backward and bend at the knee. If you start feeling like those are too easy, lunge deeper or start doing lunges while holding free weights!

Squats
Squats really need to be done well to be effective, so it’s especially important to work with a trainer to be sure you’re using correct form. Once you’ve confirmed this, get squatting! The nice thing about them is that there are so many options: sumo squats, ski squats, on one leg, and so on. It’s a simple movement, but you will feel the burn later!

Plank
Love it or hate it, plank is challenging and effective. There are so many different positions you can try, too. The standard plank is just like doing a push-up only you keep your arms straight and don’t pump up and down. Rest on your hands or forearms, go up to one side, or try some movements like the Spiderman plank!

There are so many more options—too many to list! Having a solid bodyweight routine added to your repertoire is a great idea. Get creative and find the exercises that you enjoy. If something is too hard, look for an easier option. Just because it’s not the most difficult version doesn’t mean that you’re not making progress. You can do it! And remember, our trainers are eager to help you stay motivated and find the best fitness program for your needs. With their upbeat guidance and support, you’ll be on the road to results in no time. Talk to us if you’re interested in meeting with one of our personal trainers.

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