Here’s the thing: You can workout without weights and still get a challenging, effective workout. Bodyweight exercises give you access to a “gym” no matter where you are. All you need is your own body (and maybe a good pair of shoes).
In the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), bodyweight exercises came in at number four. It’s nothing new! People have been using their own body weight to build strength for decades–for centuries even.
However, it’s gaining popularity again for a variety of reasons:
As with any workout, the first key is safety. Beginners and advanced exercisers alike must focus on proper form to ensure a safe, productive workout. This is always true, but it becomes even more essential when your body is loaded under extra weight.
Using heavy weights or an unfamiliar machine can cause people to use poor body mechanics to lift the weight. With bodyweight exercises, there’s no extra equipment that can be accidentally misused. It’s an excellent way to learn proper form for basic exercises like squats and lunges.
After you’re comfortable with them and have built up a little strength over the course of a couple of weeks, you can start adding weights if you want.
Or, you don’t have to. There are many ways to keep progressing with your bodyweight workouts.
In fact, here are a few more tips to successfully workout without weights and continue challenging your body:
Don’t show up in your living room expecting to get a good workout without a plan. You need to know exactly which exercises and how many repetitions you’re going to do. This Busy Dads workout, for example, is great for anyone, and it incorporates both cardio and strength exercises without any equipment.
Don’t do the same workout every day. You can build custom workouts to suit your goals, and with so many bodyweight exercises to choose from, there’s no reason to let your workouts get stale.
Just like with traditional weight training, you need to continue to challenge yourself if you want to continue to see progress. You might start with 30 seconds of squats, then increase that to a minute. From there, you might alternate regular squats with jump squats, and then advance to doing a minute of jump squats.
Then try squatting while holding your arms overhead–it changes everything! There are always ways to increase the challenge: working longer, faster, in a deeper range of motion, or with a slightly different body position.
Don’t let the expense (or intimidation factor) of weight equipment stop you from working out. You don’t need it! Instead, you can workout without weights by using your own body weight for an efficient, challenging, and effective workout right in the comfort of your living room.
In fact, Sworkit offers a wide variety of bodyweight routines along with personal training instructions to ensure proper form and range. You can get a powerful workout in 5, 10, or 15 minutes…whatever your schedule allows.