What You Should Know About Bodyweight Exercise
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Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need heavy weights or fancy machines to get stronger. Instead, you can build your strength with simple bodyweight exercises. Rather than relying on weights or equipment, bodyweight workouts rely on the body itself for resistance training. Keep reading to learn the many benefits of bodyweight training and why we love incorporating bodyweight exercise into our 9Round workouts.
It Helps You Focus on Form
Often, when we’re working with heavy weights and machine-driven resistance, we sacrifice form in order to complete each rep. Proper form helps maximize the results of your workout and can help protect you from getting an injury, so you shouldn’t sacrifice good form in order to challenge yourself. Bodyweight exercise can help you get back to the basics and use only the weight of your body as resistance, so you can focus on maintaining good form. This will help you become more proficient with your exercise movements, so once you add weights back into the equation, you’ll be better equipped for the challenge.
Try it yourself with squats — when using weights, it’s often harder to go all the way down and to keep the chest up and the back neutral. Performing squats without weights will help you to focus on these key elements of good form, so when you add weights later on, you’ll be more proficient with your squats.
It Engages Your Core
Bodyweight exercise allows us to take a step back and focus on engaging the core with every motion. A feeble core often leads to a weakened back and lower back pain, which can lead to many injuries. Engaging the core during your workouts is an important part of the process, but it can often be forgotten. Performing bodyweight exercise helps minimize your distractions so you can focus on engaging the core with each new movement to help strengthen it over time.
Try it yourself with lunges — while every exercise we do at 9Round should engage the core, a good example of bodyweight exercise that does so is lunges. You typically think of lunges as a leg exercise; however, they rely on the strength of your core to help you maintain your balance. Performing lunges without weights can help improve your core engagement, which allows your body to learn how and when to fire the muscles.
It Can Be Done Anytime, Anywhere
One of the main benefits of bodyweight exercise is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. No equipment is necessary, yet you can still work on increasing your strength. We have incorporated tons of bodyweight exercises into our at-home workouts because we know members might not have access to the equipment they’re used to working with in the gym. During times like this, we’re thankful for an option that helps our members continue their strength gains when they cannot reach a gym.
Try it yourself with this quick, three-minute round — 10 Squat Kicks + 10 High Planks and Punches. We love combining kickboxing moves with functional training, especially for our at-home workouts, so we throw a few punches and kicks in with our bodyweight exercises. For example, a squat is already a great bodyweight exercise, but adding a kick at the end helps engage more of your body’s muscles and your core. A similar effect is achieved when we add punches to a high plank, which puts more focus on your balance while lifting the arm the perform the punch. This helps engage your core, chest, and arms, as well as the rest of your body.
The Moves Are Personalized to You
When you use bodyweight exercise as part of your fitness routine, you’re getting a personalized experience. This is because bodyweight exercise is specific to each person’s anthropometrics, or the measurements of their individual body. You can work at your own pace to complete each move according to what your body is capable of, which allows you to slowly progress your fitness level as you become more accustomed to the workout.
Try it yourself with push-ups — push-ups can be hard for those who are just getting started, but the good news is you only need to work with the weight of your own body. Once you’re able to learn the correct movements, you will find your push-ups getting easier and easier the more you practice. Starting with push-up modifications is perfectly acceptable because you can still use the full range of motion as you push off the ground to help you strengthen your muscles over time. As you progress, you can work your way up to a full push-up, which will then engage almost every single muscle in your body with no added weights necessary.
As we mentioned earlier, 9Round workouts, both in the gym and at home all incorporate bodyweight exercises, so we encourage you to try one today and see how these moves can help you build strength. If your local 9Round club is open, you can sign up for a Free Introductory Workout using the link below. If your local 9Round club is still temporarily closed, head over to their location’s website by clicking the Find a Gym tab at the top of the page to receive our Free At-Home Introductory Workout instead!