By Niall Ebbs
ACE Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Weight Management Specialist
As many of you already know, I am a big proponent of bodyweight training. Not only is it highly practical because it requires little or no equipment, it’s also a strategic method of training because it builds a solid base of strength and stability.
By no means do you have to stay limited to this, as your fitness levels progress and you seek more of a challenge, but here are some great reasons to start with bodyweight resistance first:
- Safety – When you are new or returning to resistance training, there is a certain amount of deconditioning present which can put you at risk of injury. By using your bodyweight you are not applying an external resistance like you would be when lifting weights, so you minimize the risks considerably.
- Confidence Building – Gaining competence will build confidence. After you have mastered some of the basic bodyweight movements, you will feel more capable of tackling more complex ones. Starting off at a pace or level of difficulty that is manageable is also critical to ensure long-term adherence to a fitness program, as most people quit when they start off by jumping in the deep end.
- Knowledge – You will be able to better self-educate when you learn the more simple, functional movements such as push-ups, bodyweight squats, and pull-ups first. Knowing how to properly perform these will help you to learn the necessary skills to advance to those requiring greater neuromuscular control and coordination. You’ll also gain a knowledge of your own individual limits and range of movement.
- Affordability – Getting into a fitness routine can be spendy – equipment, gym memberships, trainers etc. are all considerations at times. Due to the nature of bodyweight training, many of these expenses can be postponed or avoided. There are many videos and resources for types of bodyweight-based exercises that can be done at home without the need for a gym membership or trainer, which is nice for the bank account!
- Family-Friendly – When you do not need to travel to a gym or other location in order to get your workout done, it is much more friendly to your family life. Building a fitness routine around bodyweight exercises means that you can build healthy habits in a familiar environment and not feel like you are missing out too much on home life. You may even be able to get a few other family members involved, which can help to further cement long-term habit forming.
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