Body weight training is one of the most underrated workout techniques today, mainly because of the weight training popularity. A large percentage of the magazines, online and printed, are loaded with weight training advice, while there is very little info on body-weight training.
What most people don’t realize is the fact that body weight exercises have their own place in training and a great physique can be built by using body-weight exercises only.
Take pushups for an example. They are a great substitution for the bench press. Another great thing is that you can do them with different hand positions and different elevation of your feet to make them more or less intense and target different parts of your body.
The Benefits of Body-weight Training:
1. It’s free – no need for gym membership
2. It can be performed anywhere
3. There is a huge scope for variety
4. Improves functional strength
5. You can work around and injury
You can easily say these are the top body-weight exercises:
1. Push-ups: This exercise is not only responsible for building muscle mass in the shoulders, triceps, chest, but it is a good way to build stability in your lower back and torso. While doing it you also work on your abs. There are numerous variations of the push up workout: from sissy pushups on your knees (for those that have no strength to do a regular push up), to wide hand position pushups, close hand position pushups, elevated feet push ups etc.
2. Body weight Squats: This exercise has huge benefits. You can use it to increase your leg size and strength or you can use it combined with movements like zigzag hops, jumps and sprints for conditioning and increased mobility. Do them against a wall to improve form and skill.
3. Pull-Ups: If you’re looking to build back mass and width, this exercise is a great way to go about it. Here is how you can modify the pull ups. You can use different elements for grip like towels or thick ropes. You can increase the intensity by holding a bag between your feet. In case you cannot do a pull up you can always give inverted rows a try.
4. Lunges: This movement is a must-do if you want to build strength in the legs as well as mobility in the hips and knees. Use a backpack and put some books in it for increased resistance. You can also hold the backpack in front of you or over your head.
5. Ab Roll outs: You can say that this is a more advanced version of the planks. The only difference is that there is movement in the upper body which creates way more resistance. You can use an ab wheel, but you can also use blast straps, gymnastic rings or even a barbell to mimic the movement.
6. Inverted rows: This is a great exercise that targets your back, side and rear delts. It’s just like the row only you are pulling yourself up instead of pulling a barbell. From personal experience, I can say that this exercise gave me big back pumps when I did 15-20 reps.
7. Burpees: They work the entire body, so they are also a great fat burning and conditioning exercise. If regular burpees are too easy for you, you can do pushup burpees (where you make a push up once you are in the push up position) , or pull up burpees (as you jump up, grab the pull up bar and do a complete pull up.)