Bodyweight Training or Weight Training?

With all the hype about bodyweight exercises, I thought it was important to share my views about them with you. I have to admit, I love bodyweight training; squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, rowing, chin-ups, even burpees. But I also love my kettlebell and dumbbells.

Are Bodyweight Exercises (Calisthenics) the Right Way to Exercise?

With the experience I have acquired, I know that bodyweight exercises are not always appropriate. For example, if you are a beginner, are recovering from an injury, are aging or trying to build strength, I think weight training is a better place to start.

Are Bodyweight Exercises Better than Weight Training?

Weight-training exercises require more or less balance coordination, stability, and proprioception. Be sure to work with a professional like your personal trainer who is able to get you started with the right exercises.

Progression of an exercise:

Level 1: Isolate and Educate.  At this level, the person will contract an isolated muscle. Pre determine movement like a chest press on a machine in a gym. At this level, you often have a bench or seat to keep your spine in proper alignment. These types of exercises are generally safest.

Level 2: Add resistance: free weights, elastic bands. For example, a chest press with dumbbells.

Level 3: Add functional training positions. Move away from bench and seat; try to bring more awareness to spinal alignment.

Level 4: Increase the resistance especially on core stabilizer muscles. Bodyweight exercise like push ups or chest presses using a tube while standing on one leg.

Level 5: Add balance challenges, speed and rotational movement. At this level the risk of injury is higher. Applying plyometric movement; for example, push-up claps or push ups using a stability ball.

Why I love bodyweight exercises

It’s easy to find exercise variations to suit everyone’s individual needs. For example, you could do an elevated push up, on your knees or decline, depending on the intensity you seek.

It’s convenient, you can do it anywhere, no excuses about not having the right piece of equipment, time to go to the gym or enough money to buy equipment. Everything you need is right there! I love using them in my group classes and also when I do personal training.

If you love bodyweight exercise/calisthenics but don’t know where to start, I recommend the Global Bodyweight Athlete Program by Mike Fitch. This amazing program takes you through the basics of bodyweight exercise to the most advanced progression of an exercise. It’s the most structured fitness program I’ve seen that can take a complete beginner to advanced movements, such as muscle up, handstand, Human flag, Single Arm Push Up, Pistol Squat… It’s also loaded with knowledge and recovery days, such as Self Myofascial Release, Mobility, Breathwork, and Core.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please post a comment.

In gratitude, Vero

You can also check all the online pre-recorded package I offer that you can do at your own pace and at your own time…

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