Friday Fit Focus: Why you should be Bodyweight Training + Workouts!

Happy Friday! Hope today kicks off a fabulous holiday weekend for everyone filled with family and friends.

This Friday I wanted to talk to you all a little bit about bodyweight training.

While I’m a huge advocate for a good weight session in the gym or at home; lately I’ve been experimenting with adding bodyweight workouts and training to my routine. And you know what? I’m loving the change!

There are SO many reasons to incorporate bodyweight training into your normal fitness routine. Below I’ll cover a few that I think give bodyweight training the merit that it deserves.

Reason 1: Bodyweight training saves TIME & MONEY.

Lets be honest, a good number of us don’t have the time to get to the gym, or money for a gym membership. Or in my case, there is no gym. With an arsenal of bodyweight workout routines you can work out at home, at a time that is convenient for you, and for FREE! Plus you cut out your travel time to and from the gym, and in the long run save yourself even more time and money! Awesome right?!

Reason 2: Bodyweight workouts help to beat heavy lifting/cardio boredom. Seriously they do.

Have you ever had those days where you can’t get excited about circuiting through some bicep curls and tricep kickbacks…again. Or you see 3 miles on your calendar for Mon, Wed, and Friday ugh…where’s the motivation. I’ve been there probably more often than I’d like to admit. But, who wants to dread their workout? If you truly want to make working out regularly a habit, then you have to enjoy what you are doing.

I believe bodyweight workouts do just that. It is so easy to go to the gym and sit at a machine or do that same set of squats and lunges you always do. In my opinion bodyweight training throws  new challenges into your normal workout regimen, and changes your body in new ways. It also teaches you fun and new twists to workout moves you have already mastered, giving you more exercises to chose from when you are writing your own workouts.

Reason 3: Bodyweight training challenges your entire body in ways that heavier weights sometimes don’t.

When you are doing bodyweight exercises you are using your entire body. You are engaging muscles you don’t even know that you are engaging. Plus it gives you a chance to really concentrate on your form while you are doing each exercise and know how it feels to complete the exercise correctly.

An added challenge to bodyweight training is that you are able to push yourself past your usual limits when you are using heavier weights. For example, instead of eeking out  those 8-10 weighted lunges, you can do walking lunges until your legs are jello and then finish it up with some jumping lunges to really torch your legs and burn some serious fat! Your muscles will be screaming in a new way, I guarantee it.

Reason 4: Bodyweight training encourages creativity, and motivation to challenge yourself in your workouts.

Lately I’ve been including at least one day of bodyweight training into my workout schedule. Why? For the reasons above, and also because I like a personal challenge. With creating a bodyweight workout you can challenge yourself in different ways; including reps, working to failure, time, adding lots of plyometrics or cardio moves to your workouts, and the list goes on.

Plus, you don’t have to do it alone. Creating a bodyweight workout is super fun to do with a fitness loving friend/workout partner and then you can schedule a time to meet and do the workout together! What better motivation can you have than that?!

Here are some Sample Bodyweight Workouts that I’ve done, to get you started!

This first one is a total body workout incorporating some plyo and cardio moves into each circuit. I love to do this circuit while I’m traveling as you can do it anywhere, and doing it early in the morning, before a busy day, gives me energy and keeps me feeling great all day.

Bodyweight Workout 1.bmp

Looking to get your arms and upper body lean and toned and ready for that strapless number you just bought, or do you just want to feel stronger while lifting your toddlers into the shopping cart at WalMart?  Try this pure pushups workout. You’ll work yourself to failure, which means you can’t possibly complete another repetition of the pushup you are doing, and then you will immediately move on to a modified version of the pushup and work until failure again.

This workout will make your arms cry for mercy! (should there be an exclamation point there? no pain no….)

Pushups Workout

*Tricep pushups – hand under your shoulders, dropping down keep your elbows close to your sides, and use your triceps to push up.
**Wide pushups w/shoulder tap – place hands wider than shoulder with, drop down, push up and lift you right had to tap your left shoulder, repeat with your right hand, then complete another pushup.
**Decline pushup – put your feet on the seat of a chair and walk your hands out until you are in pushup position. Do pushups.
*Incline pushup – put you hands on the edge of your couch and feet on the floor, body in pushup postion. Do pushups.
**1-2-3down/up pushup – count 1, 2, 3 as you slowly lower into your pushup, like and elevator stopping at every floor you are briefly stopping your body. Do the same on the way up.
*Fast pushups – do standard pushups as fast as you can with good form.

Personally I love incorporating bodyweight training into my leg workouts. It gets my fast twitch fibers firing, and helps to create lean muscular shape in my quads and thighs.
This workout incorporates strength for a duration of time, and cardio and plyo intervals come right after. Hello skinny jeans…your welcome.

Lean Legs Bodyweight Workout

Want to get outside and run? Try this heart pumper of a workout. I love doing this workout along the boardwalk that runs along the beach when we are in town. It’s much more exciting than “just a run!”

Get Outside & Move Workout

Well, I hope that you found this post helpful, and that it inspired you to try something new. Feel free to use any of these workouts as inspiration to create your own. That’s the beauty of bodyweight training it is flexible in so many ways, and challenging at the same time!!

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you try any of the workouts, or write one of your own, I’d love to try it!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!!

What kind of bodyweight exercises are your favorites? What plans do you have for the 4th weekend?

~ Liesl

4 thoughts on “Friday Fit Focus: Why you should be Bodyweight Training + Workouts!

    • Emily, you’re welcome! Thanks for reading and there will be more great workouts to come. I promise. If you try the any of the workouts I posted let me know how it went for you, what you liked and what you didn’t. I’m always looking for feedback.
      Have a fabulous weekend!

      Liesl

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