Bodyweight exercises! The portable gym!
Ever wonder why the military uses so many bodyweight exercises or also known as calisthenics? Why do we use bodyweight exercises at our Boot Camp in Kansas City? Because they work! Have you considered how gymnasts get such incredible physiques? Bodyweight exercises!
Bodyweight exercises build the body in ways that isolation exercises with bars, dumbbells, or machines can never duplicate. Virtually every bodyweight exercise is a compound movement that works not just one muscle but entire muscle groups or multiple muscle groups. This is functional strength at its finest. When you’re lifting a heavy object, throwing a defensive punch at an attacker, or helping your partner carry groceries from the car, you’re not just lifting with your biceps. You use your legs, back, core, biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, everything! So why shouldn’t your fitness training mimic your functionality?
Calisthenics not only build strength, stamina, explosiveness, and many other benefits, but it also builds fitness. Conversely, it is possible to be very strong and still unhealthy or out of shape. Most weight lifters are not healthy and fit people, but their training has made them very strong.
Just some of the benefits of calisthenics. Improved balance, coordination, core strength, agility, strength, as well as cosmetics. Men get that chiseled “V” shape, while women get natural feminine attributes without becoming bulky or stout. We use many different bodyweight exercises in our boot camp sessions along with other fitness tools. If you train in a similar fitness regimen but find yourself unable to keep up with your workouts when you’re on vacation, calisthenics goes with you everywhere you can take your body. Hotel room, beach, office, apartment, but I wouldn’t try them on the plane, it might get some weird looks.
Many people are misinformed and believe that bodyweight exercises limit you. Let’s take push-ups for example. When you’ve reached your goal with standard military pushups, you may think you have nothing left to do. After all, if you’re bench pressing, you’re just adding more weight, right? Well, I’m glad you asked. The secret to increasing resistance with bodyweight exercises is to take away some of your leverage. Graduate from military pushups to elevated pushups. Pull ups with bent knees to straighten the legs, squats to deeper squats, or single leg squats. As the movement becomes more difficult, the resistance increases. Again, the exercise is challenging and you continue to get stronger.
If you have never considered bodyweight exercises or have not explored the depth and value of these invaluable exercises. I highly recommend adopting them into your training program. You’ll be happy you did.