Many people do not realize the tremendous advantages and benefits of Bodyweight Training. In almost every fitness magazine you see, there are dudes in the gym hitting weights. With all training, there is a regression and progression to every exercise – an opposite movement that strengthens the effect of the initial exercise. An example of a regression for hanging leg lifts would be performing a plank. The progression would be performing the movement with a medicine ball between your feet.
The bench press is a prime example where people tend to push too hard or are frequently injured. Many people can’t do a conventional bench press because of existing shoulder issues, bad form, or no access to proper equipment. There is no need to do a bench press unless you want to put high levels stress on your rotator-cuff and hope not to get hurt while trying to look like a body-builder.
Push-ups are a great, simpler alternative to bench presses. Not only can you perform push-ups with various hand positions that target different muscles groups, but you can add difficulty by performing them from an elevated surface. The elevated surface extends the range of motion for the shoulders, thereby engaging more muscle fibers like the core and back muscles.
The many benefits of bodyweight training are why I preach these movements and always add some sort of bodyweight exercise in all of my fitness programming.
Many of my students have never used a machine and love the fact that they are in great shape without the aide of a machine. They are their own machines, and they look great.
I have asked many of my students what is their favorite body exercise. The list consists of simple, but effective, movements:
Bodyweight is not a new approach to fitness, but it is a somewhat-lost form. Today, many people seem to feel the need to hit the gym and push weights around when, in truth, that is not needed and often not even beneficial to end-goals. There is a reason that so many gyms promote state-of-the-art fitness machines and then, shortly thereafter, close their doors. The reason is written in the saying “Machines do not make the body,. Knowledge and hard work do.”