Developing strength through bodyweight training

23 Jun 2022


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Getting fit does not have to be complicated.

In fact, it can be as easy as doing a series of exercises in the comfort and privacy of your own home, with no additional exercise equipment or gym membership needed!

Bodyweight training can be a convenient and effective way to build strength and improve overall health, the only things you need are the clothes on your back and your body’s weight.

What is bodyweight training?

Bodyweight training is using a person’s own body as a resistance tool during exercise. So instead of dumbbells, barbells or other external resistance equipment, you are simply using your own weight to build strength while working out.

You may or may not realise, but some typical exercises that you do are bodyweight exercises. This includes push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats etc. Even some variations of yoga is considered a form of bodyweight training, where strength building is not the only emphasis but also the connection between mind and body. To put it simply, any exercise where an additional load is not used is considered a bodyweight exercise.

This form of exercise is categorised as strength training because it can help to improve strength and endurance through resistance, just like weight training. For example, push-ups target chest, abs, shoulders and triceps muscles, building strength in your upper body. Planks target abs muscles, building strength in the core area.

It is recommended to participate in strength exercises that target all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Hence, bodyweight training can be a convenient way for you to fulfil this quota!

What are some benefits of bodyweight training?

If you are a regular gym junkie who is used to using weights and machines, or a beginner who has just started working out regularly, here are some benefits to convince you to incorporate bodyweight training into your exercise regime per our physiotherapist in Singapore:

  • Do it anywhere! You can save time when you don’t have enough of it to head to the gym. Also, you are not limited to doing bodyweight training at home. If your work environment permits it, you can work out in a small corner in the office. Travelling overseas for work and no gym at the hotel? Do bodyweight exercises in your room instead!
  • Going back to basics can lead to progress. Research has found that a person’s strength building progress becomes stunted when they focus on using machines to train without having a strong base of balance, core strength, mobility and stability. Bodyweight exercises can counter stagnation and aid in the strength building process.
  • It is beginner-friendly! There are many variations of bodyweight exercise regimes that are modified for different fitness levels and you can pick one you are comfortable with. Additionally, it is important that you learn the proper technique to work out different muscles through using your body weight first before moving on to free weights or machines to avoid injury. Going back to the example of push-ups, when you are able to perform several repetitions of push-ups in good form, you may find it easier to control the resistance from a seated machine fly or balance the weights during a bench press with a lower risk of injury.
  • More personalised and efficient training. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes and it is difficult to build strength machines that can perfectly suit everyone’s unique body proportions. With bodyweight training, the exercise is naturally unique and suited to the person’s limb length, muscle insertion and body weight. Most bodyweight exercises strengthen several muscle groups at once as it uses multiple joints, as compared to a bicep curl with weights that involve only one joint and fewer muscles. Hence, you may be more efficient by training more muscles in a single session of bodyweight exercise.
  • Strength exercises can lower the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the thinning of bones which can result in painful fractures. It is caused by factors such as ageing, low body weight and menopause. Research has shown that strength training can stimulate bone remodelling, which is the process of renewing bone tissue, and bone growth, which helps reduce risk of osteoporosis. Further, building strength in the lower limb muscles can help reduce the likelihood of falls, which can cause fractures.

Bodyweight training is a useful go-to routine for everyone, no matter if you consider yourself an exercise enthusiast or a fitness fledgling. Not only does it benefit your body and prevent sports injury Singapore, but it also benefits your schedule too!

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