This article is the second part of a series which looks at the advantages and disadvantages of bodyweight training. In the first part I addressed the negatives, now it is the turn of the positives.
With bodyweight training you are free to complete your workouts at a time and place that suits you best. Indoors at home, outside in the fresh air, on the mats in the gym, in your hotel room, down at the beach. Few other training methods can compete with this level of geographical independance.
NO EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT
In its purest sense bodyweight training requires nothing more than your own body and the gravitational pull of the earth. Whilst cosmic space travel and real-life avatars remain some way off it is safe to say neither will be deserting you anytime soon. Of course you can spice up a good bodyweight workout with suspension trainers, weighted vests, monkey-bars, parallettes, gymnastic rings and other such toys but they are by no means a requirement.
DEVELOP EXCELLENT MOVEMENT SKILLS
Using just your own bodyweight you can squat, jump, lunge, hinge, balance, push, punch, pull, climb, twist, roll, stabilise, hold, hang, sprint, walk, crawl and probably plenty of other movements besides. These are the kind of skills which allow you to enjoy a movement-rich life unhindered by your body’s limitations and restrictions.
WIDE VARIETY OF EXERCISES
There is certainly no shortage of exercise options using just your own bodyweight. Off the top of my head I can list of a whole host of different movement disciplines including calisthenics, tai chi, capoeira, yoga, pilates, parkour, martial arts, gymnastics which could fall under the bracket of bodyweight exercise. Each discipline includes a ton of unique movements and exercises which could take a lifetime to master.
BUILD IMPRESSIVE UPPER BODY STRENGTH
As mentioned in the first article of this series which list the disadvantages of bodyweight training you aren’t going to fulfill your lower body strength potential using bodyweight exercises. However, the opposite is true when it comes to your upper body. Here you can get freakishly strong practising gymnastic progressions which slowly place your muscles and connective tissues into weaker biomechanical positions. Whether or not pursuing some of these movements is the optimal choice for everyone does not take away from the fact this style of training can make you unbelievably strong.
As discussed at the beginning of this series, bodyweight exercise is a great method of burning fat, building lean muscle and improving strength. Is it the holy grail of strength training? Nope, but then nothing is. However, if you are looking for a simple, convenient and versatile strength training solution which you can take with you wherever you go then it is hard to look beyond bodyweight training.