Bodyweight Training: A Tool to Getting the Athletic Look While Feeling Better
Everybody would like a body that is more flexible and athletic, but what if the way to attain that body could be done with simple exercises and very little equipment? One of the newest workout trends to emerge is bodyweight training, exercises that are basic movements like squats and chair dips that use a person’s body weight as resistance.
“Bodyweight uses natural movements that your body understands,” says Brandon Roggow, a personal trainer at HabitatFit in Winter Haven. “It’s training a person so that these movements can be implemented into everyday life and clients can watch their lives improve just by doing these exercises.”
Basic but Effective
As opposed to a gym, bodyweight exercises focus less on equipment that isolates certain muscles and more on moving the body in ways that are typical to daily life. Examples of exercises include squats, lunges, pushups and jumping jacks, as well as using some simple equipment such as dumbbells and medicine balls. The goal is to strengthen and firm the entire body, which will include those target areas of fat people want to eliminate.
“I always tell my clients that there is no such thing as ‘spot reduction.’ We focus on metabolic resistance where your metabolism is increased so you are burning more calories, even hours after the workout is over,” Brandon states.
Another draw is that bodyweight exercises are shorter than three-hour gym workouts, such as Tabata intervals, which Brandon teaches are 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for eight sets. This creates 20-30 minute workouts that burn as many calories as hours at the gym and allows for the workouts to be intensified or modified for someone’s body capabilities.
Bodyweight training is enticing also because the exercises can be done at home or even on vacation, helpful for people with busy schedules. Instead of weights, people can use household items such as gallon jugs filled with water, soup cans or even sandbags from the store.
Fun to Burn
What Brandon hears most from his clients is that though the workouts are short and intense, they feel they’ve burned calories and enjoyed a workout that doesn’t harm their bodies. “Some people can be hesitant to start bodyweight exercises more because they are not sure what they are getting into,” he shares from experience. “But when they realize they are working their entire body, from legs to arms, and hearing others’ gym-related aches and pains are going away, they are very encouraged to join.”
Among the new developments to bodyweight training that Brandon has heard of is bringing in monkey bars and swings that make the gym resemble a kids’ playground. “It’s about making workouts fun instead of monotonous and a chore,” he concludes, “and more of my clients are saying they are enjoying working out now more than ever before.”
story by BLAIR TOWNLEY