Bodyweight Workout For Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide
Summer sun? Check.
New Swimsuit? Check.
Rockin body?…Dang it!
Don’t feel bad. Life is busy. And finding time to make it to the gym on a regular basis can feel like trying to find a needle in a hey stack. Scratch that. Make that a thousand hey stacks.
If only there was a way to make it so finding the time to exercise was like trying to find a needle in a…well…box of needles!
Wait a gosh darn minute. There is! How, you ask?
With a bodyweight workout! Bodyweight workouts offer many benefits. One of which is they can be done just about anywhere, including the comfort of your own home. This means no waiting in lines for sweaty workout equipment or waiting for someone to finish their set so you can work in with them. In other words, they take less time.
What other benefits does a bodyweight workout offer? I’m glad you asked.
Benefits Of A Bodyweight Workout
1. Can Be Done (Almost) Anywhere
I kind of eluded to this above but it’s such an awesome benefit of bodyweight training I thought it deserved more time in the spotlight. Seriously, since you’re using your own bodyweight for resistance, you can literally get a great full-body workout almost anywhere. Heck, you can even do this type of workout in your hotel room when traveling.
2. It Cost NOTHING
And by nothing I really do mean nothing. Think about it. There’s no memberships to sign-up for, no equipment to buy, you don’t have to go anywhere, it doesn’t require any special clothing, and you don’t need a babysitter. You can’t get much more free than that.
3. Combines Cardio With Strength Training
This is one of the big reasons bodyweight training is so effective. Combining cardio with strength training is kind of like super charging your workouts. You’ll seriously find yourself feeling more exhausted after ten minutes of a bodyweight workout than even an hour on the treadmill.
4. Takes Less time
Why spend an hour on the elliptical machine when you can get a great full-body workout in a fraction of the time. Seriously, because bodyweight workouts often combine cardio with strength training, you can find yourself feeling completely exhausted in as little as 10 minutes!
5. It’s Super Convenient
What do you get when you combine a workout that can be done nearly anywhere, requires no special equipment, and only takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete? Convenience, that’s what!
6. Great For Core Strengthening
I’ll be honest. Core exercises are not on my list of favorite things to do. This is why I love bodyweight training. Pretty much every workout activates and uses the core to some level. This means you can get a great core workout without really focusing on the core at all.
7. Helps Improve Balance
This is another incredible benefit of bodyweight training.. Exercises like squats and lunges, as well as many others, are great for improving balance. This, of course, becomes even more important as we age.
8. Can Help With Injury Prevention
Stronger muscles and tendons are important for recovering from and preventing injuries. Fortunately, both of these are easily accomplished with bodyweight training. Additionally, because you are in complete control, many bodyweight exercises are actually safer to perform than other forms of exercises that use machines or added weight. This translates into less risk of injury for you.
9. Get Results Fast
Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it with an equation.
Cardio + strength training + balance training + core strengthening + compound movements (using multiple joints and muscle groups) + increased flexility = FAST RESULTS
See. I told you so.
10. It’s A Lot More Fun
You know why a lot of people spend most of their time talking and socializing at the gym rather than workout out? Because, it’s boring! Seriously, watching yourself do bicep curls in a mirror or walking on a treadmill can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. No wonder so many people hate going to the gym. Bodyweight workouts eliminate this hurdle by being over with quickly, highly customizable, and way more affective.
11. Increases Flexibility
Ever heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”? Well, the compound movements associated with bodyweight training MAKE you use it. And by “it” I mean your range of motion. The range of motion your joints and muscles move through during a bodyweight workout is a great way to improve flexibility at any age.
12. Great For All Fitness Levels
The workout below was made for most beginners, but it could easily be made more difficult with a few minor tweaks. On the flip side it could also be made easier with a few minor tweaks. For example, pushups can be done standing against a wall or on the floor using only one arm. Squats can be done while holding onto a chair for support or on an unstable surface while jumping. Like I mentioned earlier, every bodyweight workout is highly customizable.
First things first. Don’t forget to warm-up. Starting a bodyweight workout like the one shown below without warming up is a surefire way to injure yourself. If you don’t feel like injuring yourself today, then a proper warm-up is in order. Running in place, riding a stationary bike, jumping rope, or performing jumping jacks are all great options. But make sure you do it for at least three to five minutes. Sound good?
Ok, so here’s our workout for today. If you’d rather watch it then check out the video below. In order we have:
20 Jumping Jacks
30 Second Front Plank
10 Prone Tricep Extensions
20 Lunges (10 each leg)
30 High Knees (15 each leg)
Your goal is to run through the above workout as fast as you can four times. This means no taking breaks (if you can avoid it) and doing the exercises in a quick yet controlled manner. Push yourself hard enough and you should be absolutely floored by the time you are done with the fourth go-round.
Some Things To Consider
Remember, we’re all starting at different fitness levels. Feel free to modify the above workout to fit your individual needs. Each of the exercises shown above can easily be tweaked to be made easier or harder.
For example, as mentioned earlier pushups can be performed standing against a wall or on your knees as can the front plank. Squats and lunges can be done next to a stable surface like a table for support. And running in place can be substituted in for the high knees.
Play around with it and find a routine you like. Then try to run through it three to four times per week. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you progress.
Lastly, if you would like even more awesome ideas for workouts that can be done at home, be sure to check out my book, The Ultimate Home Workout Book. It’s filled with over 250 of my favorite exercises and exercise combinations to get you in shape fast in the comfort of your own home and is a really great tool for beginners and experienced people alike.
Try out the workout and leave your thoughts below. If you’re up for it include your fitness level (newbie, weekend warrior, fit as a fiddle, etc) as well as how long it took you to run through the workout a full four times. I’d love to hear it.
Best of luck and happy training!
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