Bodyweight Training: Weight Loss Solution Without the Weights

Two men train outside in the park

You might have heard the term functional fitness or functional training (both of which I will use interchangeably) and wondered, “What exactly does that mean?” Think of functional fitness as “real life” movements that help your body prepare for “real life” stress in the safest and most efficient way possible.

A topless man doing a push up in the living room

Think about it: Are you ever just lifting something up as you would in a biceps curl? Probably not. But, you are squatting and lifting and rotating, right? And falling on the ground and getting back up (hello, burpees!)?

Bodyweight exercises are a huge component of functional training! Bodyweight training engages multiple muscle groups during each exercise and leaves an endless amount of room for progressions and variety as you become fitter, stronger and healthier while minimizing injury and maximizing performance!

Why is bodyweight training the perfect and most “duh!” solution for weight loss?

1. You just need your body:

Because you can literally start now no matter where you are! Get up and do some jumping jacks, squats or even a burpee – just kidding, kind of! I don’t want to hear anything else about not having a gym membership or not having equipment – you don’t need either.

2. “Right here, right now” mindset:

You’re really reminded that you are in control of your health and happiness. Any negative barrier or excuse you might have set up for yourself regarding your potential and goals is basically destroyed by the convenience, versatility and effectiveness of bodyweight training – bottom line.

3. Setting calories on fire:

Isolating a single muscle group on a machine lights a puny candle compared to the bonfire your body sets off when performing bodyweight exercises. The more muscles you recruit during exercise, the more calories you’re going to burn.

Woman is doing bodyweight training in the gardenLike this outfit? Add style to your workouts.

4. Even your muscles are #strongertogether:

Let’s look at the push-up for example: biceps, triceps, shoulders, core (abs, lower back, hips), glutes and legs. Despite some muscles working harder than others during this movement, all of those muscles are actively participating in the push-up party. When a muscle isn’t helping in the way that it should, that’s when you get movement compensations that can lead to pain and injury. It’s always critical that you pay attention to your form and nail that right at the beginning. Bodyweight training teaches your body how to work together as a team – we like that!

5. Variety for days, weeks, years:

I have been working out for nearly 11 years consistently and bodyweight training has always been a part of my plan. And no, it never gets boring. There’s always more exercises to learn, challenges to overcome and, to be honest, more burpees to be done 🙂

Did this inspire you to give bodyweight training a go? Or perhaps you’re a bodyweight training fanatic like me and have your favorite exercises? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Lunden Souza Lunden is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach. She inspires sports enthusiasts around the world with her fitness & nutrition tips and workouts on YouTube. View all posts by Lunden Souza »

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