Body Weight Exercise
have probably heard the term body weight exercises but are
wondering exactly what this means. These are
basically strength training workouts in which you use your
own body weight.
performing the exercises you do not use any specific
Instead you simply exercise using body
weight to provide the necessary resistance in order to build
strengthen your muscles.
Although weight lifting is the most well known form of strength
training, not everyone has access to home
equipment or a gym
membership to get the benefits from this type of training.
Additionally, for people just starting out, any additional resistance
from even resistance bands or dumbbell weights may be more than they
A great (and totally free) alternative is to perform
body weight exercises
Benefits of Body Weight Exercises
are many different types of benefits for using your body weight
when exercising. In addition to toning and strengthening
muscles, you can do these easily from home with no expensive equipment.
It's perfect for beginners and as with any exercise, you reap the
health benefits as well. Keep reading to learn more about these
One of the main reasons people choose this type of
exercise is the
convenience of doing them from home. No need for a gym
membership or expensive home gym equipment.
Body weight exercises include both strength training exercises as well
as cardiovascular exercises. These can range from walking,
jogging, jumping jacks and jumping rope.
You can also perform
yoga and meditation exercises as well as strength training exercises
using your weight like push ups, crunches, and many upper and lower
These exercises are perfect for the beginner. You are
providing just enough resistance to start to strengthen and tone your
muscles without over extending yourself. You can start out at
your own pace and work up to adding additional resistance.
As with any type of exercise you are getting all the health benefits of
working out. Body weight exercises do
not provide you the maximum resistance you get with other types of
However, you are still providing your
body with the needed oxygen and resistance to help prevent and minimize
many health risks.
Check out all the benefits to
Upper Body Exercises Using Body Weight
If you are not sure where to start with your upper body weight
exercises, try some of these workouts.
These will work
your arms, chest, shoulders, upper back and more.
Wall Push Ups
You remember back in gym class push ups always seemed to be part of the
If it’s been awhile since you did a push up, try
with your knees bent and on the floor.
You can then
eventually work up
to bringing your knees off the floor. Or use a wall to push
standing up (at a slight angle).
Either way your body will
enough weight to feel the resistance and strengthening of your upper
Muscles Targeted – Chest, Shoulders, Abs and Triceps.
Like the push ups, the pull ups are a great upper body weight
exercise. For this exercise you will need a bar or something
onto (that is sturdy) and then pull yourself up.
To do this
you would simply grab the bar with arms shoulder width apart (maybe
wider) and then pull your self up as high as you can go.
sometimes called chin ups as people generally try to pull themselves up
to where the chin touches the top of the bar.
Primary Muscles Targeted – Arms, Lats
and Upper Back
Again this exercise does require some equipment or your
For this exercise you would place your hands on two bars (on either
side of you) and then dip your body bending your elbows.
exercise you keep your feet off the ground so that you get the full
benefit of your body weight.
You could do this at home with
(if tall enough and sturdy enough) or other furniture items.
Muscles Targeted – Pectorals and Lats
Lower Body Weight Exercise
The selection here is basically the same as any exercise you can do
with resistance bands or dumbbell weights. However, in this
case you will simply be using your own body weight to provide
resistance in order to strengthen and tone the muscles.
Squats are by far one of the most popular lower body weight
These are done the same way as with dumbbell weights but just without
the weights. You can see how to do this exercise here.
Muscles Targeted – Thighs, Quadriceps, Glutes
This is another favorite amongst lower body exercises using your own
body weight. A fun way to do this exercise is to lunge around
versus staying stationary in one spot.
This will add a bit of
to this exercise. You can see this exercise demonstrated
dumbbell weights) here.
Just remember the only difference is
use the weights unless you are ready to add some more resistance in
addition to your body weight.
Muscles Targeted – Thighs (front and back) and Glutes
any lower body exercise you can do with resistance bands or
dumbbell weights you can do with your body weight.
to get an idea of some lower body exercises
you can do.
There are many abdominal exercises you can do with just your body
weight. These can be done on an exercise mat or with an
Stomach exercises are one of the most common types of body weight
exercises. Although you can add an exercise ball or weights for added
resistance, the only thing required is a mat and your body weight.
crunches to oblique twists, they are a great way to get your core
muscles toned and in shape.
Rather than going into each type of ab
exercise here, just visit the abdominal exercise
page to see the full
list of illustrated ab exercises on this site.
Creating Your Body Weight Exercise Workout Routine
You can mix and match your body weight exercises with other
strength training exercises. You can even create a circuit
training workout with nothing more than just your body weight for
your own body
weight exercises circuit training routine, check out these examples
Learn more about strengthening your muscles using dumbbell weights. This type of exercise equipment comes in varying weights so you add a
little resistance to build muscle or increase the weight for more
of Strength Training
There are many benefits to strength training. By increasing your muscle
mass you can raise your basal metabolic rate. This means burning more calories which helps to lose weight.
Training for Seniors
Strength training is important for people of all ages, but is
especially important as we age. With strength training workouts you are help maintain muscle mass, bone
density and more.