I travel a lot for a living. I tried to bring equipment with me on the road and it just isn’t practical. I have TRX, kettlebells, jump ropes, perfect pushups, and many other fun tools (my “toys”). Lugging them around from hotel to hotel gets old real quick. Why waste time with the equipment when I’ve got the best resource available?
Although I love my toys and I love getting to the gym, when you’re in a pinch body weight is the best equipment for your daily exercise. You can target nearly every muscle group and you can get cardio. Here are some of my favorite things about body weight exercise:
You can tailor the difficulty to what you can handle. Let’s take pushups for example. If they are too hard you can do them on your knees, work yourself up to a plank on your toes. When pushups are too easy you can make it more intense with variations, more volume, or with more weight.
2. Fits in Small Spaces
You don’t need a ballroom to do your bodyweight exercises. If you’re tight on room there is always a way to work with it. Wall sits, squats, chair pushups, or high knees are all great options when space is limited.
3. Take it Anywhere, Anytime
It doesn’t matter whether you’re at home, visiting family, at a hotel, or outdoors. Some of the best exercises use the resources around you. When I’m outside I look for rocks to jump on. If I’m in my hotel room I might use a chair to add difficulty to my pushups.
4. Share with you friends
Any number of people can participate. You don’t need to wait until your exercise equipment is available (“Sorry, only one pair of perfect pushups…”).
By using your body weight with appropriate exercise you can get very strong. Pushups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges are well known strength options.
You can also improve you cardiovascular health with just your bodyweight. Running in place, suicides, jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks are some well known cardio options.
I prefer to be efficient. I enjoy working several muscle groups in one move. You can alter the complexity of your body weight workout pretty easily. Spider pushups work your core and chest. Jumping split squats work on your cardio and legs.
I like to do some body weight moves in the morning and some in the evening. My AM and PM routines take no more than 5 minutes each to complete. They are simple and can be done anytime. If I do the routines 5 days per week that’s almost an extra hour of exercise I gain from body weight exercise alone.
You don’t need to buy any equipment for this! What’s better than that?
With body weight exercise you still have some risk but it is significantly lower than when you’re lifting weights.