Long before the introduction of your typical gym equipped with weights and exercise machines, fitness and weight training was done using merely your own body. Then the idea behind Bodyweight Exercises stemmed from necessity to defend oneself or attack others, and therefore has been a consistent component of military training from ancient times to the present. Spartans and Romans alike recognized and understood that training with your own bodyweight is a simple and effective way to improve strength, flexibility and balance, while it is fairly time efficient as well as inexpensive since no equipment is needed.
Most bodyweight exercises do not target just a single muscle group but involve several muscle groups at the same time, and thus increase the percentage of active muscle while performing a given exercise. Because of it, bodyweight exercises seem to be much harder or more exhausting than other exercises, although it might not look that way.
Although Bodyweight Exercises triggers the mental image of performing push-ups, pull-ups and dips, there are far more exercises, which specifically target certain muscle groups.
All you need is your body! The following exercises include most muscles of the body. You can start off with doing as little as 4 sets of each exercise, repeating each 5-10 times (reps) or holding a position (e.g. Plank) for 15 seconds. Depending on your fitness level you may want to adjust any of these exercises to suit your strength and endurance. Since Bodyweight Exercises use the fixed weight of one’s own bodyweight, additional weights (also weight balls or packs), an increase of the time holding a position as well as an increase of reps or sets of the exercise can add difficulty to the workout.
Our Top 3 of easy-to-do Bodyweight Exercises
One of the most effective full-body exercises, burpees start out in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Kick your legs back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return your feet to the squat position. Jump up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up position
More advanced Single Leg Burpee with aeroSling-Support:
Lie face down with your forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend your legs behind the body and rise up on the toes. With a straight back, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can. Video of a progession of the Plank exercise with blackPack.
Stand with your feet parallel. Slowly start to crouch by bending the hips and knees until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position. Video of a squat progression with added weight and instability.