How to build resistance using bodyweight training
Bodyweight training has gained popularity in recent years due to its accessibility, ease of performance, low cost, and minimal requirement for space and equipment. Yoga, calisthenics, gymnastics, and climbing are considered bodyweight exercises.
Bodyweight exercises strengthen multiple muscle groups simultaneously which makes them a good choice when limited on time. Some examples are chin-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges.
Since exercises are limited to the weight of the individual, this type of training doesn’t significantly increase relative strength. However, modifying some exercises can increase the amount of resistance. Some options are increasing the number of reps, decreasing the rest between sets, and changing the movement pattern. For example, elevating your legs while performing a push up increases the resistance. The use of suspension devices such as a TRX can also change the movement pattern by introducing instability, thereby increasing intensity and muscle activation.
If you are looking to add variety to your workouts, consider adding some bodyweight exercises and change up how you perform them! Not sure of where to start? Check out our YouTube playlist on Better Than Nothing workouts. These moves and exercises can largely be done with just bodyweight anywhere you have a few feet of space.
Interested in working with a trainer or strength coach to make sure you are exercising safely and working toward your goals? Schedule an evaluation with one of our trainers today.
Haff, G., Triplett, N.T. (2016) Essentials of Strength and Conditioning. 4th Ed. Champlain, IL. Human Kinetics.