Why do bodyweight training?

If you are not including some bodyweight training in your programs you are missing out big time! And you don’t have to turn yourself into a gymnast or try to copy the callisthenic superstars you see on YouTube.

Everyone healthy enough to do resistance training can benefit from some form of bodyweight training. In doing so you can get some fantastic benefits.


Anytime, anywhere

This is the most obvious benefit to bodyweight training but it is too important not to highlight it, particularly these days when people seem more ‘time poor’ than ever.

The convenience of bodyweight training makes it easier to train – even if you are traveling or unable to get to the gym. Remember fewer interruptions to your training, means great consistency and that is one the greatest secrets to success!

Minimal equipment

While there are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can do with no equipment, your options explode with a few very simple additions. Things like a chin-up bar, a pair of gymnastic rings or a trip to your local community playground and you have endless fantastic bodyweight exercises.

Great for all fitness levels

With a basic understanding of physics, anyone can benefit from bodyweight training. While progression and regression is not as simple as it is with barbell training, you can alter your position to increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise.

Bodyweight exercise for beginners

Even weak beginners can do bodyweight exercises such as push-ups from an elevated bar. On the advanced side of the spectrum you have testing gymnastic rings work. There is something for everyone and great progression can be made. 

And as you get older you will appreciate this one… I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy a strong, lean and athletic body for life. This requires that you take care of your joints so you can sustain hard training for years to come.

Age doesn’t matter

As I’ve advanced in age and accumulated more training mileage on my body, I have come to appreciate more and more the joint friendly benefits of bodyweight exercises.

This is especially true of exercises done on rings as they allow your joints to go where they want to go instead of locking them in place on a bar.

Back sparing

Many fantastic barbell exercises can place a lot of stress on your back. However, there are many upper and lower back bodyweight exercises that are quite lower-back friendly. Also some exercises such as pull-ups actually have a spinal decompression effect.

body weight exercise benefits_2

Rewards relative strength

Relative strength refers to how strong you are in relation to your body weight. It is the most important type of strength for athletic performance and real life performance.

The stronger you are in relation to your body weight the easier, faster and safer you can move your body around. Getting good at body weight exercises requires healthy joints, strong muscles and low levels of body fat – who doesn’t want that?

Fat Loss

One of the greatest secrets to fat loss training is to pick harder exercises. When it comes to melting fat off of clients and athletes, I love bodyweight exercises.

It is one thing to lie on a bench and lift a weight, but having to move your body around greatly increases the metabolic demand of the exercise. As a result, you burn more calories in the same amount of training time.

Complimentary exercises

Always remember that training does not have to be an all or nothing. My training philosophy is to take the best training tools from a variety of training styles and put them together into one complete package.

You don’t have to choose between barbells and bodyweight exercises. You can do them both! I love big, basic barbell lifts. However I know that I can only do so much of them before I get too beat up.

Therefore I compliment heavy barbell and dumbbell training with bodyweight exercises. This way I get the best that each training style has to offer!

Muscle Mass

There are plenty of great bodyweight exercises that can be used to pack on muscle mass. For example, you can build a really strong, functional and massive upper body with chin-ups and dips.

Also, as I mentioned above, many bodyweight exercises tend to be quite joint friendly. This allows you to safely add the extra volume of work often needed to stimulate gains in muscle mass.


With our training, we often get so focused on the physical side of things that we forget the other benefits that training can offer us.

One huge benefit with bodyweight training is confidence. For example, I love what being able to do pull-ups does to my female athletes and clients. It doesn’t just give them a stronger body; it helps them become a stronger, more confident person.

Don’t miss out on what bodyweight training can do for you. Consider adding at least some bodyweight exercises to your program and enjoy these fantastic benefits!

Read more from WatchFit Expert Andrew Heming.

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans