Bodyweight exercises are the foundation of Muddy Plimsolls’ approach to fitness training.
I like exploring the natural movements of the body using this low-tech/high-effect combination.
Wikipedia defines this form of physical fitness as “strength training exercises that do not require free weights, as the practitioner’s own weight provides the resistance for the movement.” Using your own body in this way and being free from the necessity of specialised equipment, means you can practice bodyweight training anywhere.
There’s a wealth of online videos and articles demonstrating bodyweight training and suggested exercises. However, I feel these guides often skip the practical advice that newbies would value – teaching you how to drive without helping you out of the driveway. I hope to remedy that with a few practical pointers:
1. Adapting your venue:
Exercising Outdoors, using your local park as a green gym: carry a pair of workout gloves, so you don’t put your hands in the dirt; check for sharp objects before lying on the grass; check to see if your local park has a trim trail.
Exercising at Home in your front room: remove all breakables; banish pets to another room; and stay away from furniture with sharp edges.
2. Bodyweight Exercises: Some basics
A full body routine (all major muscles groups, top to bottom) will benefit most types of exerciser. Difficult exercises can always be regressed to an easier version until you get more adept at them. Move smoothly from one exercise to the next without stopping – a key element to avoid undertraining. Listen out for niggling aches or pains especially in the joints – to avoid overtraining.
3. Find your own fitness personality:
Over the years, my training has combined influences from many movement systems to take advantage of their unique benefits: yoga and pilates has disciplined control and postural awareness; athletics emphasises running and jumping; strength training combines biomechanical efficiency and muscular development.
So find movements that are fun for you. Try to fit your workout with your personality: dance workouts work well for those with a sense of rhythm; an obstacle course in the park may suit you better than a boot camp training circuit.