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Are BodyWeight Exercises Better For You Than Lifting Weights? Body Weight When performing a "bodyweight" exerc...

Are BodyWeight Exercises Better For You Than Lifting Weights?

BodyWeight Workouts

Body Weight

When performing a "bodyweight" exercise you don't use any added weight, hence the name. There are tons of different bodyweight exercises you can do. These include exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats. Yoga and Pilates techniques are also considered bodyweight exercises.

The benefits of bodyweight exercises are improved muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, slight increase in muscle, and a slight improvement in strength. Since you are using a fixed amount of weight a lot of your exercises will include a high volume of reps. Because there is no added weight you can perform the exercises faster, resulting in an increased heart rate. Some exercises cause you to contract your muscles isometrically. For example, holding the push-up position is an isometric contraction. Your abdominal, shoulder, chest, and triceps muscles are contracted but there is no movement, or shortening or lengthening of the muscles. You would see these types of exercises in a Yoga or Pilates class.

Lifting Weights

Weight training involves exercises that require added weight by using a dumbbell, barbell, or other equipment. The number of different exercises possible in regards to weight training is almost endless. Many bodyweight exercises can be converted to a weight lifting exercise by simply applying weight or making a slight adjustment to the movement.

The benefits of weight training are improved muscular strength, increased muscular hypertrophy, increased metabolism, increased bone density, increased muscle, as well as all of the benefits of bodyweight exercises. You see with weight training you have the ability to train for a specific fitness goal. If you want to train to increase your muscular endurance, you can use lighter weight and perform higher reps with less recovery time between your sets. If you want to increase your muscular strength you can lift heavier weight for fewer reps with slightly longer recovery. With weight lifting you are not locked into any one way of training.

You've heard the "pro body weight" trainers talk about the high risk of injury associated with using weights. Common injuries like a blown knee or rotator cuff typically happen when an individual attempts to lift a weight that is too heavy using incorrect form. For the vast majority of people these types of injuries are extremely rare. Injuries can happen no matter what type of training method you use. The important thing is that you do the exercise correctly. Performing an exercise with the correct amount of weight, control, and range of motion will not only NOT cause an injury, it will help to prevent one.

I don't want to sound like I think you should only lift weights, that would be extremely narrow minded. Some people are better suited for different types of activities depending on their preferences, fitness levels, and time restraints. Most importantly you should know what you are trying to accomplish with your workouts. The technique that you should use whether it is using your body weight or weights should be decided based on your fitness goals.

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