Benefits of a body-weight workout


Bodyweight training is as simple as it gets and requires no equipment in order to perform it.

1. It’s a super-efficient workout.

Research suggests high-output, bodyweight-based exercises like plyometrics yield awesome fitness gains in short durations. Since there’s no equipment involved, bodyweight workouts make it easy to transition from one move to the next with little rest. And you’ve probably already heard that those short-but-intense HIIT workouts can yield major results.

2. It can combine cardio and strength training

Performing quick cardio sessions (such as 60 seconds of burpees or high-knees) between strength movements (such as a set of push-ups or lunges) will keep the heart pumping while still encouraging muscle and strength development.

3. You can burn fat—fast.

Just a few minutes of a bodyweight circuit training can have a major impact on the body’s metabolism. If you’ve ever heard of the afterburn effect, you know that even when your workout is over, your body can still be revved for hours to come.

4. At any fitness level, it’s challenging.

Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easily modified to challenge anyone. Adding extra reps, performing the exercises faster or super slowly, taking shorter breaks, or adding a ballistic movement (like a clap at the top of each push-up) are just a few ways to make the simplest workout tougher. And with each added modification, your progress is obvious.

5. You’ll gain core strength.

Your core is more than just six-pack abs. In fact, at least twenty-nine muscles make up the trunk of the body, and many simple bodyweight movements can be used to engage all of them. Such exercises won’t just give you tighter abs, you’ll also gain better posture, relieve lower back stress, and improve overall performance.

6. It can increase your flexibility.

Not everyone who does regular resistance training has to end up with tight muscles and inflexible joints. Bodyweight training can go hand-in-hand with building strength and flexibility. Completing bodyweight exercises through a full range of motion ensures your joints are moving freely. Plus, it can lead to improved posture and might reduce the chance of exercise-related injury.  Yoga, the fave no-equipment workout for many, is another great way to to improve flexibility while also significantly improving strength.

7. There’s never an excuse to not workout.

Ask someone why they don’t exercise, and chances are they have “no time” or it’s “inconvenient.” Luckily bodyweight exercises eliminate those common obstacles. When you only need a little space, it’s easy to squeeze in workouts wherever you are. Exercising without equipment can also be used as a stress reliever whether you’re working at home or on the road.

8. You’ll achieve better balance.

When it comes to this type of training, sometimes increasing resistance means increasing balance, too. For example, a normal squat can be ramped up by swapping in a single-leg squat (a.k.a. a pistol squat). Functional movements like that one can improve balance through increased body awareness and control.

9. You’ll never get bored.

It can be easy to get stuck in a workout rut of treadmills, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, and bench presses. That’s why bodyweight training can be so refreshing: There are countless exercise variations that can spice up any workout routine. Working with a variety of exercises not only relieves boredom, it can also help break plateaus and spark further progress.

10. Mixing up your workout is easy.

11. It’s free.

Gym memberships and boutique classes can quickly add up—but bodyweight training is free. Experts cite the low cost of bodyweight training as key to its rise in popularity.

12. It can help with injury prevention.

Injury is one of the main reasons people stop working out, so preventing those aches and pains should be a big priority. Bodyweight exercises are generally safe for any exerciser regardless of experience, age, or fitness level. Many simple bodyweight movements can actually be an effective option for rehabilitation, even for those with significant impairments.

13. You’ll see results.

Bodyweight exercises get results partly because they involve compound movements—meaning numerous joints and muscles are engaged in each move. Compound exercises such as push-ups and lunges have been shown to be extremely effective for strength gains and performance improvements. And research shows improved core strength (see No. 5 above) translates to improved strength gains throughout the entire body.

73 thoughts on “Benefits of a body-weight workout

    1. You could take up alternate activities to make sure you don’t get used to the comfrt/laziness and stay active.

      For me personally, wearing a good pair of gym clothes or shoes is really motivating.

      And more than anything, seeing improvement in terms of the weight you lift, or the distance you run or any other metric is always motivating!

      I hope that helps 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  1. As much as I love your article; I love your little chart more. Showing not just pictures of exercises, but pictures that actually show the movements, with the different exercises all together so the viewer can see them at one glance – easily… That is awesome. No having to scroll, click on pages, go to different links… Love it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. My physiotherapist recommended similar exercises to help my sciatica but that little moving chart at the top of the blog was much better than the stick drawings I was given. I could easily see from them where I have been doing some of the exercises wrongly.


  2. Ann

    Interesting article. I enjoy bodyweight exercises as well. My primary training is weight-based but I like how working on body weight exercises too helps with the weights (and perhaps vice versa) and lets you do different things. For example, while I have decent strength in my legs using weights, and I can do a lot of regular BW squats without stopping, I can’t do even one pistol squat. So my current regime goals include both trying to get my numbers up on things like my dead lift, but also working toward being able to do pistols.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ann

        I figure to each their own, and no matter what one’s goals at least one is doing something, even if it is something I wouldn’t necessarily want for myself. 🙂

        For me, it is fun pursuing goals in both body weight exercises and with weights, which at the gym I go to makes me a bit of an odd bird.

        Liked by 1 person

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  8. Started doing this for the last two months or so. Included yoga with it and the difference is incredible. Definitely stronger and working more on endurance now as that’s my roughest thing with working out. Thanks for the share :)!


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