Is bodyweight training an effective form of resistance training?

Wendy Batts
Yes! Bodyweight training is a great form of resistance training. When we normally think of resistance training we associate dumbbells, plates on machines and bands with forms of resistance. When using your bodyweight, this time the form of resistance is gravity. And the best part is that you don’t need ANY equipment! Your strength training program can be done anywhere. Resistance training involves the body working against an external force. That external force can take many forms: plates, bands, dumbbells, weight vests, water aerobics paddles, etc. Gravity is just another form of external force that our bodies can train with, and is just as valid as any other.
Yes, bodyweight training is a very effective and convenient form of resistance training because it can be performed virtually anywhere and forces you to learn how to stabilize and control your own body against gravity. Two things are needed to stimulate our muscles to change - time and tension.  Muscle tension comes when you place resistance on the muscles; it does not necessarily matter what that resistance is made of.  As far as the muscles are concerned, resistance is resistance. Our muscles have no idea what form of resistance they are up against, whether it is a dumbbell, a resistance band, a barbell, or your bodyweight. However, there are subtle differences between the benefits associated with the different types of resistance.  For example, free weights are often superior to fixed-machines when it comes to building strength, but it is because free weights require us to stabilize the load in space (which is more work and requires more muscle to do so) not because the amount of resistance on the muscles is any different.  So, give bodyweight training a try, it could be just the type of stimulus your muscles need to help you get the results you are after.

Body weight training is an effective form of resistance training when executed properly. The proper execution can be accomplished by challenging the body in a specific area that includes a set amount of sets and respite last thing you want to do to make body weight training effective is to make sure your heart rate stays up at a specific range to maximize caloric burn.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.