Home / Health & Fitness Trends / Can You Get Strong Doing Bodyweight Exercises?

Can You Get Strong Doing Bodyweight Exercises?

There’s no denying that bodyweight training is an effective training approach for improving conditioning and endurance, but when the goal is to improve strength, most people don’t think bodyweight training can deliver results.

It’s understandable you’re feeling a little skeptical and are wondering…

“But how can bodyweight training improve my deadlift, if I’m not deadlifting?”

The truth is that bodyweight training can be a great strength training tool, and with the right exercise selection and programming, you will see strength gains and improved conditioning.

How Bodyweight Skills Make You Stronger

When focusing on pure strength training with bodyweight, StrongFirst teaches the Feed Forward Tension principle, which requires being able to maximally contract your muscles without external load. As you learn to take control of your muscles in this manner, you can adjust the “volume” of tension, up or down, for a given skill set—as a result, you get stronger. Upon returning to traditional weight lifting, most people find that their strength has increased and the weights move with ease.

karen-push-up-450x261We use the terms “linkage” and “leakage” to teach our students how to “get tight” and create tension in the body. When you have linkage, you can produce a lot more power, and your muscles work together to move your body as one unit. When your muscles are relaxed, you can experience leakage and a loss of power. A common example of leakage is when your hips or chest sag toward the ground during a push-up because you have lost the contraction in the glutes and core.

Mastering your body will increase your strength in all other areas of your training, and you may just see new PRs in traditional lifts like the deadlift, squat, and bench press. When you train these skills properly, you are moving your body as a solid unit in a controlled and deliberate manner, maintaining tension throughout your entire body. This effectively builds strength in your large muscles as well as your stabilizers and translates to greater everyday strength.

karen-sldl-bodyweight-327x331Take, for example, bodyweight single-leg deadlifts. By slowing things down and fixing any leakage as you practice this movement, you will get stronger and become more balanced. When you go back to your conventional or sumo barbell deadlift (on two legs) your form (thanks to mastering linkage) will be more solid and you will be able to move more weight.

Bodyweight training can also safeguard your body against injury. While it is not impossible to get injured when practicing bodyweight skills, it is definitely much harder to do than when you are working with an external load like a barbell or dumbbell. No matter your age, experience, or fitness level, there is a regression or progression that is appropriate for you, and you can build your strength from that starting point.

How Bodyweight Skills Fit Into Your Overall Training Program

You can certainly make strength gains training strictly bodyweight skills, and it’s a great way to continue to train if no equipment is available (long days at the office, travel, etc.). However, I encourage my students to explore and master multiple training modalities. Bodyweight skills training is a great complement to workouts using other equipment such as kettlebells, battling ropes, and barbells.

To give you an opportunity to practice some basic bodyweight skills within a workout, I have created a strength and conditioning circuit that also utilizes another one of my favorite training tools: battling ropes. (I’ve included some alternatives in case you don’t have access to battling ropes).

I love battling ropes because, as with bodyweight training, you can use them effectively to improve both, strength and endurance, depending on exercise selection and programming. The battling rope exercise in this circuit is called “velocity” (a term coined by John Brookfield, the founder and creator of the Battling Ropes System). In this exercise, your body’s movements create “waves” with the ropes, beginning at the handles and flowing toward the rope’s anchor point. It is probably what most people picture when they think of battling ropes. In fact, even if you’re not yet familiar with the term “velocity” in this context, I am confident that you’ve seen someone performing this exercise or have performed it yourself.

Workout Overview & Demo

Before you get started, review the exercise notes below and watch the video demo to ensure you’re performing each skill properly and getting the most out of the workout.

Battling Ropes Velocity
Secure the rope at its midpoint to a sturdy anchor (a post, a squat rack, etc.). Extend both handles out in a straight line. Standing in athletic stance, hinge at the hips and grip one handle in each hand. Begin with an upward movement of your arms, and then slam the ropes down, maintaining your athletic stance and tension throughout your core. Repeat the movement rapidly for the duration of your set.

Push-ups should be done at an elevation that allows you to perform each repetition with good form. If you’re not able to perform push-ups on the floor yet, start with your hands at a higher elevation (this could be a wall, a barbell set on the rack, a tall box, a desk, or a bench). Alternatively, you can make the push-up more difficult by elevating your feet—so long as you maintain good form. Once you’ve found the right elevation for your ability level, place your hands and feet about shoulder-width apart. With your body moving as one unit (no sagging), lower (“row”) your body toward the floor and then press yourself back up till your arms are fully extended. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. For more in-depth discussion and guidance, check out my article all about the push-up.

Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Rather than dropping down into a squat, slowly “pull” yourself down toward the ground maintaining a tall spine. Only squat to the depth that your mobility allows. Exhale as you press your feet into the ground and return to a standing position. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. In this article about the squat I offer additional cues and discussion.

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Maintaining a tall spine, step back with your one foot and lower into the lunge until both knee angles are at 90 degrees. Keeping your weight evenly distributed between your front heel and the ball of your back foot, press through the back foot and pull through the front foot and glute to return to the standing position. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. You can complete all repetitions on one side then the other or alternate sides for each repetition.

Bodyweight + Battling Ropes Circuit

After you review the video demo and exercise notes above, choose your starting point: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. If you are not a beginner to bodyweight and battling rope training circuits you can begin with the intermediate or advance circuit instead. No matter at which level you begin, you can still advance over the weeks. Each week you can either choose to increase the repetitions for each exercise, decrease the rest period between sets, or keep the repetitions the same but increase the number of sets you perform.

Your fitness level will determine how long you rest between sets. Track your rest and sets during each workout. Perform this circuit two to four times per week. When you are ready to test your gains, you can change a variable to access your new strength and conditioning level.

*If you don’t have access to battling ropes, you can replace the velocity with jumping jacks (50 reps), jump rope (50 jumps), or safe burpees (like burpees, but instead of jumping back into the push-up position from the squat, extend/walk out out one foot and then the other).

Beginner Circuit
Repeat 3-5 times, resting at the end of each circuit

  • Push-ups x 5
  • Bodyweight Squats x 5
  • Velocity x 15 (waves)*
  • Lunges x 5R/5L

Intermediate Circuit
Repeat 3-5 times, resting at the end of each circuit

  • Push-ups x 10
  • Bodyweight Squats x 10
  • Velocity x 20 (waves)
  • Lunges x 10R/10L

Advanced Circuit
Repeat 3-5 times, resting at the end of each circuit

  • Push-ups x 15
  • Bodyweight Squats x 15
  • Velocity x 30 (waves)
  • Dynamic (Jumping) Lunges x 10R/10L

Add this strength and conditioning circuit to other programs as a finisher or perform it as your stand-alone training sessions. Just remember that all exercise should be completed with good quality form. Otherwise, as with any training method, you will set in bad habits that could increase your risk of injury.

If you want to get stronger—whether it’s with a bodyweight skill like pull-ups, or one of the big powerlifts like the squat or deadlift—and want to have a balanced and efficient training program at your finger tips, we can help!

At Girls Gone Strong, we want you to feel confident knowing that what you’re doing to look good, feel good, and feel healthy and strong are not only based on tested, reliable, and safe information from trustworthy sources, but that it is also effective and efficient. That’s why we developed our flagship training system, The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training.

We’ve cut through all that noise and the BS with a sane, sustainable, and efficient approach that will help you achieve maximum results, whether you’re brand new to strength training, or a veteran in the weight room.

With four different 16-week programs—that’s 64 weeks of training—you get over a year’s worth of workouts, including progressions to ensure that you continue making progress. You’ll also get a training manual, exercise glossary, progress tracker, a bonus conditioning manual, plus a video library with over 70 high-definition videos breaking down each exercise, step by step.

We believe fitness should enhance your life instead of become your life. If you exercise in a way that you actually enjoy, staying fit and strong won’t ever feel like a drag. You’ll look forward to it for years to come.

If you want an entire training system that will help you look and feel your best, The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training is for you!

Click to learn more and get started today!

The post Can You Get Strong Doing Bodyweight Exercises? appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

About Mehmood Esmail

Mehmood Esmail
Hi, I am Mehmood Esmail, there have been severe health issues in my family, like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, kidney stones, IBS, etc. Where we live, in Africa, health facilities are basic. Thus it becomes imperative that we hnow what is happenining to us and how to look after ourselves, and where possible, how to prevent serious illnesses.

Check Also

Who Gets to Call Themselves an Athlete?

Who Gets to Call Themselves an Athlete?

It’s 8:40 a.m. and I’m getting changed for my first period gym class. I am trying very hard to change without anyone seeing my body, my breasts, my stomach. I am pretty good at it but I have to put on my sports bra today because we are running. I’m already a D cup and […]

The post Who Gets to Call Themselves an Athlete? appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *