When it comes to working out, everyone is looking for the next best exercise or workout to help them propel their progress. We know that eating well, exercising and proper rest, will lead to us progressing with our fitness goals but can one type of training increase results quicker than another?
Bodyweight exercises are any exercise in which the primary resistance you’re trying to overcome is your own weight. The great thing about bodyweight exercises is that typically they can be performed using almost no equipment. This is especially great if you’re someone who does a lot of travelling, or don’t have a gym readily available. Below are a couple great examples of bodyweight exercises!
° Bodyweight Squats
° Tricep Dips
° Anything involving a TRX system
As you can see bodyweight exercises are some of the easiest exercises to setup. They are also very practical and transferable to everyday life as they are using movements that we use almost everyday. For example, if you look at a squat and a tricep dip, if you combine these two exercises into an everyday situation this mimics getting up out of a chair. The squat helps us lift ourselves up while the tricep dip exercise gives us the strength to push up off the chair using our arms. The downside of bodyweight exercises is that eventually you may find that your body weight isn’t enough for exercises like squats, pull ups, or pushups… sure you can increase your number of reps but if your number one goal is strength, than this may not be enough.
Free weights on the other hand, involve the use of outside resistance in the form of Dumbbells, barbells, or any other weight apparatus in order to provide resistance to your movement. The great thing about using free weights is that you can provide greater amounts of resistance if needed, as well as take resistance off if that’s required as well. It allows a large amount of customizability which using body weight typically does not (there’s exceptions such as using bands to make an exercise easier for something like a pullup).
Another great thing about free weights is that there are almost limitless number of exercises to do for each bodypart when you consider barbells, dumbbells, bands, and other modalities. This is another great thing about free weights, is the ability to keep things fun and fresh all the time.
Examples of some common free weight exercises include:
°bent over dumbbell row
There are countless other exercises we could name however, there’s just 6 listed above to name a few.
In terms of whether free weights vs bodyweight is better for your progress, it’s a bit more complicated than that. As mentioned above, bodyweight exercises are great because they are so transferable to everyday life. They are practical and allow us to see how strong we are in correlation with our body. One method isn’t better than the other in the grand scheme of things, however, depending what your goals are, and what your current fitness level is right now, one may be more beneficial than the other but that depends on exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Written by Andrew Blakey | Owner of Your Future Fitness
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