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Why Body Weight Workouts at Home are Beneficial

I think a lot of us are thinking the same thing about the COVID pandemic; “so over it!”.

By Katie Radzieta, Personal Trainer at Wynyard

We’re now stuck in a second lockdown and everything is chaotic and uncertain. One thing you can be sure of is that the Vision team has your back! Many clients have already had at least one online session with one of the coaches, or attended an online group session. However, some people are not entirely convinced on the effectiveness of an online training session. We have been relying a lot on body weight exercises because most people have very little, if any equipment – you might be surprised how far you can be pushed by just using your own body weight! You don’t need to be lifting weights to feel the burn, and to see progress, the most important thing is to be consistent and not take your foot off the pedal!

Body weight exercises are super versatile, and it can be fun pushing your body to do things that you wouldn’t normally do with added weight. However, if simple bodyweight squats don’t grab your fancy, or perhaps you feel like they’re too easy, we can try these things to make it more difficult (and don’t worry, we will):

  • Perform single leg movements – same body weight, half the help.
  • Modify the tempo – slowing-up the movement, particularly the eccentric – or down – phase of the exercise, can really make things challenging.
  • Add speed – plyometric exercises can take a bodyweight session to a whole new level.
  • Modify the volume – perform more repetitions, more sets or more exercises when additional weight is unavailable.

Additionally, when you’re not concentrating on the weight on your back or above your head, it gives you time to really focus on thinking about the muscles that you’re working, and building a strong mind-to-muscle connection. This can be hugely beneficial for when you do return to the weights. Continuing bodyweight training is also vital in preserving your muscle mass over any lockdown period.

Ceasing training altogether takes as little as two weeks for muscles to become de-trained and de-conditioned, even worse is muscle loss if your nutrition is inadequate and you become sedentary. Less muscle means less calorie burn during the day, dropping your daily energy requirements and thus, increasing the chance of fat gain. It is important that we continue to work towards our goals, no matter what barriers might try to throw us off track. Bodyweight exercises are adequate alternatives to exercises performed with weight in the gym. And let’s face it, we don’t have much of a choice at the moment.

In order to get through these chaotic times, we must learn to adapt and embrace new challenges. For those people who were a little wary of the effectiveness of online training, I hope I’ve helped you see the value of staying on track, even if we’re forced to mix things up. In the end, time still ticks forward and goals won’t be achieved by being sedentary and being not accountable in regards to our nutritional intake. It’s not about what you CAN’T do, it’s about what you CAN do. 

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