This article originally appeared on Evolve-MMA.
If you find yourself traveling and miles away from the nearest martial arts gym, fear not – there’s always the option of doing bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises are great because they’re easy to do, won’t cost you a thing, and require little or zero equipment to do them. This leaves zero excuses for those of us who choose not to work out while we’re on holiday, or when we simply can’t find time for training.
Another great benefit of doing bodyweight exercises is that it forces you to work on your strength, balance, mobility, muscle tone, and flexibility all at once. In fact, many martial artists prefer bodyweight exercises, even if they have the equipment for weightlifting. Unlike traditional strengthening exercises, bodyweight exercises allow them to stay on track weight wise and build functional strength at the same time.
Still need more convincing? Worry not, here’s 5 Reasons Why Every Martial Artist Needs To Do Bodyweight Exercises:
- Because it’s one of the most efficient workouts you can do
Research shows that bodyweight exercises give you the most gains in the least amount of time – especially if you do them in a HIIT style. Because you barely need any equipment to do them, it’s easier to move from one exercise to the next with little resting time in between. Also, the shorter rest times boost the heart rate faster than any other form of exercise and help you burn those unwanted calories.
Also, bodyweight exercises combine both cardio and strength training which means that it keeps your heart pumping while still you’re boosting muscular and strength development at the same time. It’s a great way to get that cardio boost and work on your strength, especially when you don’t have the time!
- Because it’s challenging, no matter what your fitness level is
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been practicing martial arts for years or if you’ve just started your fitness/martial arts journey. One of the best things about bodyweight exercises is that they could easily be modified to according to your fitness level.
If you’re confident about your fitness level and would like a challenge, you can choose to add more repetitions than you would normally do or you could perform the exercises with more resistance or do them faster. Whatever your choice, make sure that you’re always challenging yourself and working harder each session.
- Because it will build your core like no other kind of exercises will
By now, you’d know that your core isn’t just your six-pack abdominal muscles. Your core makes up the entire trunk of your body – which means that simply doing crunches and leg raises isn’t enough to build it and make it stronger. By doing bodyweight exercises, you’ll not only develop a stronger core, you’ll also develop core stability. This will undoubtedly make a whole lot of difference in your performance during training.
- Because you’d never be able to back out from a session
If you ask someone why they haven’t been able to train or workout, they’ll probably tell you it’s because they don’t have the time. With bodyweight exercises, you’ll have no choice but to do them because you can do them in the comfort of your own home, living room, or hotel room. By adding bodyweight exercises to your routine, you literally run out of excuses to make when it comes to missing a workout session.
- Because they’re fun
Strength and conditioning workouts could get boring, especially if you’re just stuck on the treadmill and squat rack. With bodyweight exercises, you can do them in many different variations and intensities. And if you really need the weights, you can incorporate them into your normal routine as well. The more variety you have in your workouts, the less likely you’d succumb to boredom or get stuck in a plateau.
The reality is that there isn’t a perfect, universal exercise routine that will suit everyone. Each individual has his/her own personal strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Why not customize your workout and add bodyweight exercises to your routine. We guarantee that you’ll definitely get a great workout! So what are you waiting for? Give bodyweight exercises a try today!