Body Weight Exercises

Body weight exercises are quite simply the best way to build strength for a beginner and a youth athlete. Too many times I have witnessed overzealous trainers, coaches or even athletes themselves try to give/use resistance (mostly free weights) when they are quite simply not ready for them.

Rule of thumb in my industry is: if you cannot handle your own body weight, then you should not be using external resistance.

Why? Well, if a beginner or youth athlete cannot perform 1 full pull-up, at least 10-20 good push-ups, 20-25 body weight squats (hips below parallel), a minimum of 6 single leg squats and a front lunge with full range of motion of hips and trunk stable and upright, chances are he/she are not good candidates yet for resistance training.

How about their core strength? Can they hold a front plank for a minimum of 20 seconds with good form? Same with a side plank?

Muscles of the trunk (abdominals,lower and mid–back) need to be strengthened to handle lower and upper body movements. If they are not strong, all of the body weight exercises mentioned above will be executed poorly.

Now, imagine this athlete and I‘m sure you’ve seen them, using free weights. Bench press is usually uneven. Squats and deadlifts (if they do them) are terrible. Form, range of motion and strength also are usually poor with these lifts. So, they are not getting the full benefits of these strength building exercises as a result.

Want some proof? Male gymnasts from Britain, who after training with one of the best gymnastics coaches’ in the country, reported that at the conclusion of 2 years of training, he decided to test his gymnasts with weights. Which they had never done or used.

The result : all had DOUBLED their body weight in the bench press, squat and deadlift. This all of result of body weight training for 2 or more years! Remember they never did any weight training!

I also have seen first hand how a female gymnast after training for 4 or so years, all her own weight, was able to do 8 dead hang pull-ups and 10 full push-ups. She was only 12! Oh, and her 10 and 20 yd. sprint was faster than most 14 yr. old boys who were soccer, baseball and football players.

OK, having read this, don’t you want to know more about it? All you have to do is contact me.

From Body Weight Exercises to Strength Training