Bodyweight Training – How to Stay Lean During Winter
The winter months are usually a time for eating lots of food, drinking lots of alcohol and generally not moving very much, let alone do any exercise. It’s easy to fall off the fitness wagon during the festive season. Due to poor weather conditions, hectic schedules or lots of travel, a lot of people can’t seem to find the time to get out and exercise or visit the gym.
This is why today I’m going to tell you about bodyweight training and all of the great things that come with it. You can do this absolutely anywhere meaning that it’s the key to staying lean during the winter.
Bodyweight training is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s performing exercise and working out using only your bodyweight as resistance. This results in a very cheap workout considering you don’t need any expensive equipment to work up a sweat
The beauty of bodyweight training is that it can be done practically anywhere. If you’re away from home during the festive season then you won’t have to source the nearest gym. With bodyweight training you can get a great workout by staying indoors and performing exercise wherever you are. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the bedroom, kitchen, local park or even church, you can work out anywhere (as long as the minister doesn’t mind!). Bodyweight training can last as long as you want it to as well meaning it’s not time consuming. You’re already saving time by skipping the commute to the gym so you can get a great workout that lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. As long as you’re challenging yourself and pushing your limits you’re doing it right!
Builds Muscle and Burns Fat
Of course, it would be useless if bodyweight training didn’t benefit your health. What’s great about bodyweight training is that it builds muscle and burns fat. Performing moves by using your weight as resistance (push-ups, tricep dips, squats etc) will help build muscle in the areas that you’re working. Performing more cardio based moves (burpees, mountain climbers, high knees etc.) will help burn fat in the targeted areas due to the elevation of your heart rate. If you use these moves in a HIIT workout then you’ll see even more benefits as you’ll still be burning calories hours after you’ve finished the workout.
Being out of your routine during the festive season can often hinder your sleeping pattern. A good night’s sleep if essential for keeping the weight off. Lack of sleep can affect the hormone levels in your body meaning you’ll feel hungry more often while you’re awake which can lead to snacking. By exercising in general when you’re out of your routine then you’ll reduce stress levels and release more endorphins in the body which promotes healthy sleep. In turn, this will help keep the weight off.
Your metabolic rate is effected by how much you exercise. By cutting back on the exercise during winter then your metabolic rate will decrease and you’ll struggle to burn the amount of calories you would normally. By performing bodyweight exercises during the times when you wouldn’t normally workout, then you’re making sure that your body is at its optimum level for fat burning and your rate of metabolism is still high. So, you can eat that Christmas pudding guilty free!
I mentioned earlier about exercise releasing endorphins to relieve stress and improve sleep. This will benefit your overall mood and keep you happy for longer. The winter can cause a drop in mood due to the cold, dark nights. By doing bodyweight exercises at times when you couldn’t normally exercise then you’ll get that mood boost you need to get you through a stressful day.
Target Any Muscle Group
Bodyweight training is so versatile that you can target and muscle group on the body. So it doesn’t matter if you want to target your legs, core, back, shoulders or arms, there is a bodyweight move that can do so. This gives this type of training the upper hand on regular exercise such as running or general cardio as only one muscle group tends to get used. Weight training is great for targeting muscle groups, however the lack of accessible gyms may hinder this. Train with just your weight as resistance and you’ll soon see progress to the targeted area in which you desire.
Improves Cardio Health and Endurance
Focusing on just cardio based moves will improves your cardio health and endurance. A few rounds of mountain climbers, high knees and burpees will send your heart rate racing and improve your overall endurance over time. This in turn will keep your body on top of its game so when you do finally hit the gym again you’re not out of breath after a few reps.
At JLL we’re all about safety. One of the biggest pros of bodyweight training is the safety aspect of it. Training with just your weight as resistance allows you to perform maximum reps to failure without injuring yourself. Working until failure with a heavy weight puts you at risk of hurting yourself. If you’re squatting 100kg and you knee gives way on the last rep then you’re in trouble! Doing push ups until failure is a great way of building and toning muscle in your arms and chest without putting yourself at risk.
Good for Everyone!
A huge advantage of bodyweight training is that no matter what your fitness level is, it’ll be good for you. You can choose the moves depending on what you want to achieve, whether that’s more cardio or strength based moves. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice to fitness or an expert, if you’re pushing yourself to your limits so you’re physically exhausted then you’ll reap huge rewards.
A Bodyweight Workout You Can Try Now
Try this entire body bodyweight workout to get you started:
20x Tricep Dips
60 Second Plank
60 Seconds of High Knees
x 3 Sets
This workout will cover the entire body and also contains a mix of strength and cardio exercises, so it’s great for building muscle and burning fat as your heart rate will increase rapidly.
There’s definitely a huge amount to gain by taking up bodyweight exercises. Just because you’re away from home or if the weather outside is frightful, it doesn’t mean you have to be off your fitness game. Mix things up by using different types of moves to keep your workout fresh and stave off the boredom.