When the term strength training is used in space, we almost inevitably associate it with the smell of sweat, the sound of cracking cast-iron weight plates, and the sight of barbell bars gleaming with chrome. However, that the strength training is much more versatile than this idea is able to express it, but only a few athletes equal to the mind. Not least because of this fact alternate alternative forms of training in addition to the classic dumbbell workouts but rather a shadowy existence, even if they have to hide in terms of effectiveness by no means. The Bodyweight training Although this is the original form of strength training, it is surprisingly one of the concepts that are unjustly neglected. Accordingly, this article has the goal of presenting body weight training in a different light and showing you why you can achieve great results in this way as well.
Why bodyweight training has benefits for you
In order to show you the advantages of training with your own body weight as vividly as possible, we would like to start with a small visual comparison between pure strength athletes and gymnasts. If we compare these types of athletes with each other, it can generally be said that the visual appearance of the muscles in gymnasts who primarily work with self-weight exercises appears to be much more symmetrical than those of athletes who rely exclusively on dumbbells and machines. The reason is the fact that the musculature in the context of performing bodyweight exercises from a mechanical point of view is naturally charged. The result is the synergistic activation of collaborative muscle groups or muscle loops, resulting in an overall set of stimuli related to both the primary target musculature and the supporting musculature. In the case of classical dumbbell or machine training, this is not the case, since the target musculature in most cases, for example, with the help of stabilizing elements is isolated. As a result, athletes who train according to this pattern run the risk that the functionally and optically essential lower-lying auxiliary muscles will be insufficiently irritated. The bottom line is that this can not only hinder you in terms of maximizing performance, but can also lead to muscular imbalances. Now, we do not want to complain about conventional strength training in any way, but we should be aware at this point that training with your own body weight contributes to the development of functional strength, which is much more useful in any form of everyday activity. In addition, this functional force, which is sometimes based on optimized intra- and intermuscular coordination, also results in a reduced susceptibility to injury in the context of classical strength training. Another not to be despised aspect is the lack of need for expensive equipment. Rather, it is that you can train almost anywhere without much financial burden. So it can be quite rewarding for you to try out the bodyweight workout at least once.
Why is there no bodyweight training hype?
With all the positive aspects that training combines with your own body weight, it seems all the more astonishing why this approach is still hardly practiced and, in case of doubt, rather smiled at. The reason why this training approach does not receive the attention it deserves is simply the fact that fitness is also about money. Money is just governing the world, and since hardly any equipment manufacturer is already willing to voluntarily lead his sales to the slaughterhouse, the bodyweight training is at least propagated by this side not very strong. Another, in contrast to the above reasons, but much more substantial cause is the problem, the principle of progressive stress increase, which is needed for the long-term muscle growth, effectively implement in the course of training with your own body weight. This point of criticism, the training approach must definitely be, but this does not mean that the steady load increase would not be possible.
How to achieve long-term success with bodyweight training
It goes without saying that training with one's own body weight makes it a bit more difficult to increase the load continuously, as it is not easy to put on a disc. With a little creativity, you should also have no problems with the implementation in this respect. The following five tips will help you in every case to implement the principle of progressive stress increase.
1 · Konzentriere dich auf die exzentrische Bewegungsphase
Already Dorian Yates, an undeniable icon of bodybuilding, criticized years ago the fact that the eccentric phase of motion is neglected by most athletes criminally. This is also rightly criticized, since a large part of the muscle fibers can be completely irritated only during this stress phase. You should also take advantage of this law in the course of training with your own body weight. In practice, this means nothing else than that you have to focus completely on the negative partial repetition in order to feel the muscles more intensely. When performing push-ups, for example, it is recommended to extend the negative movement phase to up to five seconds.
2 · Vermeide die symmetrische Übungsausführung
To complicate the training, it is necessary to shift the load axes during the exercise execution. The easiest way to do that is to use gravity and mechanical leverage. Since this admittedly sounds quite abstract, we would like to explain this fact to you by means of an example. When you do a push-up, your arms are symmetrically at the same distance from each other, which results in an even load on the muscles. Now to increase the load, you should now place an arm a little further away, so that the muscles are more heavily loaded on one side. Now that you're doing the same number of reps for each side of the body, you can expect much better results. Note: The further the way, the greater the mechanical load.
3 · Nutze Stopp-Wiederholungen
Another aspect that also reduces the effectiveness of conventional strength training is the backlash at the apex of each repetition, which relatively relieves the concentric stress phase. A simple solution to eliminate this effect is to use so-called stop repeats. During these repetitions, every single repetition pauses for two to four seconds after the eccentric movement phase and then starts the concentric movement phase. The big advantage is that the muscle fibers need to be re-energized without any momentum and backlash reducing muscle tension. The bottom line is thus that the potential growth stimulus can be improved.
4 · Vergrößere den Bewegungsradius
In addition, you can increase the difficulty of your bodyweight workout by increasing the range of motion, as this not only increases the load duration, but ideally also the load due to the displacement of the load arm. For example, in the case of lunges, you can easily increase the range of motion by doing this exercise at a high level.
5 · Versuch es einmal mit unilateraler Ausführung
The Ultima Ratio, to increase the load on your muscles in bodyweight training, is the unilateral execution of exercises, which means nothing more than that you perform only one-arm pushups or squats only one-legged, for example. In addition to the significantly higher muscular load you benefit from the fact that the resulting instability significantly more smaller muscles are involved as stabilizers in a specific exercise, so that all in all, they are clearly better utilized.
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