Throw your weight around for great fitness

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Throw your weight around for great fitness

Anyone can do bodyweight training. All you need is a body.

Never heard of bodyweight exercise? It’s using your own body as resistance instead of machines or equipment. And it’s totally underestimated. But Virgin Active’s National Product Development Manager, Ceri Hannan, says that bodyweight exercise has stood the test of time as an effective stand-alone workout or as an integral part of health club classes.

We asked Ceri to highlight some of the key benefits of working with your own bodyweight.

1. High output, low investment

The main benefit of bodyweight training is to build strength without investing hours of time a week. A short, full body routine that includes sets of exercises like lunges, squats and crunches, with short breaks in between, can build muscle very effectively.

2. Better balance and flexibility

Relying on only your body to workout also improves balance and flexibility. A full body routine engages your core muscles and improves strength in your limbs. Classes like Virgin Active’s Barre 180 combine bodyweight training with yoga and dance-inspired moves to build alignment and posture.

3. Control and variety

Many strength training or cardio routines can start feeling monotonous but with bodyweight training you’re completely in control of your routine. You can change it up to include more challenging sets on some days, exclude them on recovery days, or just switch the order to keep it fun.

4. Anywhere anytime

Another plus is that bodyweight training requires no special equipment or training gear, which means that you can do it anywhere and it’s available to anyone. If you can’t make it to your health club, you can do it at home or outdoors.

5. Keeping it lean

The short bursts of exercise that make up a bodyweight routine have been proven to help with weight loss more effectively than long cardio sessions. And the focus of many strength training routines which involve weights or other equipment is to bulk up but with effective bodyweight exercise the result should be a lean, strong body.

If you haven’t tried it before, give it a go. It might just be that new something you’ve been looking to add to your routine.

For more information on Virgin Active health clubs, visit: www.virginactive.co.za

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