The best bodyweight exercises are the ones that are going to be the most difficult to perform. If you can train to the point of being able to do 20 one armed pushups, you’ll quite likely be able to do 100 regular pushups with ease without ever having trained for them. However, someone who can do 100 double handed pushups won’t be able to do 20 one armed pushups unless they specifically train for it! As with all forms of resistance training, the heavier the weight is that you lift, the denser your bones have to become to get to the point of being able to withstand the force of that load. Increasing bone density is among one of the best kept secrets of longevity in humans.
If you take into account that a high resistance bodyweight routine builds the strongest muscles (not necessarily large muscles), the most efficient muscles, is best for your long term health and also builds the most functional strength (strength that utilizes the whole body and doesn’t isolate parts of it).
The great thing about doing the best bodyweight exercises with high resistance is that you simultaneously build maximum strength (the maximum amount of weight you can lift in just one rep) along with explosive strength (how quickly you can lift or move a heavy weight) even if you are doing the exercise slowly.
Some of the benefits of focusing your strength practice on the best bodyweight exercises is that:
~You can build muscle bulk if you choose to
~You can build functional strength that is usable in everyday movements
~You’ll develop improved body skills suitable for being a martial artist, yogi, military personnel, security guard/body guard, dancer or whatever living you make through the use of your body
~It’s portable and can be done anywhere, unlike weights or a treadmill
~You’re much less likely to get injured compared to weight training
~You can create variations that make it impossible to become bored with your strength practice
This is a list of some of the best bodyweight exercises:
~One Armed Pushups
~One Legged Squats (also known as pistol squats)
~Spiderman or Jack Lalanne Pushups
~Handstand Pushups (eventually one armed HSPU)
~Chinups (eventually one armed chinups)
~Straight Leg Raises
What are your favorite bodyweight exercises? Which do you like better for strength training, traditional weight lifting or bodyweight exercises?