Trainer tips: Benefits of bodyweight exercises and 5 beginner friendly moves
May 3, 2022

Trainer tips: Benefits of bodyweight exercises and 5 beginner friendly moves

Rachel Wadsley, PhD
CoPilot habit coach Devyn
Trainwell (formerly CoPilot) trainer Devyn

As a beginner, getting started working out can be a little intimidating or overwhelming. There are so many workout options to choose from. How do you know which types of exercise are the best for you and your goals? Will the workout you pick be safe or too hard to do? 

I talked with trainwell trainer Devyn to get tons of juicy advice for you. He suggested bodyweight exercises as a great option for anyone (from novice to more seasoned folks). We talked about the benefits of bodyweight exercise, how to make them easier or more challenging, and a quick 5-minute bodyweight workout routine you can try today. 

5 Benefits of bodyweight workouts

Devyn had a lot to say about the benefits of bodyweight workouts. We narrowed the list down to his top five favorite perks. 

No equipment needed

Bodyweight workouts are for you if you want an activity you can do anywhere (yes, anywhere). Because you don’t have to lug around (or purchase) any equipment, you can exercise in the comfort of your home, at work, in a hotel, or even on the beach. Saving money and having the convenience of getting in exercise anytime you want is a pretty sweet deal. 

No experience required

According to Devyn, bodyweight exercises are good beginner workouts because you don’t need to know how to use different equipment. You’re doing what your body is designed to do.  

Lower risk of injury

While no workout is without any risk of injury, using equipment carries a higher risk of injury compared to bodyweight workouts. As with any exercise, it’s important to use good form. You can try working out in front of a mirror when you first get started to see how your body is aligned. Also, getting the support of a coach or personal trainer will further reduce your risk of injury, and you’ll get a plan custom made for you! 

Zero gym intimidation

Going to the gym can be a bit intimidating. You see people lifting hundreds of pounds or operating equipment with cables and various settings. With bodyweight exercises, you get to run the show and work out where you are the most comfortable.

You do this stuff every day

Devyn said, “Bodyweight exercises help you feel better in your day-to-day activities. You feel less winded and tired throughout the day.” You’re doing these basic movements without thinking about them during your daily activities. For example, sitting down and getting up from a chair is similar to doing a squat.  

How to change the intensity of your workout 

Just because there aren’t weights or equipment involved doesn’t mean you can’t make your workouts easier or harder. Devyn was full of ideas for making your workout just the right intensity. 

How to make bodyweight exercises easier

  • Make a modification - Do a kneeling push-up instead of fully upright
  • Use assistance - Use a stable chair or counter while doing a squat
  • Shorten the range of motion - Instead of a full squat, start with a half squat
  • Throw on your favorite playlist - Working out to music makes time go faster and boosts motivation

How to make bodyweight exercise moves harder

  • Slow down the pace of the movements to challenge your muscles more
  • Reduce the duration of rest periods and keep your heart rate elevated 

5 Move beginner bodyweight workout routine

You can do this once or repeat the moves for a longer workout.  Start and end by gently walking in place for one minute.

Move 1: Half squats (30-45 seconds)

woman doing a half squat in a living room

Move 2: Calf raises (30-45 seconds)

person doing calf raises in the kitchen

Move 3: Alternating knee lifts (30-45 seconds)

woman doing alternating knee lifts in front of a wood wall

Move 4: Alternating toe touches (30-45 seconds)

Man doing alternating toe touches outside in the grass

Move 5: Knee push ups (30-45 seconds)   

pregnant woman doing knee push ups in a living room

Go at your own pace

You can make bodyweight workouts as doable or challenging as you want to. If you’re a beginner, start small and build on your exercises once you feel stronger. 

It’s okay to change things up. Today if you only have 5 minutes, try out Devyn’s bodyweight exercise flow. Tomorrow you might want a day off, and maybe you’re up for something more the next day. 

Trainwell's trainers are all certified personal trainers and certified Precision Nutrition coaches. They will help you create customized routines around movement, nutrition, mindfulness, and active recovery. Your personalized plan will be flexible, doable, and fun (seriously). Plus, you’ll have a real human at your fingertips to help you stay motivated and focused. 

Start your trainwell trial today!

Written by Rachel Wadsley, PhD

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